Abandon the ordinary this holiday and serve guests a meal that they will savour, thanks to the mouthwatering combinations of sweet and savoury ingredients. Herb and Pear Glazed Roast Turkey with Fig and Goat Cheese Stuffing will be a Thanksgiving feast they won’t ever forget.
40 minPrep Time
4 hrCook Time
4 hr, 40 Total Time
- 12 lb (6 kg) turkey (washed, dried and giblets removed)
- 1 tsp (5 mL) salt and freshly ground pepper
- 2 tbsp (30 mL) butter, softened
- 1 tsp (5 mL) each chopped fresh rosemary and thyme
- 4 cups (1 L) sodium-reduced chicken broth
- 3 tbsp (45 mL) all-purpose flour
- 4 ripe Ontario Bartlett Pears, peeled, cored and chopped
- 1 Ontario Yellow Onion, chopped
- 1 tbsp (15 mL) finely chopped fresh rosemary
- 1 tbsp (15 mL) finely chopped fresh thyme
- 2 1/2 cups (625 mL) sodium-reduced chicken broth
- 1 cup (250 ml) apple cider vinegar
- 1/2 cup (125 mL) Honey
- 1/2 tsp (2 mL) kosher salt
- 2 tbsp (30 mL) butter
- 1 cup (250 mL) thinly sliced red onion
- 1 cup (250 mL) chopped Black Mission figs
- 2 tsp (10 mL) dried crumbled sage
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 6 cups (1.5 L) baby spinach
- 8 cups (2 L) cubed day-old sourdough bread
- 1/2 tsp (2 mL) each salt and pepper
- 1/2 cup (125 mL) sodium-reduced chicken broth
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 3/4 cup (175 mL) toasted pecans
- 1 cup (250 mL) crumbled goat cheese (optional)
- Toss together pears, onion, rosemary and thyme; place in large, straight-sided skillet. Whisk together broth, vinegar and honey; pour into skillet. Bring to boil; reduce heat and simmer gently for 20 minutes or until pears are very tender and liquid is syrupy. Strain and cool solids and liquid separately. Stir salt into liquid while still hot.
- In large, nonstick skillet, melt butter over medium heat; sauté onion, figs, sage and garlic for 5 minutes or until softened. Add spinach; toss until wilted. Let cool completely. Toss bread with spinach mixture, cooled pear mixture from Herb and Pear Glaze, and salt and pepper. Whisk broth with eggs; pour over bread mixture and toss until absorbed. Toss in pecans.
- Season turkey all over with salt and pepper; pack stuffing lightly into large turkey cavity. Place remaining stuffing into 13- x 9-inch (3 L) baking dish; toss gently with goat cheese (if using). Bake in 350°F (180°C) oven for 30 minutes.
- Rub butter, rosemary and thyme all over breast; place turkey, breast side up, on wire rack in large roasting pan. Truss legs together using kitchen twine and tuck wing tips underneath to prevent burning. Pour reserved liquid from Herb and Pear Glaze and 1 cup (250 mL) water into bottom of roaster.
- Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). Roast turkey, basting every half hour with pan juices, for 3 to 3 1/2 hours or until internal temperature of turkey thigh reaches 180°F (82°C) and internal temperature of stuffing is 165°F (74°C). (Rotate pan occasionally to promote even browning and loosely tent turkey with foil to prevent overbrowning if skin is browning too quickly.) Carefully transfer turkey to carving board; let stand for 20 minutes before removing stuffing and carving.
- Meanwhile, skim fat from pan juices; add enough chicken broth to make 4 1/2 cups (1.125 L). Remove 1/4 cup (60 mL) liquid and whisk with flour. Place pan over two burners over medium-high heat; whisk in flour mixture. Reduce heat and simmer, stirring often, for 5 to 7 minutes or until gravy is thickened. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Strain gravy; serve with stuffing and turkey.
- Substitute Blue cheese or cubed Cheddar cheese for the goat cheese, if desired.
- For a stronger and meatier flavour, place giblets and neck in the roasting pan with the turkey before cooking but remove and discard before preparing gravy.
- Use an instant-read thermometer for the most accurate internal temperatures. Insert the thermometer into the thickest part of the thigh, but be sure not to touch the bone.