Last-minute Turkey Stuffing
December 20, 2014
Are you one of those people who always has your Christmas feast well organised weeks before Christmas day? If that’s the case, this isn’t the post for you!
I’m always last minute (as everyone in my family will attest) so I’m only working out this weekend what’s going in the Christmas turkey. In fact it’s more likely to be a chicken in my house, but this stuffing works well for either.
After all, as I heard someone say: don’t be afraid of cooking turkeys, they’re really just large chickens.
The ingredients in this stuffing aren’t complicated and you can throw them together at the last minute.
You may even have the macadamia nuts left over from your Christmas canapes. Snatch them from under the nose of your guests! When we were kids, our father would buy a string bag of macadamia nuts still in shells and spend most of Christmas day breaking them open, one at a time, with a hammer. If you use that approach then this stuffing will take a little more time to prepare…
If you’re roasting a large (2kg) chicken divide this recipe by 4. Any leftovers can be baked in a separate dish in the oven. Just place excess stuffing in a baking dish, cover with foil and cook 20-30mins. Uncover and let brown another 10-15mins.
Want a non-gluten version of this? Forget the gravy, and use 8 cups of cooked quinoa, millet or rice as a substitute for the bread. These also make a tasty side dish.
Turkey with Macadamia Nut Stuffing
1 Turkey (7- 9kg)
8 cups organic sourdough or wholegrain bread crumbs (leave your old bread out overnight to dry out, or cut into cubes & bake at 130 C for 20 mins)
2 tspns rubbed sage
2 tspns dried thyme
1 tspn sea salt
1 tspn pepper
4 medium onions, peeled and chopped
1 bunch celery, chopped
½ cup of butter
2 cups macadamia nuts coarsely chopped
2 eggs (optional)
small metal skewers or large needle and thick thread
2 more onions peeled and sliced
1 cup organic unbleached flour
4-6 cups turkey or chicken stock
You can also cook the giblets found inside the turkey and chop finely to add to gravy.
Remove the neck & giblets from the turkey (if making your own stock use them, otherwise reserve to add to gravy).
Sauté onions and celery in butter until softened. The celery will still be slightly crunchy.
Place in a large bowl and mix with bread crumbs, seasoning and nuts. Add enough of the stock to moisten the crumbs and hold stuffing together. Taste test the stuffing for flavour.
Add beaten egg at this time if using.
While you can make the stuffing ahead of time, stuff the turkey just as you’re about to put it in the oven.
Stuff the neck cavity of the turkey loosely and sew together or close with skewers.
Stuff the main cavity loosely and either sew, skewer or bring the legs through a slit cut just above the tail.
Strew sliced onions in a large roasting pan. Set a rack over the onions and place turkey on it.
Rub the skin with salt & pepper then bake at 170-180C for about 5 hours, basting frequently.
Once cooked remove from oven and set on carving board. Cover with a tent of foil and let rest while you make the gravy.
Sprinkle flour in the drippings of the pan and cook over medium flame for about 5 mins stirring continuously. Add the stock and blend with a whisk.
Bring to boil and cook several more minutes stirring occasionally. At this point you can strain the gravy and put in a saucepan to simmer gently for 20-30mins until it thickens.
If you don’t mind your gravy a little ‘rugged’ leave it to thicken in the baking pan. I think it develops more flavour this way. Stir in the giblets now if you like. Add more water if it gets too thick.
(this is an adaptation of a recipe from Sally Fallon’s book Nourishing Traditions.)
Written by Sheridan Kennedy on December 20, 2014