We've included dried sour cherries in the stuffing here and served the turkey with a piquant cherry pickle for a double-whammy. The stuffing and pickled cherries can be made ahead to make things that much easier on Christmas Day. Try serving it with a simple herby farro salad dressed with a tangy lemon vinaigrette to keep things interesting. Start this recipe two days ahead to make the pickle.
- 1 turkey (about 7kg), at room temperature
- 100 gm softened butter
- 500 ml (2 cups) chicken stock
- To taste: lemon juice
- 200 ml sherry vinegar
- 200 ml dry white wine
- 110 gm (½ cup) caster sugar
- ¼ Spanish onion, thinly sliced
- Juice of 1 orange, thinly peeled rind of ½
- 2 cloves
- 1 garlic clove, thinly sliced
- 1 fresh bay leaf
- 1 cinnamon quill
- 450 gm pitted cherries (about 480gm unpitted)
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- ½ Spanish onion, finely chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 250 gm coarse light rye breadcrumbs
- 80 gm dried sour cherries
- 50 gm roasted pine nuts
- Juice and finely grated rind of 1 orange and 1 lemon
- 1For pickled cherries, stir ingredients except cherries and 100ml water in a saucepan over medium-high heat until sugar dissolves. Add cherries, bring to a simmer, then reduce to medium and simmer until cherries are just tender (6-8 minutes). Transfer to a sterile jar and refrigerate for at least 2 days before using. Pickled cherries will keep refrigerated for up to a month.
- 2For sour-cherry stuffing, heat oil in a small saucepan over medium-high heat, then sauté onion and garlic until tender and translucent (4-5 minutes), then tip into a bowl to cool. Stir in remaining ingredients and season to taste.
- 3Preheat oven to 190C. Fill turkey cavity with stuffing, truss legs, then rub bird all over with butter and season well. Place breast-side up in a large roasting pan, add stock to pan and roast, basting occasionally with pan juices, until golden brown and juices run clear when thigh is pierced with a skewer or internal temperature reaches 74C on a meat thermometer when tested in thigh and breast (2¾-3 hours; cover with foil if turkey browns too quickly). Remove from pan, cover loosely with foil and rest for 30 minutes.
- 4Meanwhile, simmer pan juices over medium-high heat until reduced to a thick sauce consistency (10-12 minutes), squeeze in a little lemon juice and season to taste. Serve with roast turkey and pickled cherries.