Roast turkey with wild rice, sausage and apple stuffing

  • Preparation Time30 mins
  • Cooking Time210 mins
  • Serves8
  • DifficultyEasy

For the stuffing

225g wild rice
750ml water
1.5 tsp salt
30g unsalted butter
1 medium onion, chopped
1 cooking apple, peeled, cored and chopped
2 ribs celery with leaves, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tbsp minced fresh thyme leaves
Pinch ground mace or nutmeg
Freshly ground black pepper
225g fresh Italian-style turkey sausage, casings removed
50g pecan pieces, toasted (see note)
25g chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

For the turkey

1 (3.75–4.5kg) turkey, fresh or thawed
55g unsalted butter
2 tsp poultry seasoning
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
For the stuffing:
1) Combine the wild rice, water and 0.5 tsp of the salt in a medium saucepan and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer until the rice is tender and just bursting, about 30 minutes. (Times may very depending on the brand of rice used.) Drain and set aside.

2) Adjust an oven rack to the lowest position and remove other racks. Preheat the oven to 165C/Gas 3.

3) Melt the butter in a large skillet over a medium-high heat. Add the onion, apple, celery, garlic, thyme, mace, remaining 1 tsp of salt and black pepper, to taste. Cook until the vegetables soften, about 5 minutes.

4) Stir in the sausage, breaking it up with a wooden spoon, and cook until it loses most of its rosy color, but not so much that it's dry, about 5 minutes more. Stir the cooked wild rice, pecans and parsley into the vegetable mixture. (This stuffing can be made the day before.)

For the turkey:
1) Remove the turkey giblets from the neck and breast cavities and reserve for other uses, if desired. Dry the bird well with paper towels, inside and out. Melt the butter together with the poultry seasoning. Salt and pepper inside the bird cavity. Loosely add the stuffing to the cavity and set the bird on a rack in a roasting pan, breast-side up, and brush generously with the seasoned butter, then season with salt and pepper. Tent the top of the bird with foil.

2) Roast the turkey for about 2 hours undisturbed. Remove and discard the foil and baste the turkey with the remaining butter. Increase the oven temperature to 220C/Gas 8 and continue to roast until an instant-read thermometer registers 68C when inserted into the thickest part of the thigh, about 20 to 25 minutes more.

3) Remove the turkey from the oven and tent with foil for 15 minutes before carving.

Cook's Note: To toast nuts, spread them out on a baking sheet and toast in a preheated 180C/Gas 4 oven until golden, about 7 minutes

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