Turkey with chestnut 'n' apricot stuffing and creamy gravy

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PREP TIME

45 min

Makes

8 to 10 servings, and about 9 cups cooked stuffing and 4 cups gravy

* PLUS Cooking time: 20 minutes, Standing Time: 15 minutes, Roasting Time: 240 minutes

Ingredients

  • 675-g loaf multi-grain bread
  • 1 cup dried whole apricots
  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 large onion
  • 4 celery stalks , sliced
  • 2 tsp poultry seasoning
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh sage , or 1/2 tsp dried rubbed sage
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley , or 2 tbsp dried parsley
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh thyme , or 1 1/2 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 tsp chopped fresh rosemary , or 1/2 tsp dried rosemary
  • 1 tsp salt , optional
  • 2 cups peeled whole chestnuts
  • 5.5 to 7.5 kg turkey
  • 1 orange
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 to 3 cups chicken broth , or bouillon
  • 1/4 cup half and half cream
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 325F (160C). Cut bread into bite-size pieces. You should have about 12 cups (3 L). If bread is moist and fresh, it can be dried by spreading it out on baking sheets. Do not overcrowd. Use several sheets or do in 2 to 3 batches. Bake until lightly toasted, about 10 minutes. Meanwhile, place apricots in a microwave-safe dish. Cover with orange juice. Microwave, uncovered, on high for 2 minutes or until mixture is hot but not boiling. Let apricots plump while orange juice cools slightly, then drain apricots and save juice.
  • Heat butter in a large frying pan set over medium heat. Add onion to pan and cook, stirring often, until onion is very soft, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in celery and seasonings.
  • In a large bowl, toss bread with onion mixture, whole chestnuts and drained apricots. Taste stuffing and add more seasoning, if you wish. If not moist enough, sprinkle with remaining orange juice. If making ahead, stuffing can be covered and refrigerated for up to 2 days.
  • When ready to roast turkey, remove giblets and neck. Rinse bird thoroughly, including cavity, and pat dry. Cut orange in half and rub interior of turkey while gently squeezing out some juice. Place stuffing loosely in neck and body cavities, since stuffing expands during roasting. Sew or skewer close. Place any extra stuffing in a buttered baking dish. Cover and let stand at room temperature. Tuck turkey wings under back and tie legs together.
  • Place stuffed turkey in a large roasting pan. Cover with lid or a loose tent of foil. Roast in preheated oven for 3 hours. Uncover and continue roasting, basting often with pan juices, until skin is golden brown and a drumstick moves easily, or a meat thermometer inserted into thickest part of inner thigh, reaches 180F (82C), about 1 to 1-1/2 more hours. If turkey browns unevenly, cover dark areas with pieces of foil.
  • Meanwhile, to heat remaining stuffing, place covered dish in oven when you uncover bird. Check after 30 minutes and if stuffing seems dry, stir in some turkey pan juices or chicken broth. Cover and continue baking until hot. Depending on amount, it may only need another 15 to 30 minutes. Remove cooked turkey to a platter or carving board. Cover to keep warm. Let stand, covered, for at least 15 minutes before carving.
  • To make gravy, place roasting pan over medium heat. If roasting pan cannot be placed over burner, pour juices into a large frying pan, making sure to scrape all brown bits off bottom. Then, add flour to pan juices and stir constantly, scraping bottom to loosen all browned bits. When bubbly, gradually whisk in 2 cups broth and scrape up all browned bits in roasting pan. Continue whisking until bubbly and thickened. Strain, if you wish. Skim off any fat. Whisk in cream, parsley and salt. If gravy is too thick, whisk in more broth as needed. Taste and add more seasoning, if needed. Serve turkey slices with spoonfuls of stuffing and gravy. Before storing turkey, remove all stuffing and refrigerate separately.

Nutrition (per serving)

  • Calories
  • 403,
  • Protein
  • 38.7 g,
  • Carbohydrates
  • 34.7 g,
  • Fat
  • 12.1 g,

Traditional flavors abound in this stuffing with the added glamour of apricots and chestnuts. For a dramatic impression, Kathy Goodman leaves the apricots and chestnuts whole.