Apricot, Walnut, and Bread - Stuffed Roast Turkey with Whole Roasted Garlic and Potatoes Recipe

Apricot, Walnut, and Bread - Stuffed Roast Turkey with Whole Roasted Garlic and Potatoes Recipes

Ingredients :

The Stuffing:

3 tbsp butter

3 tbsp olive oil

3 large onions, peeled and chopped

1/2 head garlic, peeled and chopped

12 large ribs celery, trimmed and chopped

1 bunch scallions, trimmed and chopped

1/4 cup chopped fresh thyme; or 2 tbsp dried

1 cup chopped fresh parsley

1 cup walnut halves, chopped

1 cup dried apricots, chopped

salt and freshly ground black pepper

about 1/2 cup milk

2 large loaves bread, broken into small pieces, about 12 cups (You can use any type of bread you like for this stuffing or, even better, a mixture of several types of bread. Ideally, you will start collecting scraps of bread a few days before making the turkey and let them dry out in a large bowl. If you buy bread specifically for the stuffing, break it apart in small pieces and let it dry out overnight before proceeding.)


The Turkey, Garlic, and Potatoes:

1 tbsp mild vegetable or olive oil

one 16-pound turkey, totally thawed if frozen

5 tbsp butter

12 cloves garlic, peeled and left whole

salt and freshly ground black pepper

sweet Hungarian paprika

1 cup chopped fresh chives (optional)

2 whole heads garlic, unpeeled

about 30 small new potatoes, scrubbed


The Stock and Gravy:

1 turkey neck

1 turkey heart

about 8 cups cold water

2 small onions, peeled and cut into quarters

2 large ribs celery, trimmed and chopped

1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley

1 bay leaf

5 black peppercorns


4 sprigs fresh thyme; or 1 tsp dried

about 2 tbsp all-purpose flour

freshly ground black pepper

Method :

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Prepare the stuffing: Place the bread in a large bowl. In a large skillet, melt the butter and the oil over moderate heat. Add the onions and cook, stirring, until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, celery, scallions, thyme and half of the parsley and cook until soft about 5 minutes longer. Add the walnuts, apricots and a hefty sprinkle of salt and pepper. The mixture should be cooked through but not soft and limp. Add this mixture to the bowl with the bread and mix well. Add the remaining parsley and additional salt and pepper. Pour 1/2 cup milk into the empty skillet and heat for 1 minute, scraping up any bits clinging to the bottom. Pour the warm milk over the stuffing and mix well. The stuffing should be somewhat moist; add more milk (or water) if needed. Do not make the stuffing more than 1 hour ahead of time and never stuff the turkey more than 30 minutes before roasting.

Grease the bottom of a large flameproof roasting pan with the oil. Using your hands, generously stuff the cavity of the turkey, pressing down firmly to get as much stuffing in as possible without letting it overflow. stuff the neck cavity, being careful not to overstuff it. Sew the openings with a trussing needle and string or poultry lacers, or close with wooden skewers. Place the turkey in the roasting pan, breast-side up. Pack any remaining stuffing into a small or medium-size lightly greased casserole and set aside.

In the same skillet used to cook the stuffing, melt the butter over moderate heat. Add the cloves of garlic and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Pour the melted butter and garlic over the turkey. Sprinkle the skin with salt, pepper, and a generous pinch of paprika. Sprinkle the chives over the turkey.

Roast the turkey for 15 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 325 degrees and baste the turkey. Cover the turkey very loosely with aluminum foil, creating a kind of tent. Continue roasting the turkey, basting it every 20 minutes or so, for 15-20 minutes per pound. (Farm-raised fresh turkeys roast much faster than grocery store brands, so generally a fresh turkey needs only 15 minutes per pound). The turkey is done when the juices run clear and not pink when an inner thigh is pierced.

About 1 hour 15 minutes before the turkey is done, add the 2 heads of garlic and the potatoes to the pan and baste well. During the last 20-30 minutes of roasting time, add the casserole of extra stuffing to the oven and bake until heated through. While the turkey is roasting, prepare a turkey stock for the gravy: Place all the ingredients for the gravy except the flour and ground pepper in a medium-size saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to low and simmer until the stock is flavorful, about 2 hours. Season to taste.

Remove the roasting pan from the oven and place the turkey on a carving board. Let sit, loosely covered with aluminum foil, for 15-20 minutes. Place the whole garlic, potatoes, and loose garlic cloves in a bowl, loosely covered with foil to keep warm.

Meanwhile, finish the gravy: Using a large spoon or a gravy or grease separator, discard all but a few tablespoons of the fat. Place the roasting pan over two burners. Bring to a simmer over moderate heat, scraping any bits and pieces clinging to the bottom of the pan. Whisk in 2 tbsp of flour. Cook for about 2 minutes and then slowly strain in about 4 cups of the turkey stock you have been cooking. Whisk to prevent lumps. Bring to a simmer and add salt and pepper to season.

Scoop the stuffing out of the turkey and place in a warm bowl. Carve the turkey and serve with the hot gravy, roasted garlic, and potatoes. Pass the additional stuffing separately.

Makes 10 servings

Don't wait until Thanksgiving to try this recipe. Make half of a quarter of the stuffing and try it in a large chicken, capon, or several Cornish hens (A capon is a 10-week-old cock that was castrated when young. They are generally 7-10 pounds and quite tender.) This recipe makes enough stuffing to generously fill the cavity and neck of a 16-pound turkey, as well as a small casserole dish.

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