• For the turkey:
  • 1 turkey (about 4 kg)
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • 100 g butter
  • 2 sprigs of thyme
  • The zest from half an orange
  • 2 tbsp chives
  • For the filling:
  • 50 g  butter
  • 200 g mixed minced meat
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 30 ml cognac
  • 5 plums, cut in half
  • 5 chestnuts, boiled, cut in half
  • 5 apricots, cut in half
  • 1 apple, cut in cubes
  • 2 tbsp walnuts, coarsely chopped
  • 1 tbsp pine nuts, coarsely chopped
  • The juice and zest of half an orange
  • 1 cup crumbled bread
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground pepper


Preparing the filling:

  1. Brush the bread squares with a little olive oil and bake for 6 to 7 minutes at 200°C until they brown.
  2. In a large pan, heat the olive oil and brown the minced meat for 6 to 7 minutes.
  3. Add the onion and continue sautéing for 4 to 5 minutes.
  4. Extinguish with cognac.
  5. Add the orange juice and let it glaze.
  6. Add all the remaining ingredients: apricots, plums, chestnuts, bread, apples, walnuts, pine nuts, orange zest, and season with salt and pepper.
  7. Mix well and remove from heat.

Preparing the turkey:

  1. Ask the butcher to remove the neck and tips from the wings if you want to make homemade broth for the turkey sauce.
  2. If it’s frozen, thaw it properly in the refrigerator for 24 hours.
  3.  After thawing leave the turkey at room temperature for 45 minutes.
  4. In a bowl, mix soft butter with salt, pepper, finely chopped thyme, orange zest, and chives.
  5. Dry the turkey inside and out with absorbent paper.
  6. Remove as much fat as possible from the belly (from the opening) by hand.
  7. Carefully separate the skin from the chest with fingers to create a pocket.
  8. Place the butter mixture under the skin.
  9. Massage gently to spread it evenly.
  10. Pull the neck skin and secure it, turning it upwards, using toothpicks or sewing it to close it from the top.
  11. Add salt and pepper to the belly and fill it with the stuffing using a spoon. Seal it with half an orange.
  12. Sew and tie it so that the legs and wings are attached to the body, both to maintain a nice shape during baking and to retain its juices and moisture inside.
  13. Rub some olive oil on the palms and coat the turkey externally.
  14. Add salt and pepper.

Baking the turkey:

  1. Place it in a tray with the chest facing up, ideally resting on a rack.
  2. Bake in a well-preheated oven at 220°C on resistors on the top shelf for 40 minutes until it browns.
  3. After 45 minutes, reduce the temperature to 160°C.
  4. Continue for about 2.5 hours.
  5. To prevent the turkey from drying out and the skin from tearing, brush regularly with the tray’s liquids every 20 minutes.
  6. If it starts to brown too much, cover it with non-stick paper and aluminum foil.
  7. To ensure it’s ready, insert a skewer into the thigh. If the running liquid is faint pink, it needs additional baking. If it comes out transparent, it’s ready.
  8. If using you’re using meat thermometer, insert it into the thigh (away from the bone, as it develops higher temperatures than the flesh) and if it shows 74°C, it’s ready.
  9. Remove it from the oven, cover it with aluminum foil for 20 minutes to recover its juices.
  10. Tilt the tray and remove as much fat as possible with a spoon.
  11. The residues are delicious and make the best sauce.
  12. Serve it whole with gravy sauce in a sauceboat.
  13. Enjoy!

Source: Argiro Barbarigou