Traditional Christmas turkey with forcemeat stuffing

You just can't go wrong with this traditional Christmas turkey with forcemeat stuffing of onion, bacon, pork, chicken, breadcrumbs, parsley, pistachios and tarragon.

  • 3 hrs 50 mins cooking
  • Serves 10
  • Print


Traditional Christmas turkey with forcemeat stuffing
  • 4.5 kilogram turkey
  • 1 cup (250ml) water
  • 80 gram butter, melted
  • 1/4 cup (35g) plain (all-purpose) flour
  • 3 cup (750ml) chicken stock
  • 1/2 cup (125ml) dry white wine
Forcemeat stuffing
  • 40 gram butter
  • 3 brown onions (450g), chopped finely
  • 2 rindless bacon slices (130g), chopped coarsely
  • 250 gram minced pork
  • 250 gram minced chicken
  • 1 cup (70g) fresh breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 cup coarsely chopped fresh flat-lead parsley
  • 1/2 cup (75g) coarsely chopped roasted unsalted pistachios
  • 2 tablespoon finely chopped fresh tarragon


Traditional Christmas turkey with forcemeat stuffing
  • 1
    Make forcemeat stuffing. Melt butter in medium frying pan; cook onion and bacon, stirring, until onion softens. Cool. Using hand, combine onion mixture in large bowl with remaining ingredients. Season.
  • 2
    Preheat oven to 180°C/350°F.
  • 3
    Discard neck from turkey. Rinse turkey under cold water; pat dry inside and out with absorbent paper. Fill neck cavity loosely with stuffing; secure skin over opening with toothpicks. Fill large cavity loosely with remaining stuffing; tie legs together with kitchen string.
  • 4
    Place turkey on oiled wire rack in large shallow baking dish, tuck wings under body; pour the water into dish. Brush turkey all over with half the butter; cover dish tightly with two layers of greased foil. Roast 2 hours. Uncover turkey; brush with remaining butter. Roast, uncovered, about 45 minutes or until browned all over and cooked through. Remove turkey from dish, cover turkey; stand 20 minutes.
  • 5
    Pour juice from dish into large jug; skim 2 tablespoons of the fat from juice, return fat to same dish. Skim and discard remaining fat from juice. Add flour to dish; cook, stirring, until mixture bubbles and is well browned. Gradually stir in stock, wine and remaining juice; bring to the boil, stirring, until gravy boils and thickens. Strain gravy into serving jug or gravy boat. Serve turkey with gravy.


To test if turkey is cooked, insert a skewer sideways into the thickest part of the thigh then remove and press flesh to release the juices. If the juice runs clear, the turkey is cooked. Alternatively, insert a meat thermometer into the thickest part of the thigh, without touching bone; it should reach 90°C/190°F.

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