Christmas Turkey with Pistachio & Raisin Stuffing

by Ed Halmagyi


  • size 50 turkey (5kg)
  • 150g unsalted butter
  • 1L chicken stock
  • 1 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 tsp celery salt
  • 4 rashers bacon, diced
  • 1 Tbsp butter
  • 2 red onions, finely diced
  • 8 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 bunch thyme, chopped
  • ½ bunch sage, chopped
  • 200g pistachios, chopped
  • ¾ cup raisins, chopped
  • 3½ cups wholegrain breadcrumbs
  • ½ cup sweet white wine
  • 2 eggs
  • salt flakes and freshly-milled black pepper


1 Preheat oven to 220°C. Insert a finger between the turkey skin and breast, creating a cavity, then place butter inside. Pull the skin back over to secure.
2 Fry the bacon in a large non-stick frying pan in butter over a moderate heat, until lightly browned. Add the onion and garlic, then cook for 5 minutes, until well-softened. Remove from the heat, then stir in the herbs, pistachios and raisins. Set aside to cool slightly.
3 Mix in the breadcrumbs, wine and eggs, then season generously with salt and pepper.
4 Fill with stuffing, then secure the opening closed with a skewer. Tie the legs to the tail point with butchers twine to truss.
5 Rub the turkey with 2 Tbsp olive oil and season with celery salt. Place in a roasting pan and bake for 20 minutes, until the breast meat has begun to darken.
6 Remove from the oven and cover with a tent of foil (enclosing the turkey, but without touching the meat. Turn the temperature down to 160°C and bake for 2 hours (or 1½ hours for an un-stuffed turkey).
7 Combine the stock and remaining olive oil in a small saucepan and set over a moderate heat to simmer. Remove the foil and baste the turkey with 2 Tbsp of the mixture, then bake for another 15 minutes. Repeat this process until the baste has all been used – this should take 1 hour.
8 The turkey is cooked when the meat reaches 76°C when tested at the hip – this should be tested with a digital probe thermometer. At this point the juices should also run clear if pierced.
9 Cover the turkey with foil and a thick towel, then set aside to rest for 30 minutes before carving.