About this recipe:This recipe is a little more complex than the average roast turkey recipe, but the results are really worth it. A wonderfully aromatic sauce is made with roasted tomatoes, roasted peppers, chillies and pumpkin seeds. This is used to coat and baste the turkey whilst it's cooking. It's perfect for any occasion. Why not try it as an alternative to the traditional Sunday lunch or Christmas dinner?
10 large plum tomatoes, halved and seeded
1 large green pepper, halved and seeded
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 (4.5kg) whole turkey, neck and giblets removed
1 Granny Smith apple, peeled, quartered and cored
75g pitted green olives, drained
2 dried ancho chillies, stemmed and seeded
70g raw pumpkin seeds
2 bay leaves
1 onion, cut into chunks
salt and pepper to taste
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Preheat the grill and set the rack at the closest setting to the heat source. Line a baking tray with foil.
Place tomatoes and pepper onto the baking tray, cut-side down. Grill on top rack until the skins begin to blacken, about 5 minutes. Place charred vegetables into a bowl and seal with cling film to steam until their skins loosen. Set a rack to the middle shelf of the oven and preheat to 170 C / Gas 3.
Meanwhile, pour vegetable oil into a roasting tin (or frying pan large enough to fit the turkey) and place over medium-high heat. When hot, add the turkey and sear on all sides until browned, about 10 minutes. Once the turkey has been browned, place breast side up into the roasting tin and stuff with quartered apples and olives. Set aside.
Heat a frying pan over medium-high heat. Add the ancho chillies, pumpkin seeds and bay leaves. Cook and stir until the pumpkin seeds begin to smell toasted, about 5 minutes, then pour the mixture into a liquidiser.
Once the tomatoes and peppers have steamed enough that the skins have loosened, remove and discard the skins. Place tomatoes, green peppers and onion into the liquidiser with the pumpkin seeds. Blend until you have a thick, smooth sauce. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Brush the sauce onto the turkey and place into preheated oven. Cook until a meat thermometer inserted in the meaty part of the thigh reads 74 degrees C, about 3 hours, basting occasionally.
Dried ancho chillies can be purchased in Hispanic speciality shops or online. Alternatively, use other dried chillies to taste.