Roast turkey with stuffing muffins
Buying free-range meat is an ethical choice so the Christmas treats on my menu this season include New Zealand farm-raised pork and turkey sourced from farms ‘down by the Southern Alps’. The venison isn’t totally free-range — meaning wild. It comes from deer that roam happily in their clean green pastures in Hawke’s Bay. And the crayfish that freely wander our sea floors would have some cooks arguing its flesh is not meat. But they haven't seen the meaty-sized cray in my freezer. It is definitely a festive dish.
I chose a ham from Freedom Farms because the company believes in traceability from farm to plate. There are no cages, crates or pens on their farms — the animals enjoy an outdoor lifestyle that probably accounts for the full flavour and great texture of the ham. Similarly, the bird from ‘Turkeyville’, the home of the Crozier family and 20,000 plus white-feathered turkeys, was free to range and forage for food outside but was also supplied with a mixture of natural grains, some of which were home-grown.
|2 Tbsp||Flaky sea salt|
|1 Tbsp||Freshly ground black pepper|
|1 medium||Onion, quartered|
|75 g||Butter, softened|
|3 Tbsp||Soy sauce, low-salt|
- Rub the turkey inside and out with salt and pepper. Refrigerate, uncovered, for 6-8 hours.
- Preheat the oven to 200C. Place a rack in a roasting pan. Add 3 cups water. Stuff the turkey with the onion, lemon, bay leaves and garlic. Place some in the neck cavity as well. Tuck the wing tips underneath. Tie the legs together with string.
- Place the turkey on the rack. Rub with half the butter.
- To make a glaze, combine the remaining butter, soy sauce and sherry in a saucepan. Heat until the butter has melted. Brush the turkey lightly with the glaze.
- Reduce the oven temperature to 160C. Roast the turkey for about 30 minutes. Baste with the pan juices. Baste again lightly with the glaze. Continue roasting and basting every 30 minutes. Tent with foil if it starts to colour too much. Roast until the juices run clear when a knife is inserted in the thigh joint, about 2½ hours.
- Cover with foil and a heavy towel. Rest for at least 30 minutes before carving. This will ensure that the juices are distributed evenly throughout the meat.
Prepare ahead and cook while the turkey is standing.
- Preheat the oven to 200C. Butter a 12-hole muffin pan.
- Heat the oil and butter, until sizzling. Add the onion and sauté, until softened. Add the seasonings, apple and craisins and cook gently until the apple is just tender.
- Remove the crusts from the bread. Cut into 1cm cubes. Add to the apple mixture. Combine the eggs and a half cup of stock. Add to the mixture adding more stock if too dry. Form into balls to fit the muffin holes. Bake for 15 minutes, until golden. Makes 12.