Our Blog Has Moved

18 December 2012

Stuffing your Turkey

You can make your turkey even more special with some tasty stuffing by stuffing the neck end of the bird right before cooking and seal by tucking in the skin. Make sure you weigh the turkey after stuffing to calculate the correct cooking time. Alternatively spoon into a dish and cook separately.

Here are some tips and recipes for great homemade stuffing:
  1. You can prepare the stuffing a few weeks beforehand and freeze, and then allow to thaw completely before using. Or prepare on Christmas Eve, allow to cool and store covered in the fridge. Always allow the stuffing to come back to room temperature before using to ensure the cooking times are not affected.
  2. Turkeys should be stuffed just before cooking. Do not stuff the night before as this can be a breeding ground for bacteria.
  3. Only stuff the neck cavity – never the body cavity – the body cavity can have sliced onion or lemon or orange and fresh herbs placed to infuse the meat with additional flavours.
  4. Spoon stuffing into the neck cavity and seal the end by tucking in the skin and securing with cocktail sticks or darning needle and thread. Bread based stuffings tend to swell up slightly so do not pack in too tightly. Generally 350g will be enough for a 4.5-5kg bird.
  5. Weigh the turkey after stuffing to calculate cooking time. If the bird is under 4kg allow 20 minutes per kg + 70 minutes. If the bird is over 4kg allow 20 minutes per kg + 90 minutes.
  6. If you do not want to stuff the bird or have leftover stuffing mixture simply roll into little balls (use wet hands to make this easier). Brush with oil and bake for 20-30 minutes at the end of the turkey cooking time. Alternatively, spread stuffing mixture in a baking dish, bake for 30 minutes and serve cut into squares.

Green Herb, Lemon & Onion Stuffing


  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 250g fresh white or brown breadcrumbs
  • 125g shredded suet
  • 2 lemons, grated rind of one and juice of two
  • 4 tbsp fresh chopped parsley
  • 2 tbsp fresh chopped marjoram, or 1 tbsp dried
  • 2 tbsp fresh chopped dill, or 1 tsp dried
  • 75g chopped walnuts, optional
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • stock or white wine to mix
  • salt and ground black pepper

Boil the onions in a little stock or water for 5 minutes, then chop, reserving the liquid for use later.
Mix with all the other ingredients until you have a firm, moist mixture, using the reserved liquid or wine to moisten if necessary. Season well and chill until required.

Fruit & Roasted Nut Stuffing


  • 125g dried, stoned prunes
  • 75g dried apricots
  • 1 stick of celery, finely chopped
  • 1 small onion finely chopped
  • 1 medium cooking apple, peeled and grated
  • 50g butter
  • liver of turkey, finely chopped
  • 125g fresh white or brown breadcrumbs
  • 50g roasted chopped hazelnuts or almonds
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • salt and ground black pepper

Chop prunes and apricots finely and soak for at least an hour in hot water, then drain, reserving some of the liquid. Fry celery, onion and apple in the butter for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally then add liver and fry for a further 3 minutes until firm and cooked.
Put crumbs and nuts in large bowl and stir in fried mixture together with fruit, egg and seasoning, moistening with some reserved liquid, if necessary. Allow to cool before using.

Mushroom & Bacon Stuffing


  • 175g mushrooms, wiped and chopped
  • 175g streaky bacon, de-rinded and chopped
  • 175g fresh breadcrumbs
  • 1 small onion, peeled and chopped
  • 1 tsp mixed dried herbs
  • 1 tbsp freshly chopped parsley
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 50-75g butter or margarine, melted
  • 2 medium eggs

Mix the mushrooms, bacon, breadcrumbs, onions, herbs and seasoning together in a bowl
Stir in the melted butter or margarine and sufficient egg to bind the mixture together.
Use to stuff the neck cavity only. Cook any remaining stuffing separately.

Oatey Apple & Cranberry Stuffing


  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 4 rashers smoked streaky bacon, diced
  • 450g Bramley apples, peeled, cored and grated
  • zest and juice 1 lemon
  • 1 medium egg, beaten
  • 175g fine oatmeal
  • 175g fresh white breadcrumbs
  • 3 tbsp chopped fresh sage
  • 75g dried cranberries
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper

Heat the oil in a frying pan, add the onion and bacon and sauté for 5 mins until pale golden. Transfer to a bowl and cool slightly.
Add the remaining ingredients and mix well. Season with a little salt and plenty of freshly ground black pepper.
You can make this stuffing the day before required if liked. Simply cover the bowl with clear film and refrigerate until required.
Use the stuffing to fill the neck of turkey. Roll the remainder into balls and roast in the oven alongside the turkey for 20 mins or until golden.
Makes enough to fill the neck cavity of a 2.2kg (10lb) turkey.

Sausage, Chestnut & Bacon Stuffing

50g streaky bacon, chopped
1 small onion, chopped
1 tbsp dry sherry
250g good sausagemeat
1 tbsp fresh chopped sage or 1 tsp dried
75g fresh white or brown breadcrumbs
125g canned chestnuts, drained and chopped
grated rind 1 lemon
salt and ground black pepper

Dry fry bacon in a small frying pan until the fat runs, then fry the onion in the juices for about 3 minutes.
Add sherry and cook until evaporated. Remove, tip into a big bowl and allow to cool. Mix in sausagemeat, sage, breadcrumbs, chestnuts, lemon rind and seasoning.
Chill and stuff before roasting.

Tips, photos and recipes reproduced
with kind permission of British Turkey

No comments:

Post a Comment