A Cook's Plot

Side Dishes & Canapes

Apricot and Pistachio Stuffing

I was talking recently to the people behind delicious Copas turkeys - the Copas family has been rearing free-range turkeys for the past six decades (and last year Copas was crowned Best Turkey in Britain at the 2017 British Poultry Awards!). Their birds are free range and I love the fact that they’re kept safe by a flock of Peruvian Alpaca to scare off foxes, not to mention Kez the ‘turkey dog’ (below).

Brenda Copas shared the delicious sage and onion stuffing recipe that she makes every year to serve at her own family’s festive feast and I was keen to try it out for myself as it has two secret ingredients, celery and apple, which make it extra special. While I was cooking it at home, though, I couldn’t resist adding a couple of secret ingredients of my own (sorry, Brenda - I seem to be incapable of following anyone else’s recipe without changing it a bit!). Here’s my version - just right for Christmas lunch, I reckon.


  • 1 large red onion, roughly chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, sliced
  • 1 stick celery, roughly chopped
  • 1 eating apple, roughly chopped (no need to peel it)
  • 170g day-old bread
  • half a cooking apple (roughly chopped - no need to peel it)
  • 1 tbsp fresh sage leaves
  • 100g dried apricots
  • 75g pistachios
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 25g butter


Fry the onion in a little olive oil until just softened then add the garlic, celery, apples, sage and plenty of seasoning and fry for a few minutes more. Meanwhile, whizz the bread in a food processor until you have chunky breadcrumbs. Add the onion mixture and the apricots then whizz again until the celery and apples are fairly finely chopped.

Tip into a large bowl and mix in the eggs yolks well, then stir in the pistachios. Tip into an ovenproof dish, dot with the butter, cover with foil and cook in a preheated oven at 180C (fan oven) for 45-50 minutes or until browning nicely on top. Leave to stand for 10 minutes before serving with your Christmas turkey (or with roast chicken at any time of year).

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