4kg | 8lbs fresh turkeyor frozen and defrosted thoroughly
150g| 5.3oz unsalted butter at room temperature
2tbspFrench's Classic Yellow mustard
1tbspfresh lemon thyme leaves
zest of 2 lemons
zest of 1 orange
salt and freshly ground pepper
small piece fresh rosemary
For the gravy
Gibletsheart, gizzard and liver from the turkey
1small leekfinely diced
1celery stalk with leaves
1yellow onionfinely diced
1lt | 4 cups water
1tbspcornflour diluted in a little cold water
1tbspFrench's Classic Yellow mustard
For the Stuffing
350 g| 12oz bread cubes, toasted sourdough or ciabbata bread
200g| 7oz smoked bacon cubes
150g| 5.3oz pecans roughly chopped
150g5.2oz cooked chestnuts roughly chopped
100g3 ½oz dried cranberries finely diced
6tbspcrispy onions ground to a powder optional
2leeks white and light green parts only, finely diced
2 large sage leaves very finely diced
1tbspfresh thyme leaves
1tbspflat leaf parsleychopped
360ml| 1 ½ cup chicken stock
pinch chilli flakes
dash Worcestershire sauce
salt and freshly ground pepper
Preheat the oven to 180C (350F) and set the shelf on lowest rack.
If you are using a frozen turkey, make sure it is fully defrosted before cooking. Thaw in the fridge following pack instructions. Let the turkey (fresh or defrosted) stand at room temperature for at least an hour before roasting.
Tie the carrot, celery, lemon, bay leaf, parsley stalks and rosemary together with kitchen string and put into the turkey cavity.
Put he butter, mustard, thyme leaves, lemon and orange zest and Tabasco in a small bowl. Use a spoon to mix everything together.
Massage the butter paste all over your turkey, pushing some under the breast skin. Season well with salt and pepper.
Place the turkey in a large roasting bag and seal. Place flat on a large, deep roasting tray and pierce a few holes on the top of the bag.
Cook the turkey for 2 hours, rotating the tray halfway through.
While the turkey is cooking, make the stock. Heat 2 tbsp butter in a pot and cook the leek, celery and onion for 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and cook another 5 minutes.
Add the water bay leaf, gizzard and heart. Bring to the boil then simmer for 45 minutes. Straing the liquid into another pot. Pan fry the liver in the remaining butter and cook for 4-5 minutes or until cooked through. Chop very finely and add to the stock. Set aside.
Remove the turkey from the oven and leave to stand for 5 minutes. Carefully open the roasting bag - be careful as the steam will be very hot and can easily give you a bad burn!
Check the temperature - it should be 170°F (77°C) in the breast and 180°F (82°C) in the thigh. Cover loosely with foil and leave to rest for at least 30 minutes before carving.
Pour the liquid that's collected in the bag into the stock pot. Bring to a rolling simmer and stir in the bourbon, cornflour, mustard and soy sauce. Cook until slightly reduced and thickened. Check the seasoning and strain into a gravy boat.
Carve your turkey and serve with the gravy and stuffing.
Pecan and Cranberry Stuffing
Preheat the oven to 115C (250F). Cut the bread into small cubes and spread on a large baking tray in a single layer. Toast in the oven until crisp, mixing occasionaly. This can take 12-15 minute or longer. Cool before using.
Mix the bread cubes, pecans, chestnuts and cranberries in a large bowl. Set aside.
Heat 1 tbsp of butter n a non-stick frying pan and sauté the leeks and celery for 8-10 minutes. Stir in the sage, parsley and thyme and season with salt and pepper. Transfer to a large bowl.
Cook the bacon cubes in same frying pan over medium high heat until crisp. Transfer to the bowl containing the vegetables.
Heat the frying pan and deglaze with the stock, scraping any browned bacon bits. Stir in the mustard and Worcestershire sauce and transfer to a measuring jug. Allow to cool slightly and then mix in the eggs.
Stir in with the leeks and bacon. Add the breadcubes and pecans and fold together.
Place in a buttered ovenproof dish and sprinkle with the ground crispy onions and chilli flakes. Dot with remaining butter and cook at 180C (350F) for about 30 minutes or until the top is golden. Serve hot.
Roast Turkey: Cooking times for cooking a turkey in a roasting bag can usually be found on the packaging. A 4kg (8lbs) turkey only needs about 2 hours roasting but always check the internal temperature with a digital thermometer. Always rest the turkey before carving.Stuffing: If you are preparing this dish up to a day in advance, put the breadcrumbs, pecans, chestnuts and cranberries in a container and keep in the fridge. Prepare the recipe following the method but keep the leeks/egg mixture in a separate container in the fridge. Mix together before baking on the day you are serving dinner.