Roast Turkey with Hazelnut and Apricot Stuffing

image :  Roast Turkey with Hazelnut and Apricot Stuffing


  • 4 cups salt
  • 4 cups granulated sugar
  • 16 litres (16 quarts) water, approximately
  • 2 large onions, quartered
  • 12 bay leaves
  • 1/4 cup all spice berries
  • 1/4 cup whole black peppercorns
  • 2 garlic bulbs, halved
  • peel of 2 oranges
  • peel of 2 lemons
  • 4 rosemary sprigs
  • 6 thyme sprigs
  • 10 lb (5kg) turkey, rinsed, gizzards and neck removed
  • 1/4 cup melted butter
  • pinch of salt and freshly ground pepper

  • 4 slices bacon, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 celery stalk, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup cranberry jelly
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons finely grated orange zest
  • 1/3 cup chopped dried apricots
  • 1/2 cup hazelnuts, toasted, peeled and chopped
  • 4 cups coarse fresh breadcrumbs
  • 1 apple, peeled and grated
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
  • pinch of salt and freshly ground pepper

  • pan drippings
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup brandy
  • 6 cups chicken stock
  • 1 cup orange juice
  • 1/3 cup cranberry jelly
  • pinch of salt and freshly ground pepper


Combine salt, sugar and 1 litre (1 quart) of water in large saucepan. Stir over high heat until salt and sugar are dissolved. Pour into large stock-pot or clean container. Add remaining water, onions, bay leaves, all spice, peppercorns, garlic, peel and herbs and stir to combine. Add turkey, cover with a little more water is necessary to completely cover turkey. Let stand in fridge for about 9 hours(1 hour per pound of turkey).

Remove turkey from brine mixture. Rinse thoroughly inside and out and pat dry with paper towel. Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). Grease a wire rack and place inside a roasting pan.

To make the hazelnut and apricot stuffing, cook bacon in large frying pan over medium-high heat until browned and crisp. Add butter, onion, garlic and celery. Cook, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes or until onion is softened. Add sauce and stir until melted. Combine onion mixture and remaining ingredients in large bowl. Spoon stuffing into both cavities of turkey. Secure openings with skewers if necessary; tie legs together. Place turkey on prepared wire rack. Pour 2 cups of water into roasting pan. Brush turkey with melted butter; sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cover turkey loosely with greased foil. Roast for 1 1/2 hours. Remove foil and baste with melted butter. Cook for a further 1 to 1 1/2 hours basting with butter and pan drippings and adding a little more water to pan so drippings don’t burn, until turkey is tender and a meat thermometer inserted into thickest part of leg reads 180°F (82°C). Cover and let stand for 15 minutes before carving. Remove stuffing from turkey before carving. Reserve any pan drippings.

To make the orange brandy gravy, drain fat from pan drippings and heat drippings in same pan you roasted the turkey in. Add flour and stir over medium-high heat for 1 minute to cook flour. Stir in brandy. Add remaining ingredients. Cook, stirring occasionally, for about 15 minutes or until thickened. Strain to remove any lumps. Serve gravy with turkey and stuffing. Serves 8.