Roast turkey with chestnut stuffing

Roast turkey with chestnut stuffing

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(2 ratings)


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Cooking time

Prep: 20 mins Cook: 4 hrs

Skill level

Moderately easy


Serves 8, with leftovers

The classic Christmas turkey with a flavour-packed sausage-based stuffing - you'll have plenty left to serve on the side too

Nutrition and extra info

  • Uncooked stuffing can be frozen
Nutrition info

Nutrition per serving (for 10)

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For the stuffing

  • 150ml Madeira or white wine
  • 20g pack dried porcini mushrooms
  • 2 onions, halved and sliced
  • 25g butter, plus extra
  • 15g pack thyme, use the leaves and reserve the stalks
  • 2 x 454g packs Cumberland sausages, skins removed
  • 200g pack whole cooked chestnuts (I used Merchant Gourmet)
  • zest 1 lemon (halve and reserve the rest to use for the turkey)
  • 15g pack flat-leaf parsley, chopped
  • 85g fresh breadcrumbs
  • 10 rashers streaky bacon

For the turkey

  • 1 onion, quartered
  • 4½ -5.6kg/10-12lb bronze turkey, giblets removed (to use in stock)
  • 85g soft butter
  • 1 whole nutmeg
  • 10 rashers streaky bacon
  • 125ml glass Madeira or white wine
  • watercress sprigs, to garnish

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  1. First make the stuffing. Pour the Madeira or wine into a bowl, then crumble in the mushrooms. Fry the onions in the butter for 10 mins, until golden. Cool, then mix with the thyme leaves, the mushrooms and their soaking liquid, and all remaining ingredients, apart from 8 of the chestnuts and the bacon. Season well.
  2. Set aside half of the stuffing. Line a greased 500g loaf tin with bacon. Pack the rest of the stuffing into the tin, then bring the rashers round over the top and secure in place with cocktail sticks. Use the reserved chestnuts to fill the spaces where the bacon meets. Chill until ready to cook. This will keep in the fridge uncooked for 2 days or can be frozen for up to a month.
  3. Prepare the turkey. The night before, put the onion quarters, reserved lemon halves and thyme sprigs in the cavity between the legs. Pack the reserved stuffing into the neck end. Secure the neck skin with skewers and tie the legs together. Weigh the turkey. Calculate the cooking time at 40 mins per kilo, plus 20 mins.
  4. Put a large sheet of extra-wide foil in a large roasting tin and put the turkey on top. Smear the breast with the butter, then grate over half of the nutmeg and season well. Cover with bacon, then pour over the glass of Madeira or wine. Seal the foil well to make a parcel. Chill overnight.
  5. On the day, take the turkey out of the fridge 1 hr before roasting. Heat oven to 190C/fan 170C/gas 5. Put the turkey in the oven; then, 90 mins before the end of cooking, remove foil and bacon, and drain off the juices from the tin to use in the gravy. To test whether the turkey is cooked, push a skewer into the thickest part of the thigh – the juices should run clear. If they are pinkish, cook for 15 mins more, then test again.
  6. Transfer the turkey to a platter, cover with foil, then a couple of tea towels, and allow to rest for at least 30 mins before carving. Meanwhile, cook the stuffing loaf for 30 mins and reheat the bacon. Garnish with watercress and serve the stuffing loaf separately.

Recipe from Good Food magazine, December 2008

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Show comments
bacon-n-egg's picture
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I use this stuffing every year and it really intensifies the gravy and brings a wow to the dinner. Its the best stuffing and everyone loves it even the children.

16lb Bronze turkey cooked 2.5hrs and was moist and perfect.

pjfoodie's picture

This stuffing is a bit too rich for a turkey dinner - I think it is the Madeira that spoils it. I wouldn't do it again. I cooked a stuffed 4.2kg turkey in a fan oven for only three hours and it was perfect - not dry. I cooked it on a trivet and put water in the bottom of the pan, covered the turkey in a roast cosy (as seen on Dragons' Den) and then covered with foil to keep the moisture in. Also did Jamie's bread sauce with it which was lovely and very easy to make.

bacon-n-egg's picture
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Never cook a quality bronze turkey for 4 hours (14Ib) as described I followed the stuffing and it was fantastic but a bronze turkey only takes 2 1/2 hrs cooking time. 4 hours and it will be dry and ruined. Its the food standards agency who come up with this silly cooking sugestion.

Mine was cooked upside down for the first 2 hrs then flipped over. Start on a high heat for the first 20 mins then cooked at gas 4. It was the best turkey ever (we raised it ourselves- kelly bronze) matured for 5 days. It was so juicy and not over cooked.

The uneaten meat was then popped into the freezer.

frankilito's picture
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how about a simple stuffing .this is ok .but i need to now the other kinds of stuffing that i want with out alcohol.