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Turkey with Orange-Thyme Butter and Fennel and Bacon Stuffing

Serves 8

Turkey with Orange-Thyme Butter and Fennel and Bacon Stuffing


For the turkey
4 ounces/110g (1 stick) butter, softened
1 tablespoon/15ml fresh Italian parsley, chopped
2 teaspoons/10ml fresh thyme, chopped
2 teaspoons/10ml orange peel, grated
  Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
12 lb./5.5kg to 14 lb. /6kg turkey neck and giblets removed
6 thin orange slices
1 garlic head halved horizontally
Small handful fresh thyme sprigs
2 onions peeled and each cut into eighths
2 carrots peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
2 celery stalks cut into 1-inch pieces
2 cups/480ml turkey stock or chicken stock
For the stuffing:
12 slices applewood-smoked bacon, coarsely chopped
1 large onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves finely chopped
8 ounces/230g mild or spicy Italian sausages casings removed
2 tablespoons/30ml fresh Italian parsley, chopped
  1 tablespoon/15mlfresh thyme, chopped
2 fennel bulbs diced
1/4 cup/60ml dry white wine
1/2 cup/120ml (1 stick) butter, diced
3/4 cup/180ml broth turkey or chicken
1-pound/230g French baguette cut into 3/4-inch cubes
1 large egg beaten to blend

Cooking Instructions

For the turkey:
Preheat oven to 350 F.

Mix the first 4 ingredients in a medium bowl. Season the butter mixture to taste with salt and pepper.

Beginning at the neck end of the turkey and using your fingers, carefully make a pocket between the flesh and skin of the turkey breasts.

Gently slide all but 1 tablespoon of the butter mixture into the pocket under the skin, and spread the butter to cover the turkey breasts.

Slide the orange slices under the skin and over the breasts.

Stuff the main turkey cavity with the garlic halves, thyme sprigs, and a fourth of the onions, carrots, and celery.

Truss the turkey then spread the reserved 1 tablespoon of butter mixture over the turkey. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Place the remaining onions, carrots, and celery in a heavy large roasting pan.

Pour 1 cup of broth over the vegetables.

Place the turkey on top of the vegetables and cover the breasts with foil. Roast for 2 hours.

Remove the foil covering the turkey breasts and add the remaining 1 cup of broth to the pan. Continue roasting until an instant-read meat thermometer inserted into the thigh registers 165 F, about 3-1/2 to 4 hours.

Remove from the oven and let rest 30 minutes.

To prepare the stuffing:
Fry the bacon in a heavy large sauté pan over medium-high heat until golden brown, about 7 minutes.

Using a slotted spoon, transfer the bacon to a baking sheet or plate. Pour off all but 2 tablespoons of the fat remaining in the pan.

Add the onions to the same pan and sauté until tender, about 4 minutes.

Add the garlic and sauté until fragrant, about 30 seconds.

Add the sausages, parsley, and thyme and cook until the sausage browns, about 4 minutes.

Add the fennel and cook until tender and pale golden, stirring often, about 5 minutes. Stir in the cooked bacon.

Add the wine and bring to a simmer.

Add the butter and cook until the butter melts.

Remove from the heat and stir in the broth.

Place the bread cubes in a very large bowl.

Add the sausage mixture and toss to coat.

Season the stuffing to taste with salt and pepper.

Mix in the egg.

Transfer the stuffing to a 13x9x2-inch baking dish.

Cover with foil and bake alongside the turkey for 25 minutes.

Uncover the stuffing and bake until golden brown on top, about 15 minutes.

Carve the turkey and serve it with the stuffing.

Equipment List

Roasting Pans
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