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Traditional Roast Turkey with American Stuffing



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Traditional Roast Turkey with American StuffingFood historians tell us the practice of serving large, stuffed fowl for Christmas, like many other

Christian holiday food traditions, was borrowed from earlier cultural practices. Peacocks, swans, geese and turkeys all fit this bill. The larger the bird, the more festive the presence. "New World"

Turkeys were introduced to Europe in the 16th century. For many years, these "exotic" turkey birds only graced the tables of the wealthy.

Bake the Traditional Roast Turkey with a stuffing of bread cubes, celery, walnut, sausage and sage.

It is usually served with vegetables, Sweet Potato& Carrot Puree, and Cranberry & Orange Sauce.


Ingredients: 8 to 10 servings

1 frozen 4.5 to 5kg turkey, thawed in the refrigerator for 3 days

Juice and grated peel of half orange

¾ cup butter, room temperature

A piece of gauze (20cm side square) to cover breast

1 teaspoon ground sweet paprika

Salt, ground white pepper

2 pieces of thick and wide aluminum foil

Vegetables such as zucchini and carrots or as preferred

For the stuffing

4 tablespoons butter, room temperature

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

1 ½ cups finely chopped onion

400g beef, minced

Juice and grated peel of half orange

½ cup chopped celery stems

2 medium size yellow apples, chopped into 1cm cubes

200g smoked thick ham slices or turkey mortadella, cut into 1cm squares

4 ½ cups crustless white loaf bread cut into 1cm cubes

¾ cup toasted and chopped walnuts

½ cup chopped parsley

1 teaspoon dried French thyme

2 teaspoons ground sage (or 5 tablespoons fresh chopped)

2 teaspoons ground black pepper

For chicken gravy (optional)

1 ½ cups chicken stock

1 ½ tablespoons butter, room temperature

1 ½ tablespoons flour

1/2 teaspoon ground white pepper

For garnish

Celery leaves

2 paper hats for turkey legs


  1. Pre heat oven to 220C°.
  2. Rinse turkey and dry well inside out. Rub with orange juice and peel as well as salt and pepper, do not forget cavity.
  3. Place two big heavy foil papers in a cross shape on an oven pan and place turkey on foil breast side down. Stuff neck cavity and close using small metallic or wooden skewers or a needle and thread.
  4. Combine paprika, salt and white pepper. Sprinkle half of it over turkey’s back then rub with a quarter cup of butter.
  5. With bird breast side up, stuff cavity and close it. Sprinkle turkey with remaining paprika mixture and rub with a quarter cup of butter.
  6. Arrange remaining stuffing in oven dish and bake for half an hour before serving.
  7. Melt remaining quarter cup of butter in a bowl. Soak gauze in bowl to absorb butter and place over turkey breast.
  8. With string, tie turkey legs together.  Bring both ends of aluminum foil together and fold to seal the turkey well allowing as much room as possible for the air to circulate.  This will look like a tent over the turkey.
  9. Roast turkey for 25 minutes then reduce oven temperature to 170C° and keep roasting for three hours.
  10. Remove turkey from oven and increase temperature to 200C°.
  11. Uncover turkey and discard gauze. Return turkey to oven and roast for another half an hour, coating with drippings often.
  12. When cooked the thigh juices run clear and not pink when inserted with a skewer.  A thermometer should register 85C° (185 Fº) when inserted into the thigh meat.
  13. Remove turkey from oven and let stand partially covered with foil for half an hour.
  14. Strain stock into bowl, discard fat and add stock to prepared gravy.
  15. Remove skewers or string from turkey and surround with prepared vegetables, garnish and serve remaining stuffing on the side. Gravy may also be served on the side (if used), as well as cranberry sauce (see recipe below) and sweet potato and carrot puree (see recipe below).
  16. To prepare stuffing: Over medium heat, fry onion in butter and vegetable oil until tender without coloring. Increase heat, add meat and fry until cooked and brown. Add orange juice and peel, salt and pepper and cook until orange juice evaporates.
  17. Add celery and apple to onion and meat mixture and fry for a few seconds. Remove from heat and place in a big bowl to cool.
  18. To meat bowl, add smoked ham or turkey squares, bread, walnuts, parsley, thyme, sage, salt and pepper. Mix and season to taste.
  19. To prepare chicken gravy (if used):  In pot, over medium heat, bring chicken stock to the boil.
  20. Mix butter and flour and gradually add in to boiling stock, constantly stirring, until gravy thickens. Add in white pepper and serve hot on the side.
© 2005 Cooking Courses Marlene Matar