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Stuffed turkey : A amazing Dish for whole family

prepare this stuffed turkey recipe for Christmas and you can enjoy one of the most typical dishes of these dates. It is ideal for large families, because it spreads a lot. In addition, you can adapt both the ingredients of the filling and the garnish to your liking.

Stuffed turkey, a dish for the whole family

Stuffed turkey is one of the quintessential Christmas dishes. When we present it at the table it is not uncommon to hear occasional applause. Its preparation is long, I’m not going to lie to you, but tasting it as a family gives a lot of satisfaction.

I am talking about enjoying the dish as a family because, indeed, you are going to need many guests to give a good account of it. Turkeys that are marketed for stuffing can weigh between 6 and 10 kilos. The turkeys are somewhat smaller, yes.

Given its size, the turkey in the oven will need several hours to cook, always depending on its weight. The danger of long cooking is that they tend to dry out meat And if we start from a somewhat dry meat such as turkey, more.

Therefore, so that our main Christmas dish is juicy, we are going to provide it with an extra liquid. It’s what we do injecting brandy (or other similar alcoholic beverage) through a syringe. You can buy this at a pharmacy, or use a specific kitchen.

How to buy turkey to stuff

The turkey that I have stuffed was already clean of feathers and boneless, that is, without the casing. This preparation is made for you in the chicken shop. This way cutting it is easier, almost as if it were a stiff. If you prefer, you can make the recipe with a boneless turkey and, once cooked, carve it in the traditional way.

As you will see in the list of ingredients, the turkey needs a good amount of padding. When going boneless, the hole left inside is really big. If you are going to use a turkey with its carcass, you may need less stuffing, although it will always depend on its weight.

How many servings come out of this baked turkey

A stuffed turkey for Christmas like mine, weighing between 6 and 7 kilos, will give you enough 12 servings minimum. Probably more, since we already know that at Christmas meals there are usually starters, appetizers…

Utensils needed to make the stuffed turkey in the oven

  • A large and somewhat deep baking tray or container.
  • Twine thread and needle to bridle meats
  • syringe and fine needle
  • Oven thermometer (optional)

Ingredients to make stuffed turkey for Christmas

  • 1 boneless and ready-to-stuff turkey (6 – 7 kg in weight)
  • 2 kg of minced turkey meat
  • 350g of bacon
  • 250 g of prunes
  • 250 g dried apricots
  • 150 g shelled pistachios
  • 150 g breadcrumbs
  • 2 small apples
  • 125ml chicken broth
  • 100ml brandy
  • 100 ml of port wine
  • Provencal herbs (thyme, oregano, rosemary…)
  • black pepper
  • Salt
  • extra virgin olive oil

How to make special stuffed turkey for Christmas step by step

Prepare the turkey

  1. First, make sure the turkey is completely free of feathers. If you still have any, gently remove them with your fingers.
  2. Now fill the syringe with brandy and go poking all the turkey until you finish with the liquid. This will help the meat to be less dry. Do it carefully so that the skin does not break. If your needle is very thick and you see that the skin is tearing, you can do it on the inside.
  3. Season the turkey inside that is, you reach inside and rub the meat with a little black pepper and salt.

Prepare the filling

  1. Soak the bread with the chicken broth to absorb it.
  2. Chop the ingredients that has the filling. Cut the prunes and dried apricots (each into 4 pieces, more or less). Finely chop the bacon. Peel and cut the apples into cubes. As for the pistachios, chop them a bit so they don’t go whole.
  3. In a large bowl add all the ingredients for the filling: the minced meat, the ingredients that we have just chopped, the bread soaked in broth and the Provencal herbs. Also add black pepper and salt. Mix everything well. You can do it with your hands, as it is a considerable amount of ingredients.

Stuff the turkey and close it

  1. Now prepare a good piece of twine and thread it through the needle. Begin sewing the neck part of the turkey so that the filling does not come out there. If it’s hard for you, you can introduce a bit of padding so that it has a bit of body and the skin doesn’t escape.
  2. Flip the turkey over and finish by introduce all the filling. As you do this, press down well with your hand so that it fills all the gaps.
  3. sew the opening where you have put the filling until it is completely closed.
  4. Smear all the skin of the turkey with a good drizzle of olive oil. Also add salt and pepper on the outside.

bake the turkey

  1. Place the turkey in a large dish. and deep or, if you don’t have one, on the oven tray. Pour the port into the tray. If you have space, you can also add some French onions and shallots, which will cook together with the turkey and will be very sweet.
  2. Put the turkey in the preheated oven at 180ºC, preferably on one of the lower levels so that the upper part does not burn prematurely. The baking time is about 40 minutes for each kilo of weight (including the filling). I had it in the oven for 6 and a half hours. Yes, it is a long time, but the size of the piece requires it.
  3. When you see that the part of the breast and the legs are golden, cover turkey with aluminum foil. This will prevent them from burning. During baking, water the turkey from time to time with the juices that it releases.
  4. After the baking time according to the weight of your piece, take it out of the oven and let it rest for a few minutes. Your stuffed turkey for Christmas is almost ready.

Serve your stuffed turkey in the oven

  1. At the end of cooking, a sauce will remain on the tray made up of the turkey’s own juices, the fat released by the bacon, the brandy and port that we have added, etc. By itself, this sauce has a lot of flavor, but if you want it to be more concentrated you can reduce it. To do this, transfer these juices to a saucepan and heat them until they thicken to your liking.
  2. Slice your stuffed turkey for Christmas. Being boneless will be very easy. Serve it together with the garnish of your choice and the sauce.

With what garnish to serve the Christmas turkey

The turkey you see in the photos is wearing onions and some shallots as a garnish, which I cooked along with the turkey. In addition, I accompanied it with some potatoes previously boiled and sautéed with butter. However, the options to serve as a garnish are many.

If your turkey is not very big and you have space left on the tray, You can take the opportunity to add some potatoes cut into wedges, some prunes, some dates, some vegetables…. Do it preferably halfway through cooking so that they are not undone.

If you do not have more space on the tray, you can prepare the garnish separately. Applesauce, mashed potatoes or a special cranberry sauce for meat are other options that also go very well with stuffed turkey for Christmas.

More Tips for Making Stuffed Baked Turkey for Christmas

  • It is not necessary that you stuff the turkey with the same ingredients that I have used, you can adapt them to your liking.
  • If your baking dish or tray is not very deep, it may not be able to collect all the juices that the turkey releases and it ends up overflowing. To avoid this, there is no other option than to open the oven and go removing the liquid with a small spoon.
  • At the end of cooking we will have an unctuous sauce with a lot of flavor. If you want it to have less fat, you can remove it with a spoon. If you are going to prepare the turkey in advance, take advantage when the sauce is cold to defat it.
  • if you have a kitchen thermometer much better for meat. You will ensure that you achieve optimal cooking inside the turkey. If you don’t have one, you’ll have to do it a bit by eye.
  • let the turkey rest a bit before cutting it. This will settle the juices and also make it a little easier to split. Don’t be afraid of it getting cold, because being so big it takes a long time to lose temperature (even hours).
  • If you have any of your stuffed turkey left over for Christmas, you can freeze it No problem. When reheating it, do it gently, otherwise the meat will dry out.

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