Roast turkey with sage and lemon stuffing

A golden-skinned turkey is a Christmas table essential, especially when served with an extra side of stuffing.

Serves 14-16


  • 1 turkey (about 6kg), at room temperature
  • 2 brown onions, coarsely chopped
  • 1 1/2 lemons, whole lemon halved
  • 4 bulbs garlic, halved
  • 1 bunch sage
  • 150g butter, melted
  • 750ml dry white wine (we recommend Jacob’s Creek Reserve Adelaide Hills Chardonnay)
  • 1/4 cup plain flour
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped mixed herbs, such as sage, rosemary and thyme
  • Roasted vegetables, such as pumpkin wedges, parsnip and baby potatoes, to serve

Sage and lemon stuffing:

  • 400g day-old sourdough or rye bread, cut into rough 2cm pieces
  • 100g butter, diced
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 leek, finely chopped
  • 100g pancetta, diced
  • 50g dried cranberries
  • 1/3 cup pistachios, coarsely chopped
  • Finely grated rind and juice of 1/2 lemon
  • Finely grated rind and juice of 1/2 orange
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped sage
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 2 cups (500ml) chicken stock
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine (use the same Jacob’s Creek Reserve Adelaide Hills Chardonnay as with the turkey)
  • 2 eggs


  1. To prepare stuffing: preheat oven to 120°C/100°C fan-forced and lightly grease a 3 litre-capacity baking dish with butter. Spread bread pieces in a single layer on large baking trays. Bake for 15-20 minutes until dry.
  2. Meanwhile, melt butter and oil in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Add leek and cook, stirring, for 4-5 minutes until tender. Add pancetta and cook, stirring, for 2-3 minutes until crisp.
  3. Transfer leek mixture to a large bowl. Add the bread, cranberries, pistachios, lemon and orange rinds and juices, and herbs. In a separate bowl, whisk the stock, wine and eggs to combine. Add to the bread mixture and stir to combine. Season to taste. Transfer stuffing mixture to the prepared baking dish, cover with foil and set aside.
  4. Preheat oven to 250°C/230°C fan-forced. Pat turkey dry inside and out with paper towels. Stuff turkey cavity with the onion, 2 lemon halves, 2 garlic bulb halves, and all the sage. Tie legs together with kitchen string. Weigh the turkey and calculate the cooking time – about 20 minutes per 500g.
  5. Place turkey in a large flameproof roasting pan. Brush all over with half the butter. Season to taste. Add wine and remaining garlic bulbs to pan. Cover the pan with foil, pinching down the centre to create a tent – make sure the foil doesn’t touch the turkey. Reduce oven to 180°C and roast, basting occasionally, for the calculated cooking time (about 4 hours), removing foil for the final 45 minutes of cooking. To check, pierce thickest part of thigh with a skewer – juices should run clear. Transfer to a platter, reserving the juices in the pan to make gravy. Cover turkey loosely with foil and set aside for 1 hour to rest.
  6. Meanwhile, bake stuffing for 25-30 minutes until just set. Uncover and bake for a further 15-20 minutes until golden brown.
  7. To make gravy: mix flour and remaining butter in a small bowl until you have a smooth paste. Place the roasting pan with reserved juices over medium-high heat. Add stock and bring to the boil. Whisk in flour mixture until smooth. Season to taste and simmer for 4-5 minutes until slightly thickened. Squeeze in the juice of remaining lemon. Strain gravy into a serving jug and stir through herbs. Serve turkey with the gravy, sage and lemon stuffing, roast garlic and roasted vegetables.

Tip: The cooked and completely cooled bread pieces can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 week. The prepared uncooked stuffing mixture can be made 2 days ahead and kept covered in the fridge.

Sparkling Chardonnay Pinot Noir

Sparkling Chardonnay Pinot Noir

Sparkling wine is a surprisingly perfect match for this main course, as its refreshing crisp profile brings balance to the myriad flavours of the dish.

See more about this wine

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