Preheat the oven to 160° C / 325° F
Prep. time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 45 min. per kg, or 20 min. per lb. (30 min/kg or 14 min/lb. in a covered roaster)
A recipe collected by Jorge Tavares da Silva, gastronome and historian
Until fairly recently in Portugal it was not uncommon to see farmers on foot in the streets of Lisbon from early December onwards, with a flock of turkeys gobbling across the cold paving stones.
The turkey had a litre of good eau-de-vie forced down its throat before being killed and then soaked in a brine of water, salt, lemon and bay leaves. Nowadays, turkeys are bought "ready to cook" and are rubbed with salt and lemon and stuffed with chestnuts, meat or walnuts and served only on Christmas Day.
Preparing the stuffing
- Heat 100 g butter in a skillet; add the chopped giblets, ground veal and liver pâté to the pan; season with pepper; cook for a few minutes;
- remove from the heat; add the black olives, bread crumbs, walnuts, peppercorns, eggs; moisten with the Port and milk; combine the ingredients thoroughly until well-blended.
Preparing the turkey
- Empty the turkey cavity and clean it well; rub with salt and lemon juice;
- brush the turkey inside and out with soft or melted butter;
- stuff the turkey;
- sew up the opening of the turkey, folding the skin over so that the stuffing does not escape during cooking;
- cover with thin slices of lean bacon; wrap a slice around each leg, since they tend to dry out;
- place the turkey in a buttered roasting pan and place in a preheated oven, calculating the roasting time according to the turkey's weight.
Hints and tips
- Allow 45 minutes per kilogram (20 minutes per pound); turkeys are usually cooked at moderately low heat and need to be basted frequently;
- if you do not wish to cover the turkey with slices of bacon, once the turkey begins to brown, cover it with a piece of aluminum foil; remove the foil 20 minutes before the end of the cooking time;
- if you use bacon, remove it as well 20 minutes before the end of the cooking time.
Arranging the platter
- Place the turkey on a serving platter, surrounded by winter cress;
- accompany it with fried straw potatoes;
- garnish with endives stuffed with fruits in jelly or light jam
Photo: Mimosa, a reference trade mark in portuguese food products
Hints & Tips