The Christmas feast. And what a feast! The best dinner of the year, the kind that everyone looks forward to, with turkey and trimmings. The crowning glory of Christmas dinner is a glorious bird. This one more than fills the bill with its crisp golden skin, rich brown gravy and well-seasoned stuffing crunchy with hazelnuts.
- Portion size 10 servings
Hazelnut Bread Stuffing:
Hazelnut Bread Stuffing: On baking sheet, bake nuts in 350°F (180°C) oven for 8 to 10 minutes or until fragrant. Rub vigorously in tea towel to remove skins; coarsely chop. Set aside.
In large skillet, melt butter over medium heat; cook celery, onions, garlic, apple, sage, pepper, rosemary, salt and pancetta for 10 to 15 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Place bread, parsley and nuts in bowl; add celery mixture and toss well. Set aside. (Stuffing can be covered and refrigerated for up to 1 day or frozen for up to 1 week; thaw in refrigerator for 24 hours before continuing.)
Remove giblets and neck from turkey and place in large saucepan, reserving liver for another use; set aside. Rinse turkey inside and out; dry skin and cavity well. Fill neck cavity with stuffing; fold neck skin over stuffing and skewer to back. Lift wings and twist tips under back. Stuff body cavity. Tuck legs under band of skin or tie together with-string.
Place turkey, breast side up, on greased rack in roasting pan. Combine butter, sage and rosemary; spread over turkey. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Tent with foil, dull side out, tucking in ends and leaving sides open. Roast in 325°F (160°C) oven for 4 hours, basting every 30 minutes. Remove foil and roast for 45 to 60 minutes longer or until juices run clear and thermometer inserted in thigh reads 185°F (85°C) and stuffing 165°F (75°C). Let stand on platter, loosely covered, for 20 minutes.
Stock: Meanwhile, to saucepan with turkey parts, add stock, water, onion, carrot and celery; bring to boil. Reduce heat to low and skim off foam; simmer for 3 hours. Strain into measuring cup and skim off fat; add enough water to make 3 cups (750 mL) stock and set aside.
Gravy: Skim off fat in roasting pan. Stir flour into pan and cook, stirring, over medium heat for 1 minute. Gradually whisk in reserved stock and bring to boil, stirring to scrape up brown bits from bottom of pan. Reduce heat and add sherry (if using); simmer, stirring, for 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste; strain.