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      RECIPE TITLE "Holiday Turkey Recipe"
    Source: The Heritage of French Cooking,
    courtesy of

    yieldsServes 8 time--- difficultymoderate

    The turkey came originally from the Americas; it is highly likely that Cortes brought it to Europe from Mexico. Introduced into France in the sixteenth century, it took some time to become popular. In 1564 Charles Estienne wrote in his L'Agriculture et la Maison Rustique "This bird is a corn bin, a bottomless pit for feed, and the only pleasure one can get from it is noise and fury in the case of the adult birds and a continual cheeping in the case of the young ones; their flesh, though tender, is tasteless and difficult to digest. That is why it must be sprinkled with spices and larded and cooked with herbs. The turkey-hens eat as much as mules." Not that this prevented cooks from making extensive use of them - so much so that in the seventeenth century King Louis XIV himself was very concerned with the breeding of turkeys at his palace in Versailles.

    In the present century turkey with chestnuts has become a central dish of the Christmas meal, no doubt due to English influence.


    For Stuffing:
    2/3 cup milk
    Salt and freshly ground pepper
    1 1/4 cups coarse white bread crumbs
    4 oz York ham, finely chopped
    2 tablespoons snipped flalt-leaf Italian parsley
    2 tablespoons butter
    3 shallots, minced
    8 oz cleaned chicken livers, cut into 1/2 inch dice
    2 1/2 oz shelled walnuts, coarsely grated
    4 pinches ground cumin
    1/3 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    4 pinches ground cloves
    4 pinches ground cayenne pepper
    4 pinches grated nutmeg
    2 tablespoons Cognac
    1 truffle, fresh or dried, about 1 1/2 oz

    1 Bresse turkey, about 8 lb, ready for roasting

    Bayou Classic Bayou Classic 32 Qt Stainless Steel Turkey Fryer Pot Kit
    Bayou Classic Bayou Classic 32 Qt Stainless Steel Turkey Fryer Pot Kit Includes: 32 qt. Stainless steel stockpot, perforated poultry rack, gab hook, 12 inch thermometer, and Perforated basket. Designed to fry turkeys up to 25 pounds. The raised basket design enables the stockpot to be used for boiling or steaming seafood and vegetables. Without the basket, this unit can be used for canning and is perfect for soups, stews, pasta, tamales, and low country boil.


    FOR STUFFING: Boil the milk in a small saucepan and add salt and pepper and the breadcrumbs. Cook the mixture on low heat for 3 or 4 minutes, stirring constantly, until you have a sticky paste. Put this into a large bowl and let it cool for 3 minutes. Add the ham and parsley; mix well.

    Melt the butter in a large nonstick skillet. Add the shallots and brown for 3 minutes over gentle heat. Add the livers and cook, stirring continuously, for 2 minutes. They should be just sealed but not browned. Add the liver and shallots to the bowl and mix. Stir in the walnuts, cumin, cinnamon, cloves, cayenne, nutmeg and salt and pepper. Mix again and sprinkle with the Cognac. Coarsely grate the truffle over the bowl. Stir well.

    FOR TURKEY: Stuff the turkey and sew up the openings with cotton thread. Put the turkey in a large roasting pan and place in the oven. Set the oven to 400 degrees F. Roast the turkey for 30 minutes. Brush the giblets with oil and place them around the bird. Roast for 2 1/2 hours more, basting often. When the pan juices have caramelized add 2 tablespoons (1 1/2 fl oz/45 ml) of water to the pan and repeat as often as necessary to avoid burning.

    When the turkey is cooked, let it rest for 20 to 30 minutes in the turned-off oven, covered with a sheet of foil. Place it on a large platter and pour the gravy through a strainer into a saucepan. Set aside for 5 minutes for the fat to rise to the surface. Skim off the fat with a spoon and discard. Season the gravy with salt and pepper, reheat, and pour it into a gravy boat.

    Serve this turkey with peeled chestnuts heated in a little gravy.

    Recipe reprinted by permission of Weldon Russell. All rights reserved.

      Nutrition Facts
    Serves 8
    Facts per Serving
    Calories: 643 Fat: 25g Carbohydrates: 12g
    Cholesterol: 336mg Sodium: 420mg Protein: 86g
    Fiber: 1g % Cal. from Fat: 35% % Cal. from Carbs: 7%

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