Roast Turkey with Spiced Cranberry, Bacon and Walnut Stuffing

This image courtesy of David Loftus



Cooking MethodRoasting


Total Timehalf-day

Make Ahead RecipeYes

Kid FriendlyYes

One Pot MealYes

OccasionCasual Dinner Party, Family Get-together

Recipe CourseMain Course

Five Ingredients or LessYes


Taste and TextureHerby, Meaty, Nutty, Savory, Spiced, Sweet


  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 6 slices good-quality bacon, sliced into thin strips
  • 3 shallots, peeled and finely chopped
  • 2 sticks of celery, trimmed and finely chopped
  • A sprig of fresh rosemary, leaves picked and chopped
  • A large handful of dried cranberries
  • 3 ¼ cups dry cider
  • ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ½ teaspoon ground allspice
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • A handful of chopped walnuts
  • Zest of 1 orange
  • 12 ounces good-quality pork sausage meat
  • 1 egg, preferably free-range or organic
  • 2 big handfuls of breadcrumbs
  • 1 turkey (about 9 pounds), preferably free-range or organic
  • ½ cup softened butter
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons of fresh chicken stock, preferably organic
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch


  1. To make the stuffing, melt the unsalted butter in a saucepan and add the bacon, shallots, celery and rosemary. Cook gently with the lid on for about 10 minutes, until the vegetables are very soft, but not coloured. Add the cranberries and half the cider and turn up the heat a little. When the liquid has reduced to a third of its volume, set it aside to cool. Mix in the nutmeg, allspice, some salt and pepper, the walnuts, orange zest, sausage meat and egg, then fold in the breadcrumbs.

  2. Preheat the oven to 475°F. Pat the turkey’s skin dry with paper towels, then stuff the neck end with half the stuffing. (You can cook the remaining stuffing separately or use it to make sausage rolls the next day.) Rub the bird with the softened butter and season well. Place in a roasting pan, cover with foil and pop in the preheated oven. After 15 minutes, turn down the heat to 300°F. Baste, then roast for another 2 to 2¾ hours.

  3. Remove the foil 1 hour before the end of cooking time. To check the bird is cooked, stick a fork into the thickest part of the thigh – the juices should run clear. Remove the turkey from the oven, lift out of the pan, cover with foil then leave to rest for 30 minutes.

  4. Increase the oven temperature to 400°F. Skim off the fat in the pan and use it to roast your potatoes. Add the rest of the cider to the meat juices in the pan, along with the meat off the turkey wings and enough stock to cover the bottom of the pan. Stir in the cornflour, dissolved in a little water, and simmer on the stovetop until thickened. Sieve into a pitcher and serve with your turkey, stuffing and some roast potatoes.

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This is the best Stuffing for a Christmas Turkey for me this stuffing is the best part of the whole meal and for boxing day! I make it every year and is sumptious!I use half for the Turkey and half small balls for boxing day. Well worth the effort and very easy to make!

I'm having trouble believing some of this. Cost Moderate -- I have a very different idea of moderate. This would cost me a week's pay Make Ahead Recipe Yes -- make ahead means at least several hours. That would turn the turkey cold. Kid Friendly Yes -- a kid could not prepare this. I'm not sure most could even help One Pot Meal Yes -- I count 3 Dietary Consideration main course -- main course is not a dietary consideration Five Ingredients or Less Yes -- I count 19


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