1. One hour before roasting, take the turkey out of the refrigerator. Remove the neck and any giblets from inside the cavity of the bird and set aside. Discard any packaging. Rinse the turkey all over, then dry completely with paper towel. Let stand for 1 hour to warm to room temperature.
2. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line the bottom of the roasting pan (insert hyperlink) with the onion, garlic, carrot, celery, bay leaf, and thyme. Place the turkey neck and any giblets with the bird in the roasting pan. These will help in making a truly unforgettable gravy.
3. Combine the onion mixture, sausage, pork, and apricots, and season with salt and pepper. Mix well. Transfer the stuffing to a casserole dish, cover with plastic wrap, and transfer to the fridge while you carry on with the turkey.
4. Rub the turkey all over with softened butter, coating every nook and cranny, then season it liberally with salt and pepper. Stuff the cavity of the bird with the rosemary and lemon, and position the turkey in the roasting pan, on top of the chopped veggies.
TIME FOR YOUR OVEN
5.Calculate your roasting time. A general rule of thumb is 20 minutes per pound for a defrosted bird, or 10 to 15 minutes for a fresh turkey.
6.Transfer the turkey to the oven. Roast according to your calculated weight time, removing the turkey every 45 minutes to 1 hour to baste liberally with the pan juices. (while the turkey is roasting, prepare the stuffing. See instructions below). When the turkey has about 30 minutes of cooking time remaining, pop a meat thermometer into the thickest part of the bird to take a temperature reading on the thermometer. You’ll know it’s fully cooked when the temperature reads 165 degrees F. If not yet reading 165 degrees, continue roasting until the bird is perfectly cooked. Using lifting forks, transfer the turkey to a board and tent with foil. Rest for 30 to 40 minutes.
KITCHEN STUFFING PLUS!
7.Meanwhile, carry on with the stuffing. Fill a medium-sized bowl with lukewarm water and set aside for the moment. Heat a large pan over medium-heat, and pour in the olive oil. When the oil is hot, add the diced onions, sage, and rosemary. Season with a pinch of salt, and cook until the onions are softened and translucent, 5 to 7 minutes. While the onions are cooking, dunk the bread pieces in the bowl of water, soaking them through. Stir the garlic into the onion mixture, cook for 30 seconds, then add the bread. Cook for 45 seconds to 1 minute, working the bread into the onion mixture with a spatula, until the liquid has mostly vanished. Set aside to cool, 10 minutes.
8.Combine the onion mixture, sausage, pork, apricots, and season with salt and pepper. Mix well. Transfer the stuffing to a bakeware dish (insert hyperlink), cover with plastic wrap, and transfer to the fridge until the turkey has 30 minutes of cooking time remaining.
9.With ½ hour left to go on the bird, pop the stuffing into the oven. Cook the stuffing for 1 hour, until bubbling and crispy. This way, the turkey and stuffing times will line up perfectly.
DON'T STOP THE GRAVY TRAIN!
10.While the turkey is resting and the stuffing is roasting, prepare the gravy.
11.Strain the pan drippings from the turkey roaster through a fine-mesh sieve set overtop a large bowl. To ensure that any excess fat is removed, grab your trusty gravy separator (insert hyperlink) for a quick and easy fix.
12.Heat a saucepan over medium heat, and melt the butter. When melted, whisk in the flour and, while constantly whisking, cook until slightly browned and bubbling, about 1 minute. Whisk in the pan drippings and stock, and bring to a simmer. Continue whisking until the gravy has thickened beautifully, about 5 minutes. Season with a pinch of salt and pepper to taste.
SERVE AND TAKE THE COMPLIMENTS!
13.Serve the gorgeous roasted turkey with the stuffing, gravy, and all of your favourite holiday fixings.