Bird of another feather

images-12Now it is time to pick your turkey to go with these wines.

Stuffed Turkey

This is a brine recipe so you’ll need a 12 hour minimum to let it rest.


1 whole turkey (14-16 lb)


2 gallons cold water
3/4 cup kosher salt
3/4 cup sugar
1 tsp crushed black pepper
1/2 tsp cinnamon


1 lb ground pork
1/4 lb ground bacon
2 peeled apples, finely diced
1 cup dried bread crumbs
1/2 tsp cinnamon

Salt and pepper to taste

1 1/2 cups apple sauce
1/4 cup melted butter (or olive oil)

cheese cloth

Roasting pan mirepoix

2 carrots, cut into 2 inches pieces

4 celery stalks, sliced, as above

2 cups chicken broth (low sodium)

6 large onions, peeled and quartered

1/2 cup balsamic vinegar


Empty the bird of the gizzard and giblet package in the cavity. Rinse him well, and drain the cavity. Put the turkey in a food grade bucket or clean stainless steel bucket (4 gallon bucket). If there are large pinfeathers around the drumsticks or wings, you’ll want to pull them out or singe them.Brine

In a pan bring 2 cups of water to a boil then add the kosher salt, sugar, pepper and cinnamon. Remove from heat and stir until the salt and sugar are completely dissolved. Allow to cool for 10-15 minutes. Add enough cold water to cool the brine further (2 cups should be enough from the original 2 gallons). Pour it in the bucket on the bird, and then add the rest of the water. Refrigerate for 12 hours, or up to 24.

Stuffing Preparation When Ready to Roast the Bird

Preheat oven to 325, and put rack on bottom shelf.

In a mixing bowl, add ground pork, bacon, apple, bread crumbs, cinnamon, salt, pepper, and refrigerate.

Remove the turkey from the brine and pat dry with paper towels.

With your fingers, gently separate the skin from the breasts and thighs without tearing it. Stuff the gap with apple sauce and spread uniformly — you can massage it lightly to move it around.

Stuff the turkey’s cavity with the bacon mix. With a string, tie the legs to restore the turkey to its original shape and to keep the stuffing intact. Brush butter or good olive oil on the whole bird and then place the dampened cheesecloth over the breast.


In a big roasting pan put carrot, celery, broth and then the turkey. Surround it with the onions and pour the vinegar over the onions Cook for 2 1/2 hours.

Remove the cheesecloth and cook for 1hr 15 min more.

Keep the onions warm. Put the turkey on a service platter. Cover for 20 minutes (with foil) to allow it to rest and let the juices return to the meat. Pass the jus through a strainer, and adjust seasoning.

Serve with the onions on the side and the jus in a gravy boat. If you wish, allow the oil to rise to the top and remove it before putting the drippings into the boat.