Herbed Rubbed Christmas Turkey
With Apple Cinnamon Bacon, Date & Pine Nut Stuffing
½ Cup Melted Butter
¼ Cup Canola Oil
1 Lemon Zested & Juiced
? Cup Chopped Fresh Parsley
? Cup Chopped Fresh Thyme
¼ Cup Fresh Tarragon
1 Tbsp Kosher Salt
¼ Cup Toasted Pine Nuts
½ Cup Stemmler’s Apple Cinnamon Bacon (cooked & chopped)
½ Cup Pitted & Chopped Medjool Dates
3 Cups Sourdough Cubes (Use your favorite Gluten Free Bread as a Substitute)
¾ Cup Chicken Stock
2 Shallots (minced)
½ Cup Celery (Small dice)
¼ Cup Fresh Thyme
1 Tbsp Kosher Salt
½ Tsp Fresh Ground Pepper
½ Cup White Port
Serves 10-12 People 12 – 14 lb Fresh Turkey (½ hr. prep. / 3 ½ – 4 hrs. cook time approx.)
1. To make the stuffing, cook bacon in a large pan. Remove it when it’s done, set it aside and add shallots,
then celery. Season with the salt & pepper. Saute’ for a couple minutes until they are soft. Add the port and let it incorporate into the mix. After another minute, remove from the stove top and place into a large bowl. When cooled, you can fold in the eggs, sourdough, chicken stock, chopped dates, fresh thyme, pine nuts and bacon. Stir all together and let cool. *This can be done a day or two ahead of time*
2. To make the rub, chop all the fresh herbs together, making sure you pull the leaves off the thyme and “do not incorporate the stalks”, They can be coarse and tough. Combine the herbs, butter, oil, seasoning and lemon together. Set aside.
3. Rinse Stemmler’s Locally Raised Fresh Turkey under cold water, removing all the giblets and neck. Place
the giblets and neck in a pot and add one litre of water. Cover and let slightly simmer for an hour...Pat theturkey dry, add some salt & pepper to the inside cavity, then begin to fill it with the cooled stuffing. Get as much in as you can and refold or tie the legs together. I like to stuff the neck of the bird too and fold over the skin. Any excess can be baked off closer to the serving time.
4. Once the turkey is totally stuffed, take the herb mixture and lift the skin slightly from the breast meat to rub directly over the entire body of the bird as best you can, being very careful not to tear it. Once that is done, rub the rest over the outside of the skin and place in the roasting pan. I like to add a litre of chicken stock and a ½ cup of port to the pan while its roasting. Set temperature to 325F and place turkey in the oven,uncovered. Every hour, baste it with the liquid in the bottom. During the final hour, raise the temperature to 400F to get some colour on the turkey. Once it is a beautiful golden brown colour and your thermometer reads 185F (stick it into the thick part of the leg), you can remove the turkey, place it on a platter and cover with foil to rest (It is important to let a turkey rest covered with foil 15 minutes before carving).
5. Skim some of the grease from the pan. Add the stock from the giblets and neck, then a litre of water. Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer. Add a smooth slurry of ¼ cup corn starch & ½ cup cold water. Whisk it into the gravy and continue to whisk. Let thicken and then it’s ready to serve.