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collection by ICAF Europe

Roast turkey and alternative stuffings:

1 turkey (size dependent on number dining)
some strips of smoked bacon
fat for the roasting pan
some sausages (optional)
stuffing (usually 2 different stuffings; see below for alternatives)

Clean the turkey, but save the heart and liver. It is traditional to stuff with two different stuffings, one at each end of the bird. Once stuffed, put strips of streaky bacon across the breast and follow the roasting instructions for the weight of the stuffed bird and your oven. Some people start roasting larger birds with the breast meat side down, and part way through the roasting turn it breast upwards, putting the bacon on the breast. Some people add sausages to the roasting pan in time for the sausages to cook, and serve these with the turkey. Others put potatoes in the roasting pan until golden brown.

Photograph (c)2008 Helen Macbeth

A small Roast Turkey, showing bacon over the breast and accompanying sausages. There are different stuffings at each end of the bird and the neck flap is shown sewn over the stuffing at the neck end.

Stuffing 1: made with pork sausage meat and the giblets of the turkey

Ingredients: (quantities to be altered according to amount required for size of turkey)
200 g pork sausage meat
giblets of the turkey (liver, heart, etc.)
100 g fresh white breadcrumbs
1/2 teaspoon of ground nutmeg (optional)
1 tablespoon brandy (optional)
1/2 teaspoon of salt

Chop and mix all the ingredients well. Insert into the neck end of the turkey, and sew up or skewer the flap of skin to seal the stuffing into the bird.

Stuffing 2: made with sweet chestnuts

Ingredients: (quantities to be altered according to amount required for size of turkey)
200 g sweet chestnuts (either fresh or canned or if dried soaked over the previous night)
100 g fresh white breadcrumbs
1 small onion
1/2 teaspoon salt
a pinch of ground nutmeg
About 2 tablespoons of a white sauce (made of flour, butter and milk)
Pepper to taste.

Photograph (c)2008 Helen Macbeth

Peel and boil the chestnuts until soft. Chop or crumble the cooked chestnuts into small pieces. Make a little white sauce. Chop the onion finely. Mix the chestnuts, breadcrumbs, salt, nutmeg and pepper. Add enough of the white sauce to dampen to a stiff but malleable consistency. When cool insert into the turkey, probably as an alternative for the neck end, and sew up the skin flap.

Stuffing 3: made with breadcrumbs onion and green herbs

Ingredients: (quantities to be altered according to amount required for size of turkey)
2 onions
200 g fresh white breadcrumbs
Dried or fresh (if available) green herbs of choice or mixed herbs
1 teaspoon of salt
Pepper to taste

Chop the onions finely and mix all the ingredients well. I use an electric blender. Often the onions provide enough moisture, but, if not damp enough to make into a sticky ball, add a little water. Insert into the turkey, probably into the larger cavity by the legs, although it is optional which stuffing goes where.

There are many other varieties of stuffings, for example some with fruit.