We cannot imagine the traditional Christmas menu without the delicious roast turkey. However, preparing it is not an easy task due to its large size. Probably every housewife has some worries about whether it will turn out a tasty and juicy main dish. Today, we’ll help you figure out how to prepare a great stuffed turkey without bothering about whether the meat will dry out. With the right approach, ingredients, and preparation time, you’ll have a wonderful and very tasty main dish that will satisfy even the most discerning palates!
Delicious stuffed turkey recipe for a traditional Christmas dinner
A stuffed turkey is a mandatory centerpiece found at the festive Christmas tables in many countries. Preparing it certainly requires great precision and skills, but it’s not something to be worried about! We’ve prepared a stuffed turkey recipe idea for you to discover exactly what you’ll need and what steps you’ll have to follow to get everything right and, most importantly, to make sure it’s delicious and no one can resist the aroma coming from the oven! Let’s get started without wasting any more time!
Turkey with rice, bacon and sage
Our recipe suggestion for stuffed Christmas turkey will not trouble you at all if you follow our steps consistently. You know that it’s best not to put off cooking until the last minute. Keep in mind that you will have to prepare the turkey the day before, as it needs to be in brine for at least 12 hours. We chose a stuffing of two types of rice, bacon and sage. The stuffing is fresh, rich in flavors and pairs beautifully with the turkey meat. In fact, it’s no problem to prepare the stuffing the day before either, that way the next day all you have to do is stuff the turkey and roast it! That way, you’ll have more time for the other dishes you have planned to make for the Christmas table! Now let’s see what you will need for the stuffed turkey and how to prepare it!
Total cooking time – 3 ½ hours to 4 hours
Preparation – 30 minutes
Level of difficulty – medium
For turkey brine:
12 pounds (5 kg) whole turkey
extra virgin olive oil
3 stalks celery
1 tablespoon ground black pepper
coarse sea salt
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon allspice
3-4 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon celery seeds
1 teaspoon coriander seeds
2 large onions
1 large carrot
salt and ground black pepper to taste
1 cup basmati rice
1 cup wild rice
400 g bacon, chopped
1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage
Follow our detailed instructions for making roasted stuffed turkey for Christmas, and you’ll end up with a uniquely delicious dish your guests won’t fail to love! Chances are they’ll be asking for more!
Preparing the turkey
Take the turkey out of the fridge in advance and bring it to room temperature for at least an hour.
Wash the turkey and dry it thoroughly with paper towels, including the cavity of the bird.
Place the turkey in a large bowl it can fit in. Add cold water so that it covers the turkey. Transfer the water to another large pot and add salt at a ratio of 1 tsp salt to 1 quart of water.
Cut the celery into small pieces. Add the celery, cayenne pepper, allspice, black pepper, coriander and celery seeds to the pot with water and salt. Bring the water with the spices to a boil and simmer for 10 minutes.
Let it cool until it reaches room temperature. Then pour the brine over the turkey, cover it with a lid or foil and leave it in a cool place for 12-24 hours.
Preparing the stuffing
Chop the carrot and onions finely. Add oil to a large skillet and cook the vegetables over medium heat for about 2-3 minutes, then add the chopped bacon and cook for another 5 minutes. Wash the rice well and pour it into the pan with the vegetables and bacon. Add 3 cups of warm water and cook until the rice absorbs the moisture. Stir periodically.
Finally, add salt and pepper to taste, and 1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage.
Remove stuffing from heat and let cool completely.
Stuffing the turkey
Take the turkey out of the brine, pat dry and brush with olive oil on all sides.
First stuff the turkey from the neck, pushing the stuffing as far inside as possible. Sew with thread.
Fill the belly of the bird with the stuffing, but a little loosely to allow air to circulate inside and the bird to roast, and carefully sew the opening with thread.
Roasting the turkey
Place the turkey, breast down, on the wire rack in a roasting pan. Pour 2 cups of water into the roasting pan. Cover everything with foil to allow the hot air and steam to circulate inside.
Place in an oven preheated to 392 °F (200 °C). After 15 minutes, reduce the temperature to 320 °F (160 °C). Cook for 3 hours.
Take the turkey tray out of the oven, remove the foil, drain the liquid that has formed in the tray. Don’t throw the liquid away – use it for gravy for the turkey!
Brush the turkey with melted butter and return it to the oven for another 15 minutes. Repeat the process until the crust is golden, and the turkey is cooked through.
Take the turkey out and cover it with foil and let it rest for 20-30 minutes. Then remove the thread and place it on a warmed platter.