Holiday Turkey with Rice Stuffing & Gravy with Fresh HerbsHolidays are usually the time we throw caution to the wind when it comes to what we eat. But you can enjoy the holidays without compromising health with our Healthy Holiday menu which has less fat and fewer calories—one-third fewer calories!
Prep and Cook Time:
- Please read entire recipe before shopping or beginning.
- 12-15 lb fresh organic, or free-range turkey (do not use self-basting turkey)
- 1/2 cup wild rice
- 1 cup long grain brown rice
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 3/4 cup diced celery, about 1/4-inch pieces
- 2 cups sliced crimini mushrooms
- 1 medium green apple, diced about 1/4 inch pieces
- 4 medium cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
- 6 dried apricots, coarsely chopped
- 1/2 cup raisins
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
- 2 TBS chopped fresh sage (or 2 tsp dried sage)
- 3 TBS chopped fresh thyme (or 1 TBS dried thyme)
- 1/2 TBS fennel seeds
- 1/2 cup + 1 TBS chicken broth
- salt and black pepper to taste
- Optional: cook liver for 10 minutes with gravy ingredients, remove from heat, chop and add to stuffing mixture.
- 6 cups chicken broth
- 2 large carrots, chopped in large pieces
- 2 medium onions, cut into large pieces
- 2 celery sticks, cut into large pieces
- neck, wing tips and giblets from turkey (Optional: include liver and cook for about 10 minutes, remove, chop, and add to dressing ingredients)
- 1/3 cup flour mixed with water
- 1 TBS chopped fresh rosemary (or 1 tsp dried rosemary)
- 2 TBS chopped fresh thyme (or 2 tsp dried thyme)
- salt and black pepper
- *optional 1/4 cup dried porcini mushrooms
- Serves: minimum of 8
- Bring 3-1/2 cups of lightly salted water to a boil. While water is coming to a boil, rinse the wild rice under running water in a strainer. When water is boiling add both wild and brown rice, cover, turn heat to low and cook for about 45 minutes, until tender. Do not overcook. You will most likely have excess water when rice is cooked properly. Put cooked rice in a strainer and drain out excess water. Set aside in a large enough bowl to mix everything together.
- Heat 1 TBS chicken broth in a large stainless steel skillet. Healthy Sauté onion in broth over medium heat for 5 minutes. Add mushrooms and celery and continue to sauté for another 2-3 minutes.
- Mix all the stuffing ingredients together in bowl and season with salt and pepper.
Always stuff the turkey just before roasting—never ahead of time—to avoid the growth of harmful bacteria. Have the stuffing hot and pack it loosely in the body cavity.
- Rinse turkey well inside and out. Pat dry. (If you had to buy a frozen turkey, make sure it is completely thawed.)
- Preheat your oven to 350°F (177°C) and put the oven rack on the bottom shelf. Right before roasting the turkey, stuff it loosely with the stuffing.
- Cut about 48 inches of heavy kitchen twine. Truss the turkey by first binding the legs together with the center of the length of twine. Run the twine along the sides of the turkey toward the neck tightly holding the wings to its sides with the twine. Cross the twine around the neck end of the bird and back to the legs. Loop around legs and tie a knot. Rub the turkey with a little salt and pepper.
- Place turkey breast side down on a flat or V-shaped rack in roasting pan. Make sure you use a rack inside the roasting pan. Otherwise the skin may stick to the pan and tear. Add a cup of chicken broth to the bottom of the pan. Roast breast side down, basting about every 30 minutes with the pan juices for about 2-1/2 hours for a 12-15 lb turkey.
- Bring turkey to the top of the stove, turn it to its back and remove the trussing twine. This will now allow the inside of the legs to brown along with the rest of the turkey. Baste again, and return to the oven. But first, check the breast for doneness by inserting an instant reading thermometer at the thickest part of the breast toward the neck. This will give you an idea how much longer the turkey will need to cook. It should read about 125°F (52°C) at this point. When the thermometer reads between 1657°F and 170°F (74-77°C) in the thickest part of the thigh the turkey is perfectly done. Check the stuffing by inserting the thermometer into the center of the cavity. The stuffing should read 165°F (74°C) to be done. If it has not reached this temperature, you will have to remove it from the turkey and finish cooking it in a baking pan on its own. It's important the stuffing reaches this temperature to be safe to eat. Check the thighs for doneness. Remove your turkey to a platter, but don't carve it for at least 20 minutes.
- Simmer all the ingredients except oat flour, thyme, rosemary, salt, and pepper for about 1 hour on medium heat.
- Strain and discard solids. Heat 1/4 cup broth in a stainless steel skillet. Whisk in flour a little at a time to incorporate. Using a wire whisk, add the rest of the broth a little at a time on low heat. Keep whisking to avoid lumps until all the liquid is incorporated.
- Add rosemary and cook for another 20 minutes on low heat, stirring occasionally. Season with chopped thyme, salt, and pepper.