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D's Roasted Thanksgiving Turkey

3:03 PM Dalia 0 Comments Category : , , , , ,

Image by Chirs Mejorada for CPI Publishing

It's funny, even though I lived in NYC for 7 years, I never really got into the turkey thing until I met Phiras.. His mom makes an absolutely amazing roast turkey for their traditional Christmas lunch, and for the past five years that's what I've been feasting on over the holidays when we go back to Beirut.. Since I started loving stuffed turkey so much, I decided that having it just once a year was not enough! And so I made Thanksgiving a tradition of our own little family, and created a beautiful Turkey recipe from scratch, trying out different stuffings and flavours, until I perfected (in my opinion) the stuffed turkey! Since I was scheduled to give birth second week of November, I cooked an early thanksgiving dinner for friends and another one for the family just a few days before my due date :)

This year is definitely a special year, needless to mention the birth of my little angel which I am so thankful for, my love whom I'm crazy about, my loving family and incredible friends, the amazing people I work with, and the lovely readers who send me pics of the recipes they've tried, well wishes and just random sweet messages.. Thank you all so very much ;) Happy Thanksgiving!

Much Love,
D xx

Serves 6 - 8
Medium Difficulty. Prep & Cook Time: 4.5hrs
  • 4kg (~9 pound) whole turkey
  • 1 loaf of country bread, cut into small chunks
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 cup of pancetta, cut in cubes (optional)
  • 1 pear, chopped
  • 1 cup dates, cut into chunks
  • 1 cup pecans, chopped
  • ½ tsp dried thyme
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/3 cup chicken stock (or a little more to keep it moist)
  • ¼ cup crème fraiche
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • knob of butter
  • salt and pepper to taste

In a large pan heat some olive oil and sauté the onions until they are translucent. Add the pancetta and when it turns golden and crispy add the pears, dates, stock, thyme and bay leaves.

Cook for about 15 minutes, then add the crème fraiche, honey and pecans, combine well, season and set aside.

Preheat oven to 180C. Remove all the insides (giblets) form the turkey, rinse thoroughly with water and rub the inside with salt and half a lemon. Stuff the turkey with the stuffing, and rub the skin with a knob of butter.

Place the turkey in a roasting pan, loosely cover with aluminum foil and roast in the oven for about 3.5 hours until golden and crispy but still moist. Let the bird rest for at least 20 minutes, covered, before carving and serving this feast! 

*Serve with cranberry sauce and sweet potatoes (recipe to follow for a sweet potato crumble)

Image by Chirs Mejorada for CPI Publishing

As featured in BBC Good Food Middle East - November 2011