Roast Stuffed Turkey - Recipe
A succulent, flavorful and moist Roast Stuffed Turkey is something that can't be missing on your holiday table. Find out how to perfectly prepare, stuff and cook a delicious turkey in this step by step recipe.
- Level: Hard
- Preparation time: 120 minutes
- Total time: 360 minutes
- Yield: 8 servings
Cleaning the Turkey:
If you have a wild turkey, pluck or skin it before jumping to the next step. If your turkey is frozen, defrost it. When thawed, go the next step.
Remove giblets and neck and set them apart for the gravy. Wash thoroughly the turkey under running water, rinsing it very well both inside and outside the cavity. Dry well the turkey before the next step.
Preparing the Filling:
With the help of a food processor, blend bacon, onions, garlic, carrot and the herbs: celery, sage, rosemary, thyme and marjoram (if desired).
Transfer the bacon, onion and herb mix in a large bowl, add the ground beef and stir very well to blend all the ingredients together.
Add to the filling mixture one whole egg, 1/3 of a cup of white wine and the bread crumbs. Season with salt and pepper. Keep in the refrigerator for few hours if not using immediately.
Stuffing the Turkey:
This step should be performed only when you're ready to place your turkey in the oven to avoid unwanted proliferation of bacteria and ill-borne poisoning that can ruin your holidays.
Place the turkey, breast side up, on top of a roasting rack. With the help of a spoon or with your hands, stuff lightly both the neck and body cavities with the ground beef and herb mixture.
When the turkey is completely filled, seal the opening with half lemon, to keep the flavors from falling while roasting.
Close the turkey cavities by holding the surrounding skin together with pins or skewers. If you don't have enough skin, cut some loose one from around the neck and use it to seal the turkey cavities. Tie the legs to the tail or tuck them under the tail.
Brush the turkey with some extra virgin olive oil. This will help the turkey to keep moist and tender.
Rub the outside of the turkey with coarse salt and pepper and add to the bottom of the pan rosemary and juniper.
With some aluminum foil form a tent on top of the turkey to keep it from browning too quickly on the outside while the inside is still not fully cooked.
Insert a meat thermometer into the thigh muscles, far from the bone. You can also use an instant-read meat thermometer and read the temperature at the end of the cooking time.
Roasting the Turkey:
Place the turkey in the oven, preheated at 325F. Cook until the internal temperature reaches 180F and the stuffing temperature 165F. A 12 pound turkey takes about 180 to 240 minutes to be fully cooked.
After the first hour bast your turkey with the juices that collect on the bottom of the roasting pan, to keep it moist and flavored. Repeat the basting every 30 minutes.
About 1/2 hour before the turkey is fully cooked, remove the aluminium foil to allow the skin to nicely brown. Pour the remaining 2/3 cup of white wine on top for additional moist and flavor.
When fully and evenly cooked (180F for the turkey and 165F for the stuffing, as recommended for food safety), remove the turkey from the oven.
Serving the Turkey:
As soon as you take out the turkey from the oven promptly remove the stuffing and place it in a separate plate. Cover the stuffing and keep it warm. Let the turkey rest for about 20-30 minutes before carving.
Carve the turkey by first separating legs and thighs, as well as the wings, from the body. Then carve the turkey breast and the rest of the meat.
Serve the carved turkey with a side of gravy, the stuffing and the traditional cranberry sauce on you holiday table.
THAWING: Plan it well ahead of time. Thawing a turkey is no quick affair. In the fridge, it takes about 24 hours per each five pounds. If you are in a hurry, thaw out the bird, still sealed in a leak proof bag, in a sink or very large pot full of cold water; This method takes about 30 minutes per pound.
COOKING: Cooking a turkey is not something you can do at the last minute. As a simple indication, roasting times are around 30 minutes per pound of turkey. If a 6-7 pounds turkey requires 180-240 minutes, a 22-24 pounds turkey will need about 6 or more hours to fully cook.
STUFFING: Usually 3/4 cup of stuffing is required for each 1lb of turkey. Don't stuff the turkey too much to allow the stuffing and the turkey to cook evenly. You can choose to cook the stuffing and the turkey separately. This method is suggested by some to avoid contamination. However, consider decreasing cooking times for your turkey if you choose this method.