Turkey - size dependent on number of people but allow 1/2 kilo of raw weigth per person
Butter or Olive Oil
Soy Sauce or Chilli Sauce

5 cups of homemade bread crumbs
1 cup of chopped Californian walnuts (you can use pistachios or pine nuts too)
2 cups dried cranberries (choose ones that have no oil and least sugar)
4 cups boiling water
1 tbsp sunflower oil
2 cups finely chopped onions
8 cloves of garlic (can use more if preferred)
2 cups chopped celery (including tops)
Salt, paprika and black pepper to taste
Fresh Parsley


Remove fowl from refrigerator half an hour before cooking and wipe all parts

Rub with butter or oil, and finally season with salt, or soy or chili sauce

Add the stuffing and close cavity with toothpicks

Wrap the fowl in double foil, leaving an opening at the top to unfold during baking.

Pre-heat oven to 230 C (450 F)

Reduce heat to 175 C (350 F) then put in turkey

Every 20 minutes, open foil and baste the bird with own juices and re-close.

Reduce heat to 160 C (325 F) in the last hour of cooking, rolling foil down to brown the breast and keep basting.

* Cooking times will vary dependent on the size of your bird but a good butcher can help make a recommendation.

Finely chop good quality bread, including crusts, to make up homemade bread crumbs

Soak dried cranberries in boiling water to plump and then drain, retaining water

In a small amount of sunflower oil sauté onions, garlic, celery, salt, paprika, black pepper and chopped parsley

Add everything to the bread crumbs. Squeeze a handful, and if it does not stick together, moisten with cranberry water or Bourbon whiskey

Stuff in cavity, cover with foil attached to bird with toothpicks

Serve as a side dish

The Story Behind The Recipe:
Today’s Turkey recipe has been contributed by Margaret McNiven, friend of FoodFaith and also an Australian married to an American. After living in the states for many years, Margaret and her husband returned to Australia and continue to host Thanksgiving for their friends every year. She starts planning at least a week before and bakes all the classics from scratch, just as her husband’s mother did. Of these two central recipes she says…

’Turkey is a dry meat and needs frequent basting. The temptation to wrap in foil and leave it covered will result in a steamed turkey, not a tasty baked dish, so this is a practical compromise.

Stuffing is an integral part of the Thanksgiving meal, more delicious than the old bread thrown into an Australian chook. Cook it in the cavity to absorb the bird’s juices so it becomes a savoury bread pudding.

This Cranberry stuffing features North American ingredients, such as Californian walnuts, cranberries and sunflower oil, and maybe a drop of bourbon whiskey.’

A Thanksgiving Poem

May your stuffing be tasty
May your turkey be plump
May your potatoes and gravy have never a lump
May your yams be delicious
And your pies take the prize
And may your Thanksgiving dinner stay off your thighs!

Turkey Buying Tips from FoodFaith:

Now a final note here as a whole Turkey is not always the easiest thing to purchase in Australia and sadly large-scale Turkey production isn’t exactly ethical or environmentally friendly. To mitigate some of this, here’s our top 3 tips to buying the best turkey you can…

  1. Look for free-range, hormone free, antibiotic free and if you can, certified organic. If you can’t find organic, looking for certifications like Humane Choice or PROOF and in some case the RSPCA tick, will be best

  2. Purchase your bird from a butcher or small farmer. This way you should be able to find out exactly where your bird is from and how it’s been raised

  3. Don’t waste the leftovers!! Bones can be used to make stock and turkey sandwiches, soup or even pasta bake are all delicious options. Come back next Thursday for a great Turkey Chao Congee Recipe.

Happy Cooking, Sharing, Eating and of course Thanksgiving!