Roast Turkey with Chestnut Stuffing
Turkey with stuffing is the undisputed star of a traditional menu for holiday entertaining.
2 pounds whole chestnuts
1 pound butter
2 cups minced onion
2 cups minced celery
20 slices bread, dried and coarsely crumbled
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon dried marjoram
1 teaspoon dried savory
1 teaspoon dried rosemary
1 (12-pound) whole turkey
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- With a sharp paring knife cut a cross on the flat side of each chestnut. In a large saucepan cover chestnuts with water and simmer for 5 minutes; drain.
- While still hot, remove shells and inner brown skins. Return to saucepan with fresh water and boil until tender, 20 to 30 minutes. Drain and chop; set aside.
- In a small saucepan melt butter. Add onions and celery; cook until limp. Transfer to a large mixing bowl and add bread crumbs, thyme, marjoram, savory and rosemary; mix thoroughly. Add chestnuts and mix thoroughly. Salt to taste.
- Preheat oven to 350°F (175°C).
- Remove neck and giblets from turkey and set aside for gravy. Wash turkey inside and out with cold water; pat dry. Rub salt and pepper into body cavities.
- Spoon stuffing into body cavities; do not pack tightly. (Any extra stuffing can be baked in a covered casserole in the oven with the turkey during the last hour of roasting time.) Close skin with skewers or twine and tie drumsticks together.
- Place turkey on a rack in a roasting pan, uncovered, and bake for 20 minutes per pound. Test for doneness after three hours by poking with a fork to see if juices run clear and with a thermometer for an internal temperature of 175° to 180°F (75°C to 80°C). If the turkey gets too dark before it's cooked through, place an aluminum foil 'tent' over the breast.
- Remove from oven, place on platter, and allow turkey to stand, loosely covered, for 20 minutes. Remove stuffing to serving bowl. Carve turkey and arrange on serving platter.
Makes 12 servings.