Whole turkey breast (or buffe) is an impressive and easier option than a big whole roast turkey. It also yields plenty of delicious moist white meat which keeps well for leftovers. Serve with mixed roasted vegetables of various colours such as kumara (orange sweet potato), red capsicum, beetroot, red onion and zucchini: these can be prepared ahead and served warm. Roast the potatoes in a separate pan to ensure they're crispy around the edges.
- Prep Time : 30 minutes
- Cook Time : 2h 40 min
- Yield : 20
- whole turkey breast on the bone (buffe) - 1, free standing, weighing about 3.5 - 4kg (size 35- 40 in Australia)
- breadcrumbs - 4 cups, made from day-old wholegrain bread
- unsalted butter - 100g
- onions - 2, peeled and finely chopped
- celery - 1 stalk, diced
- seedless raisins or cranberries - 1/2 cup, soaked overnight in dry sherry
- pecans - 1/2 cup,roughly chopped
- orange - 1, finely grated zest and juice
- dried sage - 1 teaspoon
- dried thyme - 1 teaspoon
- ground cinnamon and nutmeg - 1/2 teaspoon each
- fresh parsley - 2 tablespoons, freshly chopped
- salt and freshly ground pepper
- eggs - 1 -2 , lightly beaten
Remove plastic and paper towels from chest cavity before filling with stuffing. Wipe the skin dry.
For the stuffing: Place breadcrumbs in a large bowl. In a small frying pan, cook the onions in the butter until soft and transparent. Add to the breadcrumbs along with remaining ingredients. Season well. If mixture seems dry, add another beaten egg.
Preheat oven to 180degC. Fan-forced oven 160degC.
Spoon some of the stuffing firmly into neck of the turkey buffe, being very careful not to pack too tightly as it will swell as it cooks. Pull neck skin over the cavity and secure with skewers.
Spoon remaining stuffing into the chest. Cover tightly with a double layer of greased foil. Place breast-up on a roasting dish. Cover the whole breast with foil.
Place in the oven and pour in 1 - 1 1/2 cups hot water. Roast for approximately 40 minutes per kilo - you won't need to turn the turkey around. Thirty minutes before it is ready, remove foil and pierce the skin in several places to allow self-basting and browning. The turkey breast is cooked when meat juices run clear when pierced with a skewer. If using a meat thermometer, cook to an internal temperature of 74°C (165° F). Allow turkey to stand 15 minutes covered with foil before serving.
Tip: Serves about 20 (along with the Christmas ham, roasted vegetables and salads). Supermarkets mostly carry smaller 2kg - 2.5kg buffes, so you will need to halve the stuffing if using one of those. It'll serve 8 - 10 people.