European Roast Turkey

You may be familiar with the large frozen turkey in my freezer. It’s still there. Taking up way too much room.
But, relief is on the horizon!

My dear mother-in-law read my last turkey post and took pity on the poor unwanted bird, and declared a home for it in her freezer until the 25th! Hooray! Moving day is hopefully in the near future. M, if you are reading this, your turkey awaits!

She got so excited about this new addition to her family (yes, it is that large that it warrants a respected place in the family), that she promptly sent me the recipe for her traditional Christmas Turkey.

We have it every year on Christmas Day. It’s a labour of love in the Aussie summer heat, but its warmly welcomed onto our table and into our tummies with many an ‘ooh’ and ‘aah’!

What makes it special is the delicious fruity stuffing inside and crispy bacon on the outside. It’s a fantastic combo, salty and sweet, perfectly complementing the succulent turkey meat.

Here’s my mother-in-law’s Russian recipe.


One (5.5-6.5 kg) fresh whole turkey
500-750 gram bacon
3-4 Granny Smith apples peeled and chopped
250-300 gr. pitted prunes
250-300 gr. dried apricots


1. Rinse turkey with cool water and dry with paper towels.
2. Preheat oven to 400-450 degrees Fahrenheit
3. Combine apples, prunes and apricots and stuff turkey cavity
4. Place turkey on a rack inside a large baking dish and then wrap in bacon.
5. Cover in alfoil and put in the oven.
6. Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees and cook for 2 1/2 hours.
7. Remove alfoil. Baste turkey with pan juices. Cook another 30 to 60 more minutes, basting after 30 minutes. Allow bacon to crisp.
8. To check that the turkey is cooked, insert an instant-read thermometer into the thickest part of the thigh. The temperature should reach 180. If legs are not yet fully cooked, baste turkey, return to oven, and cook another 20 to 30 minutes.

When fully cooked, transfer turkey to a serving platter and let rest for 20-30 minutes.

My mouth is watering already thinking about the masterpiece my frozen turkey will become.



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