For the stuffing
- 175g/6oz instant couscous
- Few strands saffron or A tsp turmeric
- A – 1 tsp dried crushed chillies or
- 1 small red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
- 6 spring onions, trimmed and finely chopped
- 1 large carrot, (about 100g/4oz) carrot, peeled and coarlsey grated
- 75g/3oz ready-to-eat dried apricots, finely chopped
- 1 tbsp ground coriander
- salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tbsp freshly chopped coriander
- 2 tbsp orange juice
- 1 tbsp olive oil
For the turkey
- 5.5kg/12lb British oven ready turkey, thoroughly thawed if frozen
- pomegranates, fresh apricots, fig and few sprigs fresh coriander to garnish
Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/Gas Mark 4, 10 minutes before cooking. If necessary, lightly rinse the turkey and pat dry. Place the couscous, saffron strands and dried crushed chillies if using in a mixing bowl and pour over 300ml/ ½ pint boiling water. Stir then leave for 10-15 minutes or until the water has been absorbed. Stir well then stir in the remaining stuffing ingredients, mixing to stiff consistency with the orange juice and olive oil.
Use to stuff the neck cavity only, securing the flap over the stuffing with either a skewer or with a trussing needle and fine twine. Form any remaining stuffing into small balls and cook round the turkey for the last 20 minutes of the cooking time.
Place the orange quarters and coriander sprigs in the turkey body cavity. Now weigh the turkey and calculate the cooking time (Allowing 20 minutes per kg plus 90 minutes). Place upside down in the roasting tin and cook in the oven for the calculated cooking time. Turn the right way up 30 minutes before the end of cooking time and remove the foil if necessary. (Try and avoid opening the oven door too often while cooking).
Test if cooked by piercing the thickest part of the thigh with a long clean skewer or knitting needle. If the juices run clear, it is ready, if a little pink then return to the oven and cook a little longer.
Once cooked remove the turkey from the oven, place on a serving platter, cover with tinfoil and a clean towel and leave for at least 15-20 minutes. This will make the turkey easier to carve. Garnish with the fruit and coriander sprigs.