Several years ago (maybe 4) I was watching the Today Show (which I love) and they had a chef on there sharing Thanksgiving recipes.  I was 30ish years old and up until then, I had NEVER cooked a turkey, Thanksgiving or otherwise.  I never wanted to.  My mom always did it and I didn’t need to know how.  But every year, Bob brings home a turkey from his work.  We would usually just put it in the freezer and (my mom would) make it at Christmas or New Years since it is usually about 14 pounds and my mom makes a 30 pounder (I kid you not) for our huge Thanksgiving feast.

Well, 4 years ago I watched Chef Jaime Oliver make this turkey and it looked SO good…I decided to try it myself.

Are you scared yet?

I was!

I invited my mom and dad over to my apartment for a pre-Thanksgiving dinner with my turkey.  I didn’t dare suggest that I make the holiday bird, that’s my mom’s job.  Besides, she is very resistant to change and Thanksgiving is not the time for trying out new recipes.

Here are the ingredients needed to make Jaime’s Christmas Roast Turkey and Apricot Stuffing:

• 50g/2oz butter
• a sprig of fresh sage, leaves picked
• 12 strips of pancetta or thinly sliced streaky bacon
• 1 bulb of garlic, broken into cloves
• 4 medium red onions, peeled
• 2 sticks of celery, trimmed and chopped
• a big handful of breadcrumbs
• a handful of dried apricots
• 300g/10½ oz minced pork
• zest of 1 lemon
a pinch of grated nutmeg
• 1 large free-range or organic egg
• sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
• 12 small fresh rosemary sprigs, plus a few extra
• 4–4.5kg/9–10lb turkey, preferably free-range or organic, at room temperature
• 2 carrots, peeled
• 1 large orange
• olive oil
• 2 tablespoons plain flour
• 1.1litres/2 pints chicken or vegetable stock

Please refer to the Jaime Oliver Website for instructions on how to put it together.  It’s not hard…this Turkey Roasting Virgin did it, so can you!

I will say though, that I had a hard time wrapping the rosemary sprigs with the bacon.  So I didn’t put bacon/pancetta into the legs, just the  rosemary by itself.  And I don’t normally like stuffing at all, but this with the apricots was AMAZING.

While I still don’t make the Thanksgiving Dinner Turkey (still my mom’s job) I have made this Jaime Oliver turkey with my husbands turkey every year since.  Sometimes my mom will let me do it for Christmas (if I’m really nice), or I just have a separate celebration for no reason just so I can make it because it’s SO good.  I hope you give it a try for yourself.  Besides, Jaime Oliver is so freaking adorable, how could you not eat anything that he prepared?  Just sayin’

Turkey Photo is copyright of David Loftus from Jaime