Some foods are characteristic of specific countries, while others are so incredible that they are known in almost every nation in the world. This is the case with stuffed turkey.
The preparation may vary a little from country to country, but the basis of the dish is the same everywhere. The North American Indians, from Mexico to Canada, used to eat turkey throughout the year, especially during the Christmas season. With the European conquest came the celebration of Christmas, which changed the traditional customs of this population; however, turkey dinners continued and soon became synonymous with Christmas celebrations.
From America, this custom traveled to Europe, and from Europe, it spread to the rest of the world. Because it was impossible many years ago to refrigerate the meat, eating turkey was reserved for the nobility, as these animals had to be fattened, slaughtered, and immediately taken to be cooked. In the mid-20th century, when refrigeration became more affordable, and turkey farms became more popular, turkey became a typical meal among middle-class households worldwide.
Now turkey is not only consumed at Christmas but is also often the star meal of any family celebration and holiday. In addition, stuffed turkey recipes are often shared in families from generation to generation. For that reason, it is a dish of great importance in many cultures, and surely, when you learn how to prepare it, you will have many opportunities to share it with the people closest to you. Ready to surprise everyone?
How to prepare a stuffed turkey?
Before starting the preparation, take into account the number of people who will share this dish with you. This way, you can choose a turkey according to these needs. You can find huge turkeys for sale, while smaller ones may be better for small gatherings or just for you.
Ingredients: (For approximately 6 people)
- 1 turkey of 4 - 5 kg
- 1 onion
- 1 stick of butter
- 50 ml of sweet wine
For the filling:
- 300 grams of bacon
- 1 apple
- 4 slices of stale bread
- 1 package of prunes
- 1 box of dried apricots
- Poultry broth
- The first step is to clean the turkey. Remove the animal's feathers if it still has them, remove the turkey's entrails from the inside, and clean the inside. Do not wash it, as you could spread its germs.
- Fill a syringe with the wine and inject the liquid into several places in the turkey, both in the breast and legs. This will make it very juicy.
- Season the turkey with salt and pepper, inside and out, and spread the lard on the skin.
- Preheat the oven to about 220°C and, while it reaches the temperature, hydrate the raisins and dried apricots, cut them into small pieces, and add them to a bowl.
- Sauté the previously chopped bread and, when finished, let it soak in the broth. In the meantime, chop the bacon and the other filling ingredients and add them to the bowl of raisins.
- Remove the bread from the broth and add it to the bowl; mix everything, and stuff the turkey. Help yourself with a spoon and spread everything nicely inside the turkey.
- If you have kitchen thread, sew the turkey well so that no stuffing comes out while baking. Otherwise, it doesn't matter.
- Lower the temperature to 180°C and put the turkey in the oven. Ideally, it should be baked for about 45 minutes per kilo so that the cooking time can be approximately 1 to 4 hours.
- After 1 hour of cooking, cover the turkey with aluminum foil to prevent it from drying out.
- When the time is up, it is time to serve. You can add fruits such as grapes and more apples around the turkey, as the sweet touch will go great with the flavor of the turkey.
- Add aromatic herbs before cooking the turkey if you want even more flavor. Also, some people not only inject the turkey with wine but also bathe it in it so that it absorbs even more flavor.
- After cooking, do not let the turkey remain in the oven, as it may overcook and dry out. Turkey is best eaten freshly cooked, so take it out, let it warm, and then it's time to eat.
- There are no rules about turkey side dishes, and it all depends on each person's taste. Some eat it with potatoes, others with apple salad, and others with Christmas ham.
- Some people prepare a special sauce with wine, onion, orange, and ground turkey entrails. So don't throw away this part of the animal because you can make other recipes with it.
With this recipe and these tips, you can get the best out of turkey. So dare to prepare it and enjoy this traditional dish.