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Roast Turkey With Fig And Pistachio Couscous Stuffing

A sweet, juicy roast turkey, perfect for a festive family meal

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Roast Turkey With Fig And Pistachio Couscous Stuffing

Serves: 4 people.

Preparation Time: 30 minutes to prep, 1 hour 35 minutes to cook.


  • 1 large turkey (about 1.5 kg)
  • 1 lemon, zest grated and juiced
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil (plus some for the roasting pan)
  • ½ teaspoon ground ginger
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 3 small red onions, each cut into six wedges
  • 300g couscous
  • ¼ teaspoon saffron threads
  • 500ml chicken or vegetable stock
  • 75g roughly chopped dried figs
  • 50g shelled unsalted pistachios, roughly chopped


  1. Put the turkey into a lightly oiled roasting pan.
  2. To make the marinade, simply mix the lemon zest and juice with the honey, olive oil, ginger, cinnamon, cumin and freshly ground black pepper to taste.
  3. Brush the marinade generously on the inside and outside of the turkey, keeping some for later.
  4. Leave to marinate while making the stuffing. The longer you can leave to marinate the better.
  5. Preheat the oven to 180°C / 356 Fahrenheit / Gas Mark 4.
  6. Put the couscous into a heatproof bowl. Add the saffron into the stock and pour over the couscous. Cover and leave to stand for 5 minutes or until all the stock has been absorbed.
  7. Stir in the figs and pistachios. Season to your liking.
  8. Now the couscous mixture is ready, it can be added to the turkey. Spoon some of the mixture into the neck end of the turkey. Fold the neck skin together and secure with either the wing tips or with a wooden cocktail stick. Leave some couscous for later.
  9. Add the onion wedges into the cavity of the turkey (or, if you prefer, place them in the tin around the bird after it has been roasting for 40 minutes).
  10. After around 40 minutes, use the rest of the spiced lemon marinade to pour over the turkey and roast for another 20 minutes.
  11. After around 1 hour, spoon the remaining couscous around the turkey and roast for a further 25 minutes or until cooked throughout. To test if the bird is cooked, pierce the thickest part of the thigh: the juices should run clear, steam should come from the middle and the meat should be white (not pink or red). The internal temperature should be around 75ºC.
  12. Transfer the turkey to a serving platter, loosely cover with foil to keep warm and leave to rest for 10 minutes before carving. Remove the skin before serving, if desired.
  13. Serve with the couscous and onions.

Please let us know how you get on with this recipe – We would love to hear your thoughts and feedback and send in your pictures!

If you have any ideas or alternatives to this recipe please send them in or make a comment in the box below!

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