Recipe: Ruth Pretty’s Roasted Turkey with Red Rice Stuffing & Orange Gravy

The roasted turkey of your dreams is guaranteed to impress (and satisfy) a crowd.

Words & recipe: Ruth Pretty  Styling & photos: Carolyn Robertson 

Serves: 12 to 15


1x 7kg turkey (if frozen, defrost in the fridge over 2 to 3 days)
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons flaky salt
¼ teaspoon of freshly ground pepper
3 to 4 oranges with skins on, quartered
500ml water
150g marmalade, if possible seville orange marmalade
1.5 litres purchased chicken stock liquid, reduced in a pot set over a medium heat to 750ml
3 tablespoons cornflour mixed with 3 tablespoons cold water
2 tablespoons chopped leaves from french tarragon, oregano or parsley
Red Rice Stuffing (recipe follows)


Heat the oven to 180°C. Use a baking spray to lightly grease the sides and base of a large roasting tray.

Remove any innards from the turkey. Dry the turkey inside and out with paper towels. Fill the turkey’s cavity with Red Rice Stuffing. Tie the legs together tightly with culinary string and place the bird in the roasting tray, legs up. Brush with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Place orange quarters around the turkey and add water to the tray.

Bake for 2½ hours, basting from time to time (if turkey begins to look brown, cover with lightly greased aluminium foil). Remove from oven and generously smear turkey with marmalade. If necessary, once again loosely cover with foil. Return to the oven for 30 minutes, then test with a thermometer. Insert meat thermometer into the thickest part of the inner thigh, but not touching the bone. The temperature needs to reach 80°C. Juices should run clear, and the marmalade should be sticky and golden.

More stories you might like:
Recipe: Tangy Lime Possets with Coconut Wafers

Remove the turkey from oven and place on a warmed platter. Loosely cover with lightly greased foil and let rest at room temperature for 20 to 30 minutes while preparing the gravy. Place the tray containing the roasting juices and orange quarters over medium heat. Add reduced chicken stock and bring to the boil, scraping up all the good bits from the base of the tray. Pour this mixture through a fine sieve set over a small pot. Use a potato masher or similar to push down to add maximum orange juice to the pot.

Bring juices to the boil, reduce to simmer, and add the cornflour water mixture. Add chopped herbs just before you serve. Taste for seasoning.

Display the turkey on the platter. At the table, portion turkey into body parts and carve each one (remove a breast and then slice it). Be generous with the Red Rice Stuffing and accompany with orange gravy.

Cook’s tip: Freeze any turkey innards along with any leftover turkey meat and carcass to use in a dish later, such as turkey chowder.

Red Rice Stuffing


3 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
150g chorizo sausage, preferably a raw version, skinned and diced or crumbled
2 teaspoons tomato paste
150g canned chopped tomatoes in juice
220g white long-grain rice
500ml chicken or vegetable liquid stock, or water
1 teaspoon flaky sea salt (dependent on the saltiness of the stock)
freshly ground black pepper to taste
small handful of coriander, chopped
100g dried cranberries


Heat the oil in a saucepan. Add the onion and garlic and fry over a medium heat until they are starting to soften but not brown.

More stories you might like:
Recipe: Vegetable Pho Soup

Add the chorizo and tomato paste and stir for a few minutes. Stir in tinned tomatoes and their juice with the stock or water. Stir in the rice and season with salt and pepper. Cover the pan and cook for 10 to 15 minutes until the rice has absorbed the liquid. Turn off the heat and allow the rice to rest for a few minutes. Stir in the coriander and cranberries, fluffing up the rice with a fork.

Tip out onto a tray to cool. Use to stuff the turkey when completely cold. Makes enough to fill one 7kg turkey

Cook’s tip: Stuffing can be made a day or two in advance and stored in the fridge. For little roasted rice balls to serve alongside the stuffed turkey, make an extra batch of rice stuffing. Roll it into balls and place into the turkey tray when the bird is spread with marmalade.

NZ Life and Leisure This article first appeared in NZ Life & Leisure Magazine.
Discuss This Article
Send this to a friend