Christmas Recipes Series – Whole Roast Turkey with Bacon, Onion and Sage Stuffing

Enjoy a traditional Christmas meal… with a twist. This recipe for whole roast turkey with bacon, onion and sage stuffing — thanks to The Australian Women’s Weekly — will leave everyone more full than Santa’s sack.


Prep and cooking time: 4 hours

Serves: 10-12


Whole Roast Turkey with Bacon, Onion and Sage StuffingIngredients

5kg turkey

50cm square muslin

125g butter, melted

1 tablespoon olive oil

2 tablespoons sea salt

2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves


50g butter

4 (280g) bacon rashers, chopped

1 medium (150g) brown onion, chopped

2 trimmed (150g) celery sticks, chopped

1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage leaves

2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves

4 cups (280g) stale breadcrumbs

1 egg, beaten lightly


40g butter

1 medium (150g) brown onion, chopped

1 trimmed (75g) celery stick, chopped

2 cloves garlic, crushed

¼ cup (35g) plain flour

¼ cup (60ml) port

2¼ cups (560ml) chicken stock, approximately



1. Preheat the oven to 180°C (160°C fan-forced).

2. ONION AND SAGE STUFFING: Heat butter in a large frying pan; cook the bacon, stirring, until browned. Add the onion and celery; cook, stirring, until soft. Cool for 10 minutes. Combine onion mixture, herbs, breadcrumbs, egg, salt, and ground black pepper in a large bowl; mix well.

3. Rinse the turkey inside and out under cold water; pat dry with absorbent paper. Fill the large cavity with stuffing (1, above, right). Tie the legs together with string (2). Fill the neck cavity with stuffing (3) and secure the skin over the opening with toothpicks.

4. Tuck the wing tips under the turkey (4).

5. Place the turkey on an oiled wire rack in a flameproof baking dish. Dip the muslin in the melted butter; place the muslin over the turkey (5). Cover dish tightly with foil. Bake for 2 hours.

6. Remove the foil and muslin from the turkey, brush with the combined pan juices and olive oil (6). Bake the turkey, uncovered, for a further 1 hour or until browned and cooked through. To test, insert a skewer sideways into the thickest part of the thigh. Remove the skewer and press the flesh to release the juices – if the juices are clear the turkey is cooked. Or insert a thermometer into the thickest part of the turkey thigh, without touching the bone; it should read 90°C. Test the stuffing as well; it should read at least 75°C. Remove the turkey from the dish; sprinkle with the salt and thyme. Stand, covered with foil, for 20 minutes.

7. Meanwhile, drain the pan juices from the dish into a large jug. Skim the fat from the top of the juices; reserve juices, discard fat.

8. PORT GRAVY: Place the same baking dish over a medium heat. Melt the butter in the dish; cook the onion, celery and garlic, stirring, until soft. Stir in the flour; cook, stirring, until the flour is well browned. Remove from the heat. Stir in the port; return to the heat. Gradually stir in the combined reserved pan juices and stock. Cook, stirring, until mixture boils and thickens. Strain gravy into a large jug.

9. Serve the turkey with the port gravy, roasted potatoes and steamed green vegetables, if desired.



1. Fill large cavity of the turkey with stuffing.

2. Tie the legs together with string.
3. Fill the neck cavity with stuffing and secure the skin with toothpicks.

4. Tuck the wingtips under the turkey.

5. Drape the buttered muslin over the turkey to cover.
6. Remove the muslin and baste the turkey with combined pan juices and olive oil.


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