Stuffed bird

Last year I blogged (boasted) about my top rated stuffing for the Christmas poultry.
Have a read

It gets better every year; with slight improvements and a variation of flavour.
This year I was determined to use dried figs and fennel seeds; instead of the usual dried Aussie apricots.

Ingredients and how to make it:
One large bowl. Work out how much stuffing you need.
(Trust me - there is not much you can do with excess stuffing.)
Buy white sour dough bread a few days in advance; it can't be fresh.
(Don't use cheap and nasty supermarket bread.)
Slice each end off the bread loaf and put aside; about 2-3cm thick.
Cut thick slices, 3-4cm thick and trim crusts from bread. Discard the crusts.
Crumble the bread by hand; not too small and not too big.
Half a cup of Tandaco seasoned breadcrumbs; or just plain breadcrumbs, to hold the larger pieces of bread together. (Although, this year I just used bread.)
Mince 1-2 cloves of garlic if you wish.
Finely slice and dice 1 onion.
Use a handful of fresh thyme and chop using herb scissors; lots of thyme is a must.
One debrecini (spicy polish pork sausage); cut into slices and then in halves; needs to be more chunky and not too thin.
Coarsely chopped unsalted cashew nuts; or other nuts, pine nuts, ... whatever.
Finely chopped figs, or dried apricots.
Fennel seeds (if you use fig).
Sprinkle of salt and lots of cracked black pepper.
A few generous splashes of Tabasco sauce.
Drizzle of olive oil.
Small amount of water; to moisten, not wet.

Start by stirring the dry bread with the dry ingredients.
Progressively add and stir the mix so that the ingredients are uniformly distributed.
Ensure that the fruit and meat doesn't stay together in chunks.
Finally, splash the olive oil and a small amount of water and mix well.
It should be just moist, not wet.
The stuffing will absorb the juices from the poultry.
(If you add too much water, then your stuffing will be wet. Better to add none than too much.)

Now comes the best part.
Stuff the bird.
Use a medium sized spoon and pack the stuffing firmly into the cavity.
Pack it in as you go. Fill to the top.
When done, use the thick end piece of crusty bread to pack on top of the stuffing and fill the bird. This stops the stuffing leaking. It's also a nice morsel to eat while the cooked bird cools. Actually I give it to the dog as a Christmas treat.
Fold the loose skin over the top of the stuffing. Hold in place with a short skewer; insert through the bird three times.
Tie the legs to the skewer to keep them together.
Tie the wings to the body ... and you're ready to cook.
Add an extra 30-40 minutes to the cooking time due to the stuffing.