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Roast turkey with burghul, preserved lemon and pine nuts

Australian Gourmet Traveller recipe for roast turkey with burghul, preserved lemon and pine nuts

By Brigitte Hafner
  • 35 mins preparation
  • 2 hrs 10 mins cooking plus soaking, cooling, resting
  • Serves 6
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Roast turkey with burghul, preserved lemon and pine nuts
You'll need to begin this recipe a day ahead.
"The Middle Eastern flavours of this stuffing add a gorgeous fragrance to the flesh of the bird. I like to serve this with a simple salad of avocado wedges, orange slices and shaved fennel, tossed with extra-virgin olive oil, Sherry vinegar and torn mint leaves." Brigitte Hafner


  • 1 free-range turkey (about 5kg), at room temperature
  • 50 ml extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
  • 400 ml chicken stock
  • 30 ml Sherry vinegar, or to taste
Sticky fig compote
  • 500 gm dried wild figs (see note)
  • 250 ml red wine
  • 150 gm caster sugar
  • 2 golden shallots, thinly sliced
  • 2 cinnamon quills
  • Thinly peeled rind and juice of 1 lemon
  • 30 ml red wine vinegar
Burghul, preserved lemon and pine nut stuffing
  • 120 gm currants
  • 60 ml brandy
  • 240 gm coarse burghul (2 cups)
  • 350 ml chicken stock
  • 40 gm butter, coarsely chopped
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 onions, thinly sliced
  • 90 gm pine nuts, roasted
  • 2-3 preserved lemons, rinsed, flesh discarded, peel thinly sliced
  • Finely grated rind of 1 orange
  • 1 tsp ground allspice
  • 1 cup (firmly packed) coarsely chopped coriander


  • 1
    For sticky fig compote, combine figs and enough water to cover generously in a bowl, stand until figs are plump and tender (overnight), then drain and combine in a saucepan with remaining ingredients (except lemon juice and vinegar). Bring to the simmer over medium-high heat, stir to dissolve sugar, and simmer until liquid reduces to a sticky glaze (12-15 minutes). Remove from heat, stir in lemon juice and vinegar, season to taste and refrigerate until required. Sticky fig compote will keep refrigerated for 1 month.
  • 2
    For burghul, preserved lemon and pine nut stuffing, combine currants, brandy and 60ml water in a bowl and stand until currants are tender and liquid is absorbed (2-3 hours). Meanwhile, combine burghul and enough water to cover generously in a bowl and set aside to soak (20 minutes). Drain, then combine in a saucepan with stock, bring to the simmer, season to taste, simmer until stock evaporates and burghul is tender (4-8 minutes) and set aside to cool. Heat butter and oil in a saucepan over medium-high heat, add onion, stir occasionally until caramelised (12-15 minutes) and set aside to cool. Combine currants (discard any remaining soaking liquid), burghul, onion and remaining ingredients in a bowl, season to taste and set aside.
  • 3
    Preheat oven to 180C. Rinse turkey inside and out under cold running water. Pat dry thoroughly with absorbent paper. Stuff with burghul, preserved lemon and pine nut stuffing (refrigerate any remainder to serve), truss legs and place in a large roasting pan. Drizzle generously with olive oil, rub into skin and season to taste. Add stock to pan, cover breasts with foil and roast, basting frequently, for 1 hour, replenishing with more stock or water to stop juices from drying. Remove foil from breasts and roast, basting occasionally, until golden brown and cooked through (20-30 minutes; juices should run clear when thigh is pierced with a skewer). Remove from roasting pan, cover loosely with foil and rest in a warm place for 10 minutes. Spoon excess fat from roasting pan (discard), place roasting pan over medium heat, add Sherry vinegar and olive oil, whisk to emulsify. Season to taste and serve with turkey, stuffing and sticky fig compote.


Note Dried wild figs are available from select delicatessens.
Drink Suggestion: Savoury red sangiovese. Drink suggestion by Max Allen