delicious. Wednesday

Buttered turkey with sausage, pancetta and apricot stuffing

by Lizzie Kamenetzky

We’ve teamed up with in the run up to Christmas to find the perfect wine matches to some of the UK’s favourite dishes. In 4 weeks, we’ll feature 4 easy to make delicious. dishes, each matched to a selection of wines, making it as easy as possible for you to choose your festive wines this year.

Week 4: The final recipe! Impress the whole family this year by making this divine turkey recipe the star of the show for Christmas lunch

Serves: 8 with lots of leftovers
Takes: 30 minutes to make, 2 hours 10 minutes – 2.5 hours to cook, plus cooling


  • 5kg free-range turkey (take out of the fridge at least 45 minutes before cooking)
  • 200g butter
  • Good pinch of saffron threads (optional)
  • Bay leaves and rosemary for the cavity (optional)

For the stuffing

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 100g pancetta, chopped
  • Knob of butter
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1 large garlic clove, finely chopped
  • 25g fresh breadcrumbs
  • 200g sausagemeat
  • 100g pork mince
  • 100g soft dried apricots, finely chopped
  • Small bunch of fresh parsley and 6 fresh sage leaves, finely chopped


  1. First make the stuffing. Heat the oil in a pan over a medium heat, then fry the pancetta until starting to crisp. Remove to a bowl with a slotted spoon. Lower the heat, add the butter to the pan, then the onion and cook for 10 minutes until softened. Add the garlic and cook for 2 minutes more. Add the onion and garlic to the pancetta, then mix in the breadcrumbs. Set aside to cool completely. Stir through the sausagemeat, mince, apricots and herbs. Season well.
  2. Preheat the oven to 200°C/fan180°C/gas 6. Using your fingers, prise the skin away from the neck end of the turkey, being careful not to tear the skin. Fill the pocket with the stuffing, pull the skin back over the stuffing and secure the skin underneath. Season the bird inside and out. Weigh and calculate the cooking time (20 minutes per kg, plus an extra 30 minutes).
  3. Melt the butter and saffron (if using) in a large pan, add a 50cm square piece of muslin and, with tongs, turn to soak in the butter. Remove and lay over the turkey, then place in a large roasting tin. Stuff the body cavity with the bay leaves and rosemary (if using).
  4. Roast for 30 minutes, then turn the oven down to 180°C/fan160°C/gas 4 and roast for the rest of the calculated cooking time (see above), basting occasionally with the juices from the tin. Remove the muslin for the final 30 minutes of cooking to crisp the skin (keep an eye on the stuffing and cover with foil if it starts to brown too quickly). The turkey is cooked when you pierce the thickest part of the thigh and the juices run clear. Rest the turkey, loosely covered with foil, for 30 minutes before serving on a warm platter.

Nutritional info: Per serving: 518kcals, 27.3g fat (13.2g saturated), 59.4g protein, 8.6g carbs (5.3g sugars), 1.4g salt, 1.4g fibre

Tip: Covering the turkey breast with buttered muslin prevents it from drying out and the saffron gives a wonderful colour, aroma and flavour.

Majestic Wine Pairings

Grand Ardèche Chardonnay Louis Latour, Vin de Pays des Coteaux de l’Ardèche

A buttery Chardonnay from the South of France oozing warmth and whole hearted delight.

Why this Wine?

Full in body and buttery all over this wine stands up perfectly to the multitude of big flavours served up with the Christmas roast.

Château Caronne Ste-Gemme Haut-Médoc

A well rounded and moreishly savoury Bordeaux, predominantly Cabernet Sauvignon.

Why this Wine?

Roast Christmas lunch would not feel complete without a bottle of Bordeaux on the table. This Caronne Ste-Gemme hits all the right notes, and is even more than palatable on it’s own too.

5 thoughts on “delicious. Wednesday

  1. Great recipe, and easy to follow. It can be hard to get the meat just right with a turkey, but when you do, attention to detail is always worth it.

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