I think two of the most important things when preparing a good Christmas Turkey is the stuffing, which I like to use, stuffed inside a boned and rolled leg and the sauce or gravy. Here is my recipe for both…
For the stuffing –
2 onions finely chopped
2 garlic cloves finely chopped
qtr bunch sage
250g pork belly finely minced or a quality sausage meat
125g dried apricots diced
1 egg beaten
50g soft white breadcrumbs
salt and pepper
• Sweat the onions and garlic in a pan with the butter but do not colour.
• Stir in the sage and set aside to cool.
• When the mixture has cooled, place it in a bowl with the minced belly pork or sausage meat, apricots, egg and breadcrumbs and mix well.
• Season with the salt and pepper and refrigerate until required.
For the Sauce or Gravy –
• You will need all the bones from the Turkey which you can get your butcher to de-bone if you wish. You can also use the neck if you have it.
• Chop all the bones into small pieces.
• Put them into a roasting tin with a little oil drizzled over and roast until golden brown.
• Drain off the fat and retain the browned bones and set aside in a separate dish.
• Keep the roasting tin to roast the vegetables.
1 large carrot chopped
1 large onion chopped
1 stick of celery chopped
1 leek chopped
4 cloves of garlic peeled
2 tbs olive oil
4 sprigs fresh thyme
2 glasses of dry white wine
1 ltr of fresh chicken stock
• In the same roasting tin from the bones add a little olive oil.
• Add all the chopped vegetables and roast until golden brown.
• Drain off the remaining excess oil.
• Next combine the roasted vegetables and the browned bones in a saucepan with the peeled garlic and thyme and pour in the dry white wine.
• Bring the wine to the boil and after a few moments add the chicken stock.
• Bring the stock back up to the boil over a high heat and skim off the froth that collects on the surface.
• Turn down the heat to a gentle simmer and cook for about one hour.
• Strain the gravy through a fine sieve and allow to cool.
Note: This sauce or gravy can be made in advance of Christmas Day and reheated when required.