For the stuffing

For the garlic

  • 3 whole bulbs garlic, halved horizontally
  • 1 lemon, cut into 6 wedges

For the gravy

  • 4 tsp plain flour
  • 175ml medium-sweet marsala
  • 850ml turkey or chicken stock


  • STEP 1

    Heat oven to 190C/170C fan/gas 5. Rinse the turkey then pat dry with kitchen paper. Weigh it to calculate the cooking time, allowing 20 mins per kg, plus 70 mins (or 90 mins when roasting a crown over 4kg). Sit the turkey on a board, very lightly rub all over with olive oil and season with pepper. Lay the pancetta or streaky bacon over the top of the turkey, slightly overlapping to cover it. Tuck the slices under the bird to secure at the bottom. Insert small rosemary sprigs haphazardly between the slices. Season with pepper. Tie the crown across in 2-3 places with butcher’s string, to hold the shape together. Put the onion wedges in the middle of a large roasting tin and sit the crown on top. Cover the turkey with a loose tent of foil, then roast following your calculated time.

  • STEP 2

    Make the stuffing. Heat 3 tbsp of the oil in a large frying pan. Tip in the onions and garlic, and fry for 5-8 mins until softened and starting to turn golden. Push the onions to one side of the pan, then add the pine nuts and continue to fry for 1 min more, stirring the nuts until golden. Remove from the heat and cool slightly. Stir in the remaining oil, all but a small handful of the Parmesan and the remaining stuffing ingredients. Season with salt and pepper. Loosely spoon stuffing mixture (don’t pack it down) into an oiled ovenproof dish, drizzle with a little extra olive oil, sprinkle with remaining Parmesan, then lay a sheet of baking parchment on top. Set aside. Can be made 1 day ahead and chilled.

  • STEP 3

    Thirty mins before the end of the cooking time, remove the turkey and increase oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6. If you are roasting potatoes put them in now. Roast the garlic. Remove the foil, place the garlic halves and lemon wedges around the turkey, then baste them and the turkey with the cooking juices. Return the tin to the oven and continue to roast for the final 30 mins. To test if cooked, pierce the fattest part of the crown with a skewer – the juices should run clear, not pink. If they are pink, continue to roast, checking at 10 min intervals.

  • STEP 4

    Remove the turkey, garlic and lemon from the oven, transfer to a warm serving platter and rest, covered loosely with foil, for 30 mins before carving. Meanwhile, increase oven to 220C/200C fan/gas 7. Put the stuffing in the oven and bake for 20 mins, then remove the paper and bake for a further 5 mins until the stuffing is golden.

  • STEP 5

    Make the gravy. Pour off any excess fat from the roasting tin but leave the juices and onions. Stir all the sticky bits from the bottom of the tin into the juices. Set tin over a medium heat, add the flour and cook, stirring continuously, for 2 mins. Pour in the Marsala and simmer for 2 mins. Pour in the stock, bring to the boil, then simmer for 5-10 mins or until reduced to your liking. Season with pepper if needed. Strain the gravy into a pan, warm through, then pour into a jug. Serve the turkey garnished with rosemary sprigs, surrounded with the roasted garlic and lemon, and accompanied by the gravy and stuffing.

Recipe from Good Food magazine, December 2011

Goes well with


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