About this recipe:A Christmas turkey to remember! This easy to follow recipe will make your Christmas dinner preparations a breeze resulting in a succulent and tender bird with lashings of flavourful gravy.
Makes: 1 5.5kg roast turkey
2 tablespoons salt
1 tablespoon ground black pepper
1 tablespoon chicken seasoning
1 (5.5kg) whole turkey, defrosted with giblets removed and reserved
2 onions, coarsely chopped
3 sticks celery, coarsely chopped
2 carrots, coarsely chopped
3 sprigs fresh rosemary
1/2 bunch fresh sage
30g turkey fat
30g plain flour
710ml turkey drippings
1/4 teaspoon balsamic vinegar (optional)
1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage
salt and pepper, to taste
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Mix 2 tablespoons salt, and 1 tablespoon pepper, and chicken seasoning in a small bowl. Tuck turkey wings under the bird, and season cavity with about 1 tablespoon of the seasoning mixture. Reserve remaining seasoning mix.
Toss the onion, celery, and carrots together in a bowl. Stuff about 100g of the vegetable mixture, rosemary sprigs, and 1/2 bunch sage into the cavity of the turkey. Tie legs together with kitchen string. Loosen the skin on top of the turkey breast using fingers or a small spatula. Place about 2 tablespoons butter under the skin and spread evenly. Spread the remaining butter (about 2 tablespoons) all over the outside of the skin. Sprinkle the outside of the turkey with the remaining seasoning mix.
Spread the remaining onion, celery, and carrots into a large roasting tin. Place the turkey on top of the vegetables. Fill the pan with about 1/2 inch of water. Place a sheet of aluminium foil over the breast of the turkey.
Roast the turkey in the preheated oven until no longer pink at the bone and the juices run clear, about 3 1/2 hours. A cooking thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh, near the bone should read 75 degrees C. Remove the foil during the last hour of cooking. Baste the turkey with the pan juices.
While the turkey is roasting, make stock: place giblets (neck, heart, and gizzards) in a saucepan with the bay leaf and water. Simmer over medium heat for 2 hours. Strain the turkey giblets from the stock, and discard giblets. There should be at least 1L of stock.
Remove the turkey from the oven, cover with a doubled sheet of aluminium foil, and allow to rest in a warm area for 10 to 15 minutes before carving and serving. Pour the pan juices, about 750ml, into a saucepan and set aside. Skim off the turkey fat from the pan juices, reserving about 2 tablespoons.
Heat 2 tablespoons of the turkey fat and 1 tablespoon butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Transfer the onion from the roasting tin into the skillet. Cook and stir until the onion is browned, about 5 minutes, then stir in the flour. Continue to cook and stir for about 5 minutes more; whisk in 1L of the skimmed turkey stock and the reserved pan juices until smooth; skim off any foam. Stir in the balsamic vinegar (if using). Simmer until the gravy is thickened, whisking constantly, about 10 minutes. Stir in 1 tablespoon of chopped sage, and season to taste with salt and black pepper.