Turkey with Apricot Stuffing

This is a splendid way to cook turkey and the stuffing is absolutely delicious. If there is any stuffing leftover it makes an economical family meal spread with mustard and served with salad.

12 SERVINGS

1 x

12 lb. turkey, oven-ready

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

4 oz. butter, melted

1 tablespoon flour mixed to a paste with

4 tablespoons water

STUFFING large egg, well beaten

1 lb. canned apricots, chopped and with the can juice reserved

4 tablespoons Marsala

4 oz. fresh white breadcrumbs

1 oz. butter shallots, finely chopped

8 oz. pork sausage meat

8 oz. lean veal, chopped

8 oz. cooked ham, chopped grated rind of 1 lemon grated rind of

1 orange I2 teaspoons salt

1 teaspoon black pepper

1 teaspoon dried thyme

1 teaspoon dried marjoram

Rub the turkey, inside and out, with the salt and pepper. Set aside.

To make the stuffing, in a large mixing bowl, combine the egg, the apricot can juice and Marsala. Add the breadcrumbs and stir well to mix. Set aside for 10 minutes or until the breadcrumbs have absorbed all the liquid. Using a wooden spoon, beat the mixture until it is smooth. Set aside.

In a large saucepan, melt the butter over moderate heat. When the foam subsides, add the shallots and cook, stirring frequently, for 3 to 4 minutes or until they are soft and translucent but not brown. Add the sausage meat and cook, stirring to break the meat up, for 5 minutes or until the meat has lost its pinkness.

Remove the pan from the heat. Using a wooden spoon, beat in the breadcrumb mixture. Add the veal, ham, apricots, lemon and orange rind, the salt, pepper, thyme and marjoram, beating with the spoon until the stuffing is thoroughly combined.

Preheat the oven to very hot 450 °F (Gas Mark 8, 230°C).

Spoon the stuffing into the stomach cavity and close the opening with a trussing needle and string or skewers. Place the turkey in a large roasting tin. Using a pastry brush, brush the turkey with the melted butter and place the bird in the oven. Roast the turkey for 10 minutes then reduce the oven tempera-ture to warm 325°F (Gas Mark 3, 170°C). Roast the turkey, basting frequently with the butter and the pan juices, for a further 3 to 4 hours. To test if the turkey is thoroughly cooked, pierce the thigh with the point of a sharp knife. If the juices that run out are clear, the turkey is cooked.

Remove the tin from the oven. Remove and discard the trussing string or skewers. Transfer the turkey to a warmed carving board. Set aside and keep warm while you make the sauce.

Place the roasting tin over moderately high heat and bring the cooking juices to the boil. Reduce the heat to low and stir in the flour mixture. Cook, stirring constantly, for 2 to 3 minutes or until the sauce has thickened slightly. Remove the tin from the heat and pour the sauce into a warmed sauceboat.

Serve immediately, with the turkey.

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