Neil Perry's roast turkey with stuffing

Neil Perry's roast turkey with stuffing.
Neil Perry's roast turkey with stuffing.  Photo: William Meppem

It's traditional, sure, but there's a simple reason why turkey with all the trimmings is such a hit at Christmas - it's so utterly delicious!

Ingredients

2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

3 small brown onions, finely chopped

8 cloves garlic, crushed

50g spinach, trimmed

1 cup fresh breadcrumbs

2 tbsp chopped thyme

2 tbsp flat-leaf parsley, chopped

180g raisins, soaked in hot water for 5 minutes and drained

200g unsalted butter, finely diced

2 eggs

sea salt and freshly ground white pepper

7.6kg whole turkey (medium to large)

To serve

mustard fruits

asparagus, almonds and burnt butter

sweet potato puree

boiled corn with chilli butter

Method

Preheat oven to 200C.

To make stuffing, heat a little olive oil in a frying pan. Add onion and garlic and cook over a low heat for about 5 minutes or until onion is soft. Remove from heat and set aside to cool.

Blanch spinach in boiling salted water until just wilted, then drain and rinse under cold water. Squeeze excess water from spinach. Chop coarsely.

Combine onion mixture with spinach, breadcrumbs, herbs, raisins and butter in a medium bowl. Add eggs, season with salt and pepper and mix well.

Insert stuffing under skin of turkey on breasts and legs, until it's firmly packed in. (Placing the turkey stuffing under the skin helps keep the meat moist.)

Rub skin with plenty of olive oil and season turkey inside and out.

Place turkey in a large baking tray and roast for 30 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 150C and cook turkey for 4-5 hours or until cooked. (The best way to ensure turkey is cooked through is with a meat thermometer. If bird is large, add 20-30 minutes of oven time for every 500g over 7.6kg. When cooked, the internal temperature of breast should be 74C and the legs 80C.)

Reduce oven temperature to 50C, cover turkey with foil and allow it to rest in oven for about 20 minutes.

Remove drumsticks, thighs and wings at second joint. Slice breasts into 1-2cm-thick slices, being careful not to rip skin. Serve on a platter with mustard fruits on the side. Don't forget all the trimmings: asparagus, almonds and burnt buttersweet potato puree; and boiled corn with chilli butter.