Talking about American stuffed turkey is quite complex. There is no single recipe, each family and each area has its own typical recipe.
For example here are some special filling variations: on the East Coast States turkey is stuffed with oysters, in other states with corn, and it is not that uncommon to use a local product such as wild rice.
Other very popular fillings (also in Europe) are chestnuts, plums and dried fruit in general – in addition to minced pork.
Below the most popular recipe
For the turkey.
For a family lunch: 700/800 grams of turkey per person
It’s essential a meat thermometer
- 1 large turkey (approximately 7/8 kg)
- 250g butter at room temperature
- 3 tablespoons chopped parsley
- 1/2 litre chicken stock
- 1/2 litre of white wine
FOR THE FILLING
- 1/2 kg of white bread cut into cubes
- 500 g boiled and peeled chestnuts, cut into quarters
- 5 celery ribs, coarsely chopped
- 3 tablespoons of fresh sage finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon of salt
- a handful of roughly chopped parsley
- black pepper
- 4 lemons
FOR THE GRAVY SAUCE
- 1 litre of chicken broth
- 50g of flour 00
- thyme and rosemary
FOR THE CRANBERRY SAUCE
- 250 g of sugar
- 250 ml of water
- 500g of American cranberries
- 1 orange
FOR THE TURKEY
- preheat the oven to 220°. Let the broth heat slowly
together with the wine and half the amount of butter. Check if the turkey is clean from its feathers, otherwise burn them with a lighter (pay attention! Do it in a well ventilated environment because the smell of burnt feathers is not very pleasant). Then wash it with cold water, drying it thoroughly.
- Mix the soft butter with thyme, parsley (if you prefer rosemary and sage) and some lemon zest carefully chopped. Add salt and pepper to taste. Set aside two tablespoons of this mixture for the gravy sauce.
- Spread the meat from the neck to the chest and legs with the remaining mixture of butter and spices, gently detaching the skin from the neck with the fingers (be careful not to break it!!). Once done, spread the outside and inside of the turkey and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
- for the filling: put the lemons and onions cut into 4 segments and the rest of the ingredients in a bowl. Season with salt, pepper and spices.
- fill the turkey generously from both cavities with the filling, take care not to fill it too much!
To close the turkey: lift the skin on both sides and fix it with toothpicks to prevent the filling from leaking out during cooking. If the skin is not enough, tie the thighs with the kitchen string or fill the cavities with half lemon. Fold the wings under the turkey.
- (it is possible to sauté the filling in a pan separately and stuffing the turkey at the end of cooking)
- place the turkey with the chest upwards in the oven already warm and wait for 20 minutes. Then remove it and brush the surface with the mixture of broth, wine and butter previously prepared (see the recipe at the beginning).
- When the temperature reaches 180 º, put the turkey in the oven and cook for another two hours. Remember to sprinkle the turkey with the same compound at half an hour intervals. If you notice that the turkey skin is burning cover it with a little aluminium.
- after two hours, measure the temperature of the turkey by inserting the thermometer near the thigh bone, taking care not to touch it. Bring the temperature to 75°; it should require another hour of cooking, for a total of three hours but this depends on the size of the turkey.
- When the temperature is reached remove the turkey from the oven and transfer it to a serving plate, without throwing the sauce. Let rest at room temperature for 20-30 minutes.
FOR THE GRAVY SAUCE
- Pour the cooking juices into a container and let rest for a few minutes until the fats are separated. Then collect the fat on the surface and set aside.
- Meanwhile, heat two tablespoons of butter in a pan with a little thyme, rosemary and sage to taste, along with a tablespoon of turkey fat previously obtained from juices. Add also 50g of flour.
- Stir constantly until you get a golden mixture. Slowly add the degreased turkey juices and bring to a boil while stirring. Finally, add the broth at regular intervals, stirring constantly until you get a liquid but dense consistency. It takes at least 10 minutes. finally season with salt and pepper to taste.
FOR THE CRANBERRY SAUCE
- put the sugar in a saucepan and dissolve it with water until it boils.
- Add the cranberries well washed with running water and heat over medium heat for about 6 minutes. Remove the foam. Then add the grated zest and orange juice and mix until well combined.