Roasted stuffed Turkey

A 13-15 lb turkey serves 6


1 turkey, with giblets

1 onion, coarsely chopped

A sprig of thyme

1 bay leaf

4 oz. salted butter

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Lemon and Herb stuffing

2 eggs

4 oz. plus 1 tablespoon butter, melted

A handful of fresh parsley leaves

1 teaspoon chopped fresh lemon thyme

Freshly grated zest and juice of 1 unwaxed lemon

4½ cups fresh white bread crumbs

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Chestnut stuffing

14 oz. fresh chestnuts

1 cup milk

4 oz. sausages or sausage meat

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 onion, chopped

6 oz. turkey liver, chopped

2 oz. fatty bacon, finely chopped

1 tablespoon chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley or marjoram

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Lemon and herb stuffing:

put the eggs, butter, parsley, lemon thyme, and lemon zest and juice in a food processor and blend to a smooth purée. Put the bread crumbs in a bowl, pour over the egg mixture, and mix well. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Chestnut stuffing: cook fresh chestnuts in a saucepan of boiling water for about 3 minutes to soften the shells. Peel them while still hot, wearing rubber gloves. Put the peeled fresh chestnuts in a saucepan, cover them with the milk, and simmer gently until softened, about 30 minutes to 1 hour, depending on how fresh they are. Strain them if necessary, then weigh out 7 oz. and put in a bowl. Crumble the cooked chestnuts with your fingers and use the sausage meat to bind them. Heat the oil in a skillet, add onion, liver, and bacon and fry gently until the liver is firm. Stir in the parsley and cook until the mixture begins to brown. Add to the chestnuts with some salt and pepper.

Turkey: to make a stock, the day before put the giblets, minus the liver but with the neck chopped in half, in saucepan. Add the onion, thyme, and bay leaf, cover with water and bring to a boil, removing any foam. Reduce the heat and simmer for 2 hours, then strain. Taste and, if necessary, simmer for a little longer to reduce and strengthen the flavor.

The next day, wipe out the neck area and cavity of the turkey with a damp cloth and lightly season the inside with salt and pepper. Spoon the lemon and herb stuffing into the body cavity and the chestnut stuffing into the neck cavity, allowing plenty of room for them to expand. This is particularly important for the neck stuffing.

Put half the butter in a saucepan and melt gently. Spread the remaining butter all over the skin of the turkey. Soak the cheesecloth in the melted butter and drape over the bird, with a double layer covering the drumsticks.

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Put the bird in a large roasting pan in the middle of the oven. Roast for the calculated time according to size, except that the oven temperature must be raised to 400°F and the cheesecloth covering removed for the last 30 minutes in order to crisp the skin. Remove the turkey from the oven, cover with a tent of aluminum foil, and leave in a warm place to rest while you prepare your side dishes.

Using oven mitts, tip out any free juices from the cavity, then lift the turkey onto a serving platter. Pour off the turkey juices from the pan, preferably into a gravy separator or pitcher to be able to lift off the fat, then reheat with the seasoned stock. Serve as is or for a traditional gravy, pour juices into a pan, thicken with a small amount of flour and cook well, stirring to prevent burning. Reserve extra gravy in a Thermos for second helpings. Serve turkey and gravy with roasted potatoes, roasted parsnips, candied yams, bacon rolls, cranberry relish, and Brussels sprouts.

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