Italian Roast Turkey

Turkey stuffed with unusual mixture of prunes, chestnuts, sausage meat, pears, white wine and liver, braised in a garlic and herb flavored sauce, and then roasted (Serves 8-10, hot)


1 turkey weighing 8-9 pounds (if frozen allow ample time to defrost)

2-3 ox raw prunes
1 pound peeled chestnuts (or 1 large tin unsweetened chestnuts)
8-10 oz sausage meat
1 large onion
1-2 oz butter
1 turkey liver
2 liquid oz white wine (or Italian vermouth)

1½-2 oz butter
2 onions
2 carrots
4-6 stalks celery
3 rashers bacon
2 cloves garlic
1 spray fresh rosemary (or 2 teaspoons dried)
8 peppercorns
parsley, thyme and 2 bay leaves
½ bottle red wine
½-¾ pint stock

3-4 tablespoons oil
½ oz butter

Pre-heat oven to 325°F


1. Prepare stuffing: Soak and cook prunes in tea. Remove stones when tender, chop roughly. If using fresh chestnuts, cook in boiling water for 5 minutes, then remove outer and inner skins. Cook for 30 minutes in stock, drain and chop roughly. Mix these ingredients with sausage meat. Melt butter and fry turkey liver and onion for 3-4 minutes. Allow to cool, then chop and add to other ingredients. Add seasoning and wine. Stir whole mixture over heat for few minutes until thoroughly blended and hot. Let cool before stuffing turkey.

2. When turkey is stuffed and sewn up, melt butter in flameproof casserole and cook sliced onion, sliced carrot, chopped celery and diced bacon for few minutes. Add garlic, rosemary, peppercorns, and other seasoning and herbs. Place turkey on top of this, pout over ½ bottle red wine and enough stock to come half way up bird. Cover casserole with lid and braise turkey for 3½ hours turning from side to side every half hour to allow all sides to cook equally.

3. Remove from casserole and drain from sauce. Heat some oil and ½ oz butter in a roasting pan, put in turkey and baste. Roast in oven for ½ hour, until the bird has browned and is well done, basting every 10 minutes.

4. Remove garlic cloves. Boil up pan drippings and vegetables to reduce slightly. Strain and serve as sauce.

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