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Dirty Apron Roasted Turkey Recipe

Roasted Turkey Breast and Boneless Roasted Stuffed Turkey Leg dinner can be an elaborate undertaking. Thankfully David Robertson, author of The Dirty Apron Cookbook is on hand to give some pointers:

Roasted and stuffed turkey

  • 1 turkey, 12 to 15 lbs
  • 2 Tbsp smoked paprika
  • 5 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 Tbsp vegetable oil

Roasted and stuffed turkey: Preheat the oven to 400°F.
Begin by removing the turkey legs. To do this, hold the thigh and slide a boning knife along the inside of the thigh against the breast. Continue to slide the knife down all the way to the joint, then pull the thigh away from the breast with your hands. When the round end of the thighbone is visible, cut through the joint to detach the thigh. Repeat on the other side. Wrap the legs tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate until needed. Remove and set aside the giblets, then rinse the turkey and pat it dry with paper towels.
Season the turkey inside and out with 1 Tbsp of the smoked paprika and some salt and pepper. Rub 2 Tbsp of the butter, lemon juice and vegetable oil over the turkey breast.
Place the turkey breast and giblets in a roasting pan and cook for 1 to 1 1/2 hours or until the turkey is golden and the juices run clear. (To test for doneness, insert an instant-read thermometer into the thickest part of the meat; it should read 165°F.) Remove from the oven, transfer the turkey to a plate and allow to rest for 30 minutes. Reserve the giblets and the pan juices for gravy.

Chef’s Note: For added flavour and a juicier turkey, you can brine it for 24 hours in classic brine before starting this recipe. Allowing the turkey to rest for a solid 30 minutes before even thinking about carving it results in a much juicier turkey.

Chestnut and apple stuffing
1/4 c unsalted butter
1 white onion, finely diced
2 garlic cloves, chopped
2 celery stalks, in 1/4-inch dice
3 c chestnuts (about 1 lb), peeled, roasted and cut in half
2 Granny Smith apples, peeled and cut in 1/2-inch dice
6 c day-old brioche bread or Pullman loaf, crusts removed, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1/4 c chicken stock
1/4 c whipping cream
4 sprigs of thyme, chopped
4 sprigs of sage, chopped
4 sprigs of Italian parsley, chopped

Chestnut and apple stuffing: Preheat the oven to 400°F.
Melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat, then add the onions, garlic, celery and chestnuts and sauté for about 3 minutes. Stir in the apples and bread, cook for another 2 minutes, then add the chicken stock, cream and all the herbs. Season with salt and pepper. Spread the stuffing into a shallow baking dish and bake, uncovered, until the top is golden, about 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool before stuffing the turkey legs.

Chef’s Note: There are other stuffing options: add bacon or try other herbs such as oregano, marjoram or rosemary. Have fun with this recipe.

Finish turkey: Preheat the oven to 400°F. Cut 2 squares of aluminum foil large enough to hold the turkey legs.
Unwrap the turkey legs. Using a boning knife, hold a turkey leg and run the knife along the side of the bone to separate the meat from the bone. Try to keep the meat in one long piece. Repeat with the second turkey leg. (Reserve the bones to make stock.)
Place the meat on a clean work surface and season with 1 Tbsp of smoked paprika and salt and pepper. Arrange 1/4 of the stuffing down the centre of each piece of leg meat. (Spoon the leftover stuffing into a small casserole dish.) Tightly roll the leg meat over the stuffing. Rub 1/2 of the remaining butter on each piece of foil, then rub the foil over the turkey rolls. Place a rolled turkey leg onto each piece of foil. Fold the bottom half of the foil over the turkey leg, then the top half and fold in the ends as if you were wrapping a parcel, ensuring the turkey legs are tightly wrapped. Set the foil-wrapped legs in a roasting pan and cook for 25 minutes. (Cook the stuffing in the casserole dish at the same time.) Remove the turkey from the oven, unwrap and discard the foil and cook the meat unwrapped until the legs are fully cooked. (To test for doneness, insert an instant-read thermometer into the thickest part of the meat; it should read 165°F.) Reserve any pan juices to add to the gravy.

Chef’s Note: If you are not confident deboning the turkey leg yourself, ask your butcher to do it for you.

To serve: Arrange the turkey on a large platter. Reheat the gravy, stirring in the parsley and thyme just before serving, then pour into a gravy boat. Spoon the compote into a serving bowl. Serve the gravy, compote and stuffing alongside the turkey.


December 17, 2015
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