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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

Ingredients

For the turkey:
4 ounces softened butter
1 tablespoon fresh Italian parsley, chopped
2 teaspoons fresh thyme, chopped
2 teaspoons orange peel, grated
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
12 to 14-pound turkey, neck and giblets removed
6 thin slices orange
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 stalks celery, cut into 1-inch pieces
2 cups turkey stock or chicken stock
For the stuffing:
12 slices applewood-smoked bacon, coarsely chopped
8 ounces mild or spicy Italian sausages, casings removed
1 large onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 tablespoons fresh Italian parsley, chopped
1 tablespoon fresh thyme, chopped
2 fennel bulbs diced
1/4 cup dry white wine
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, diced
3/4 cup turkey broth or chicken broth
1-pound 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.

For the stuffing:
In a large sauté pan, cook bacon and sausage until rendered. Reserve 2 tablespoons fat. Sauté onions and garlic in reserved fat until onions are translucent. Add parsley, thyme and fennel and sauté for an additional 3 to 4 minutes. Add wine and simmer until cooked off. Let cool. In a large mixing bowl, add butter, broth, cubed baguette and egg. Stir in all cooked ingredients and mix well. Place mixture into a 9x13 baking dish and bake at 350 F for 35 to 40 minutes until set and golden brown.

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