Food & Drink

Christmas Turkey with Apple, Prune and Pistachio


  • 1 x 3-4kg free-range turkey, at room temperature
  • 15g butter, softened

Apple, prune and pistachio stuffing

  • 60g butter
  • 2 spring onions, finely chopped
  • 1 granny smith apple, coarsely grated
  • 2 cups cubed day-old bread, toasted
  • 1/3 cup pistachios
  • ½ cup chopped pitted prunes
  • ½ cup chopped parsley
  • 2 teaspoons chopped thyme leaves


  1. For the stuffing, melt butter in a frying pan over a moderate heat and cook the onion 5 minutes, until soft and translucent. Add the apple and cook 4 minutes, until soft. Combine apple and onion in a mixing bowl with bread, pistachios, prunes, parsley and thyme and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
  2. Preheat oven to 180C. Pat the turkey dry with paper towel. Spoon the stuffing into the body cavity of the turkey and press the bird into a good shape with both hands. Place the turkey on its back, with the legs facing you. Position the centre of a piece of string below the breast at the neck end, bringing down over the wings to cross underneath the bird. Bring the string forward and upwards to tie the ends of the drumstick and parson’s nose together.
  3. Spread the butter over the turkey and season with salt and freshly ground pepper. Place the turkey on a rack in a large roasting pan. Prop the legs up with crumbled foil if needed. Cover the pan with a tent of foil. Roast until done (between 2 hrs and 2hrs 40 mins. A meat thermometer should register 80C when inserted in the inner thigh area close to the breast, without touching the bone), basting every 25 minutes with the pan juices and removing the foil in the last 30 minutes to brown the bird. Remove from oven, cover loosely with foil and let rest 30 minutes in a warm place.
  4. Remove the string. Carve from the top of the breast with straight, even strokes downwards. Cut between the thigh and body of the bird through the joint. Remove the legs then separate the thighs and drumsticks and slice off the dark meat; remove the wings. Remove cavity stuffing with a spoon and serve on a platter with the meat.