Mains Protein Recipes

Classic Christmas Turkey with Chestnut and Mushroom Stuffing

Christmas is not complete without a turkey feast.

Recipe by Philip Leung, executive chef at Hotel ICON.

 

PREP & COOK TIME
1.5 hours; 40 minutes

INGREDIENTS
(Makes 1)

3kg whole Brittany baby turkey (2.5kg to 3kg)
Olive oil
Sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper
A few springs fresh rosemary
2 onions, peeled and roughly chopped
2 sticks celery, roughly chopped
2 carrots, roughly chopped

Stuffing
1 loaf of white bread, soaked in water
200g caramelised chestnuts
2 onions, chopped
200g fresh white button mushrooms, chopped
50g celery, diced
3g fresh sage leaves, chopped
3g fresh rosemary
A sprinkle of ground nutmeg
250ml gravy
80g butter
Sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper

STEPS

1. Prepare the turkey

  • Take the baby turkey out of the fridge about an hour to come to room temperature before roasting. Give it a good rinse and pat dry with kitchen towels, make sure to soak up the water in the cavity.
  • Drizzle meat with olive oil, add a few sprinkles of salt and pepper, then rub the seasoning all over the turkey including all the nooks and crannies.

2. Make the stuffing

  • Preheat oven to 180°C. In a large pan on medium heat, pour a lug or two of olive oil and stir-fry chopped onion for about 10 minutes or until softened. Add a pinch of salt and pepper, ground nutmeg and chopped sage leaves. Continue to dry and stir for another minute.
  • Spoon onion mixture into a large bowl and let cool completely. Once cooled, add soft bread and mix well with hands. Cover and set aside to cool.

3. Stuff the turkey

  • Pull back the turkey’s skin at the neck-end to reveal a cavity and push about half the stuffing inside. Be careful not to pack the turkey so tight that it will cook unevenly. Once done, pull and fold the skin over the opening and tuck it under the bird.

4. Roast the turkey

  • Place your roughly chopped vegetables on a roasting pan and lay the turkey on top. Season the turkey to taste and decorate with a few sprigs of sage and rosemary.
  • Cover the turkey with foil and place in the oven. Cook for about 30 to 40 minutes per kilo. This particular turkey of 2.5 to 3kg will take about 40 minutes to 2 hours to cook.
  • Check on the turkey every 15 minutes or so and keep it from drying out by basting it with juices from the bottom of the pan. About 20 minutes, remove the foil so the skin turns golden and crispy.

5. Serve

  • When cooked, take turkey out of the oven and stick a small sharp knife into the fattest part of the thigh. If juices run clear and the meat pulls apart easily, the turkey is ready. If not, place the turkey back into the oven to cook and check again. Once ready, rest the turkey for at least 30 minutes, preferably 45 minutes for bigger birds. Meanwhile, get vegetables and gravy ready.
  • Carve the bird and serve.

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