The theme for Monday posts in December is Holiday Food.
Making the holiday dinner for family and / or friends can be both gratifying and terrifying.
I prefer a capon here when we are cooking for a small group but I have roasted a lot of turkeys when I lived in the U.S.
I do it the ‘old-fashioned’ way, drying the bread, making the stock and stuffing / dressing, etc.
For those who are interested, here is my ‘recipe’:
Click here to Pin Roast Turkey or Capon with StuffingPrint
Roast Turkey or Capon with Stuffing
This recipe is for a small turkey or large capon. Roasting a big holiday bird is not precise, but I tried to make the instructions easy. You can skip making your own stock and just buy it (if possible).
- Prep Time: 1 hour
- Cook Time: 5 hours
- Total Time: 6 hours
- Yield: 10 servings 1x
- Category: Chicken
- 8lb (4 kilo) capon or turkey
- 3 tbs soft butter
- 2 tsp dried sage
- 2 tsp dried rosemary
- 1 tsp Dijon-style mustard
- 1 – 2 cups turkey or chicken broth
- 1 cup Madeira
- 1/4 cup regular coffee or 1/4 tsp instant granules
- 2 – 4 tbs cornstarch dissolved in 2 – 4 tbs chicken broth or more, depending on how much stock you have from the turkey
- Celery tops
- 1 onion, cut in half
- 1 carrot, cut into chunks
- capon / turkey neck
- 12 (16) slices white bread, dried (use 16 sliced if using giblets), torn into small chuncks
- 1 – 2 cups turkey or chicken stock
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 4 ribs celery, chopped
- 3 – 4 slices Prosciutto, chopped
- 4oz (125gr) mushrooms, chopped – optional, (instead of giblets)
- chopped giblets if you have them
- 1 tbs sage
- 1 tsp thyme
- 2 tbs butter
- 1 egg
- Earlier in the day If your bird came with the neck and giblets
- Heat 2 cups of chicken broth with 2 cups of water.
- Add celery tops, onion, carrot, and neck.
- Bring to a boil, skim off any scum that rises.
- Simmer, uncovered, for 20 minutes, then add the gizzard and heart.
- Simmer another 20 minutes, skimming.
- Then add the liver.
- Simmer another 20 minutes.
- Strain the stock into a bowl and use in both stuffing and basting.
- Discard the vegetables.
- Finely chop the giblets.
- Pull the meat off the neck and chop.
- Add the meats to the stuffing along with the onions, celery, Prosciutto.
- If you are using the giblets add 4 more slices of bread.
- Heat the butter in a large skillet over medium heat.
- Add onions, celery, (mushrooms) and sauté until tender, about 10 minutes.
- Add Prosciutto (bacon) and sauté another 5 minutes.
- Set aside.
- Put bread into a large bowl.
- Add sage and thyme and mix well.
- Add celery/onions and chopped giblets and mix well.
- Now comes the hard part:
- I can’t tell you how much stock to use. It depends on how dry your bread is, how moist the celery and onions are, etc.
- Start with 1/2 cup and drizzle over the top of the bread chunks. Mix well.
- Continue adding 1/4 cup at a time and mixing well.
- Mixture should just start to cling together, not all of it but most of it, and none of the bread cubes should be totally dry nor should they be mushy.
- At this stage stop adding stock.
- In small bowl lightly whisk egg.
- Fold into stuffing mixture and combine thoroughly.
- Stuff bird.
- Refrigerate the remaining stuffing until ready to bake.
- Mix 2 tbs of the butter, the herbs and the mustard.
- Loosen skin across top of bird by pinching gently. Work your hand under the skin on the breast.
- With your finger tips rub butter mixture over the breast under the skin, covering as much of the surface as you can.
- Rub the remaining 1 tbs of butter over the outside of the skin.
- Spoon some stuffing inside the cavity loosely, about 3/4 full, and tie legs together.
- Spoon some more stuffing inside the neck cavity and skewer the neck flap closed.
- Put bird on a rack in a roasting pan and into a 450F (230C) degree oven for 15 minutes.
- Reduce heat to 325F (165C) and roast until temperature in thickest part of thigh reaches 180F (82.2C) or 170F (76.6C) in breast, or until juices run clear when pierced with a knife.
- For a 6 lb bird this should take about 2 1/4 hours; an 8 lb bird 3 hours.
- To baste:
- Combine the coffee and 1 cup stock. Baste the bird every 15 minutes or so alternating between stock, Madeira and the pan drippings.
- An hour before dinner:
- Put the refrigerated stuffing into a roasting pan, cover and put into the oven.
- Bake the stuffing for 30 minutes, remove cover and bake 15 minutes longer.
- Oven temp is whatever works for the rest of the dinner. The stuffing in the bird will be very moist and in the pan rather dry – mix the 2 before serving.
- To finish:
- Remove the bird and put on a platter.
- Cover with a foil ‘tent’ and let rest for 20 – 30 minutes.
- Pour juices from the roasting pan into a saucepan, adding stock to roasting pan to help scrape up the bits on the bottom if necessary.
- Skim off as much fat as you can.
- Add any remaining stock and/or Madeira and bring to a boil over medium heat.
- Taste – need anything?
- Give cornstarch mix a stir and slowly whisk into the stock, stirring until thickened to your liking – more or less cornstarch as needed.
- Keep the gravy warm while you carve the bird.
- Remove stuffing from bird – both ends, and combine with baked stuffing.
- Carve, serve with stuffing and gravy on the side.
- Lay the bread out to dry the night before you make the stuffing.
- Substitute chicken broth for the stock.
- Substitute bacon for Prosciutto
- I have used anything from proper turkey skewers to toothpicks to safety pins for securing the bird after stuffing.
- Serving Size:
- Calories: 1074
- Sugar: 4.6 g
- Sodium: 673 mg
- Fat: 70.4 g
- Saturated Fat: 22.3 g
- Trans Fat: 0.2 g
- Carbohydrates: 25.3 g
- Fiber: 2.3 g
- Protein: 75.9 g
- Cholesterol: 375.8 mg
Keywords: roast turkey, roast capon, holidays
For two: Roast, Stuffed Cornish Hens