For the stuffing
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 4 shallots, peeled and finely chopped
- 2-4 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
- 1 red pepper, skinned, deseeded and finely chopped
- 1 orange pepper, skinned, deseeded and finely chopped
- 1 courgette, (about 100g/4oz in weight), trimmed and coarsely chopped
- 100g/4oz instant polenta
- 3 tbsp grated parmesan cheese
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tbsp freshly chopped parsley
For the turkey
- 5.5kg/12 lb oven ready turkey, thoroughly thawed if frozen
- 20 unpeeled garlic cloves
- 2 small oranges, cut into quarters
- small bunch fresh parsley
- Orange wedges and parsley
- 3 assorted coloured peppers, deseeded and cut into wedged
- 2-3 onions, peeled and cut into wedges
- 6 garlic cloves, peeled and sliced in half
- 1 small aubergine, trimmed and cut into small cubes
- 2 small courgettes, trimmed and cut into strips
- 4-6 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tbsp freshly chopped parsley
Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/Gas Mark 4, 10 minutes before cooking. Lightly rinse the turkey and pat dry. Heat the oil in a pan and sauté the shallots and garlic for 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the chopped peppers and courgette, reserve.
Bring 325ml/11 fl oz of water to the boil then sprinkle in the polenta. Return to the boil, lower the heat and cook for 5 minutes or until the mixture is very thick, stir throughout. Remove from the heat and stir in the reserved pepper mixture, Parmesan cheese, seasoning to taste and the parsley. Leave until cool.
When cool, 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.
Place the unpeeled garlic cloves, orange quarters and parsley in the turkey body cavity. Now weigh the turkey and calculate the cooking time.
Place upside down in the roasting tin and cook in the oven for the calculated cooking time. (Allowing 15 minutes per 450g/1lb if cooking uncovered or 18 minutes per 450g/1lb if lightly covered with foil). Turn the right way up 30 minutes before the end of cooking time and remove 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 the 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. Serve with the roasted vegetables and garnish with orange wedges and parsley sprigs.
Meanwhile, prepare the roasted vegetables. Place all the vegetables in a roasting tin and pour over the olive oil. Place in the oven with the turkey for the last 40 minutes of the cooking time and cook, stirring occasionally until tender. Remove from the oven and serve with the turkey.
To skin peppers, preheat the grill and line the grill rack with foil. Cut the peppers into quarters and discard the seeds. Place skin side uppermost on the foil lined grill rack then grill for about 10 minutes or until the skins have started to blacken. Turn the peppers round so that most of the skin begins to blacken. Remove and place in a polythene bag and leave until cool. Strip off the skin and use as directed.