Roast Turkey with a Rice, Leek and Pistachio Stuffing

From issue #94. December, 2020
Roast Turkey with a Rice, Leek and Pistachio Stuffing

Turkey is the ultimate Christmas classic, and this gluten-free rice, leek and pistachio stuffing just takes it to a whole new level. 

Serves: 10-12


1 x 4.75kg Tegel turkey
2 cloves garlic, crushed
2 teaspoons dried tarragon
finely grated zest 1 lemon
80 grams butter, at room temperature
sea salt and ground pepper

2 tablespoons olive oil
knob of butter
1 small leek, thinly sliced
2 teaspoons finely chopped rosemary or thyme
2 cloves garlic, crushed
¼ teaspoon each ground cinnamon and ground allspice
1 teaspoon salt
¼ cup each sliced dried apricots and dried cranberries
½ cup short grain rice, rinsed
1 cup chicken stock, hot
¼ cup pistachios, roughly chopped
finely grated zest 1 orange
¼ cup chopped parsley
1 large egg, lightly beaten
sea salt and ground pepper


Stuffing: Heat the oil and butter in a medium saucepan and add the leek, rosemary, garlic, spices and salt. Cover and cook for 10 minutes until the leek is tender. Add the apricots, cranberries, rice and hot stock, stir, then cover tightly. Cook over a very low heat for 15 minutes. Tip the rice onto a shallow tray, spread out and cool. Stir through the pistachios, orange zest, parsley, and the egg. Season generously.

Preheat the oven to 180°C regular bake. 

Turkey: Remove the neck and any giblets from the turkey. Combine the butter, garlic, tarragon and zest together. Using your fingers, loosen the skin from the breast, taking care not to break the skin. Push the butter under the skin, smoothing it into an even layer. Season the cavity and loosely spoon in the stuffing. Tie the legs together with kitchen string and tuck the wings under, securing the neck skin.

Brush the turkey with extra melted butter and season. Roast for about 2½-3 hours, basting often until deeply golden. The turkey is cooked when the juices run clear from the thigh when pierced with a skewer. Transfer the turkey to a platter and leave to rest, lightly covered, for 20 minutes before carving.