Nothing says ‘the holidays’ like a stuffed turkey on the dinner table!
2 ½ - 3 kilo turkey
salt & pepper
for the marinade:
juice of 4-5 oranges
¾ cup cognac
4 cups sweet white wine
for the stuffing:
4 tbsp butter
200g ground pork (pancetta or neck)
rinsed turkey liver (the one that came with the whole turkey)
1 onion, finely chopped
1 medium leek, sliced into rounds
3 tbsp Carolina rice
1 apple, finely chopped
1 ½ cup boiled chestnuts (you can buy them fully prepared and vacuum packed), halved
2 tbsp black raisins
2 tbsp dry roasted pine nuts
2 cups water
salt & pepper
1 pinch seasoning mix
1 pinch paprika
¾ - 1 cup gruyere cheese
for the spread:
1 cup room temperature butter
½ cup fresh spearmint, finely chopped
½ cup fresh parsley, finely chopped
½ cup cream cheese
Begin with the marinade, the day prior to cooking the turkey. Find a large tub that the entire turkey will fit into. Put the turkey into the tub and fill with all of the ingredients for the marinade. Before you go to sleep turn the turkey over so the other side gets to marinate, and turn again when you wake up in the morning.
The next morning, mix together all the ingredients for the spread in a bowl. Remove the turkey from the tub and dry with paper towels. Save the marinade for later. Locate the place at the base of the turkey’s neck where the head has been severed, and slowly and carefully lift the skin away from the meat, making sure not to rip it. Spread the cheese and herb spread under the turkey’s skin all over its body. Place the turkey in a deep baking dish and set aside.
Next move on to the stuffing. Melt the butter in a pot over a high flame. Throw in the ground pork, liver, onion, and leek and saute thoroughly until the pork is browned. Then add the rice, apple, chestnuts, raisins and pine nuts. Mix well, then add the water. Let cook on high heat for a few minutes, then lower the heat and add the spices, salt & pepper to taste. Allow to cook slowly for about 10’ until all the water is absorbed. Remove the pan from the flame and sprinkle the grated gruyere cheese over top of the mixture.
Preheat the oven to 180°C. Stuff the turkey with the stuffing, and sew shut or tuck the legs into the tail/butt skin of the turkey to prevent stuffing leakage. Pour some of the original marinade, which you set aside, into the baking dish with the turkey, and cook for 2-2 ½ hours, basting every half hour. The turkey is ready when the meat is tender and the skin is a golden brown. One way to double check if your turkey is ready is to push on the skin of the leg, close to the bone. If the juice coming out is clear then it’s ready! If it’s not clear, then keep cooking. If the skin is getting too brown cover your turkey with aluminum foil.