Date, Pecan & Pear Stuffed Turkey

  • Serves


  • Prep time

    1 Hour

  • Cooking time

    4 Hours


2 tbsp olive oil

2 onions, finely chopped (2 cups)

1 cup beef bacon, cut in cubes

1 pear, peeled and chopped

1 cup dates, deseeded and cut into chunks

1/3 cup chicken stock (or a little more to keep it moist

1 ½ tsp dried thyme

2 bay leaves

1 cup pecans, chopped

¼ cup crème fraiche

2 tsp honey

1 loaf of country bread, cut into cubes (8-10 cups)

Salt and cracked black pepper to taste

8-10 lbs whole turkey thawed

½ lemon

4 tbsp butter


Step 1
In a large sauté pan heat the olive oil over a medium-high heat. Add the onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until they are translucent, for approximately 6-7 minutes. Add the bacon and cook stirring occasionally until golden and crispy for approximately 7 minutes. Add the pears, dates, stock, thyme and bay leaves.
Step 2
Bring to the boil, reduce heat to low, and cook, stirring occasionally, for 10-15 minutes, or until the pears and the dates are softened, adding more stock if needed. Add the pecans, crème fraiche and honey. Remove the bay leaves. Add the bread, season with salt and pepper, combine well and set aside.
Step 3
Preheat oven to 180C. Remove all the insides (giblets) from the turkey, rinse thoroughly with water, pat and dry inside and out. Rub the inside with salt and half a lemon. Stuff the turkey lightly with the stuffing and rub the skin all over with the butter. Season with salt and pepper.
Step 4
Place the turkey on a rack in a roasting pan, loosely cover with aluminum foil and roast on the lowest rack in the oven for about 3-4 hours, rotating the turkey after the first 1 ½ hours and basting with any pan juices. Continue roasting the turkey, checking to make sure that it is cooking evenly, removing the foil if needed. Continue cooking until an internal temperature in the thickest part of the thigh registers 77C (170F) and the juices in the thigh run clear when stuck with a knife. The internal temperature of the stuffing should read 73C (163F).
Step 5
Let the bird rest, covered with foil, for at least 20 minutes, before carving and serving this feast.
Step 6
Serve with cranberry sauce and sweet potatoes. (There is a scrumptious sweet potato crumble recipe on page 139)
Dalia from Dalia’s Kitchen
Cookbook Author and Culinary nomad


Sweet Potato Crumble

  • Serves


  • Prep time

    15 minutes

  • Cooking time

    1 hour 45 minutes