Recipe by Michael Van Stom
1 whole turkey
45ml olive oil
16 slices of pancetta (optional)
For the stuffing
30ml olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 grams fennel seeds
3 or 4 pork and fennel sausages (app 14 oz), skinned
320g coarse breadcrumbs
1/2 orange, freshly grated rind only
30g each of finely chopped thyme and sage
115 grams of pine nuts
Preheat your oven to 180°C. Every oven’s different, but, as a rough guide for your cooking time, allow about 25 minutes per 2 pounds of whole turkey. The trick to success here is vigilant, half-hourly basting with the pan juices to give you gorgeous, crispy skin and help prevent the breast drying out.
Remove turkey neck, rinse bird inside and out, pat dry with paper towel and allow to come to room temperature.
Heat olive oil in a frying pan over medium heat. Add onion, garlic and fennel seeds and cook until onion is soft and starting to colour (8–10 minutes). Transfer the mix to a large mixing bowl to cool. When it’s cool, add remaining ingredients and mix well to combine. Season with sea salt and freshly ground pepper.
Stuff cavity of turkey and pocket of neck with stuffing mix. Tie legs securely with kitchen string and tuck wings behind turkey shoulders. (At this point, you might choose to lay the pancetta strips diagonally across each side of the breast so the ends overlay in the centre. Stops the breast drying out.) Rub the skin all over with olive oil and sprinkle with salt.
Pour the chicken stock into a large roasting pan (we recommend our Paris Platter with a splosh of white wine too), place your turkey on a wire rack inside the pan and pop into the oven.
After half an hour, raise the heat to 195°C. Half an hour later, lower the heat back down to 185°C. For the last half hour of cooking, lower the heat to 170°F.
Every half an hour throughout the cooking, baste the turkey thoroughly with the pan juices and rotate the pan for an even result.
Remove from the oven, cover with foil and let it rest for 10 minutes.