Turkey with Stuffing

Total Time:
3 hr 15 min
45 min
2 hr 30 min

4 to 6 servings

  • 1 (10 to 12-pound) turkey, with giblets removed
  • 1 quart chicken broth
  • 2 ounces dried mushrooms
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1 cup chopped celery
  • 1 cup chopped green pepper
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil, plus extra for rubbing on turkey
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt, plus extra for seasoning turkey
  • 3 cups Challah bread, cut into 1/2-inch cubes (from approximately 4 to 5 slices)
  • 4 ounces unsweetened dried cherries, approximately 1 cup
  • 2 ounces chopped pecans, approximately 1/2 cup
  • 2 whole eggs, beaten
  • 2 teaspoons dried rubbed sage
  • 2 teaspoons dried parsley
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus extra for seasoning chicken
  • Special equipment: 1 re-usable organic cotton produce bag*

*Cook's Note: The bag is optional. Once the stuffing is made, you can place the stuffing into the bag and then place the bag into the cavity of the turkey.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Place the turkey into a deep, high-sided bowl on its end with the stuffing end up. Set aside.

Heat the chicken broth in the microwave in a large microwave-proof container. Place mushrooms in a glass bowl and pour heated broth over them. Cover and allow to sit for 35 minutes.

In a large mixing bowl toss the onion, celery, and green pepper with the oil and salt. Place the vegetables on a sheet pan and roast for 35 minutes. During the last 10 minutes of cooking, spread the cubed bread over the vegetables, return to the oven, and continue cooking.

Drain mushrooms, reserving 1 cup of liquid. Chop the mushrooms and place in a large

microwave-proof bowl with the vegetables and bread, reserved chicken stock, cherries, pecans, eggs, sage, parsley and black pepper. Stir well in order to break up pieces of bread. Use your hands to combine, if necessary. Heat the stuffing in a microwave on high power for 6 minutes.

While the stuffing is heating, rub the bird with oil. Working quickly, place the stuffing into the cavity of the turkey to avoid losing heat. Place the turkey into a roasting pan, on a rack, and season with salt and pepper. Place the roasting pan on the middle rack of the oven. Roast for 45 minutes and then reduce the heat to 350 degrees F and cook for another 60 to 75 minutes or until the bird reaches an internal temperature of 170 degrees F. Serve immediately.

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    49 Reviews
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    The turkey was very delicious using Alton's brining recipe! The stuffing, however was inedible. Probably my fault. I thought it would be okay to use the "juice" from the rehydrated dried mushrooms and it made the stuffing awful. Wont do that again!
    What a godsend!! I had tried to order readymade dinner the day before thanksgiving, and learned to my great dismay that Friday would be the earliest pickup date... boy did I freak out that day.. I had one day to create a menu, and clean the house and execute everything!! I had prayerfully spent the entire day first browing menus and then shopping for ingredients, and the Lord was gracious to help me find a brined turkey at a local storewhich allowed me ti use this recipe.. it was a huge success!!! Moist and tender, perfectly seasoned, and beautiful to present.. it was by far the most success I ever had roastIng any bird... Thank you so much, Alton Brown!!!
    If you're on the fence about this, go for it. I strayed a little bit (only due to not having read it carefully pre-shopping and one food allergy to consider, swapped pecans for roasted chestnuts and didn't have dried mushrooms so just added chopped baby mushrooms to the carrot/onion/celery stage. The mix of dried cherries and nuts with the more traditional ingredients had my IMPOSSIBLE to please parents asking for seconds.  
    It's great, not very complicated (clearly, if you can swap ingredients and a total crowd-pleaser.
    I usually love Alton's recipes, but this one is just terrible. 1 tablespoon of salt was way too much. In the end, it's inedible. I can't even swallow a bite. I wish I had used less than what the recipe called for and then just added more at the end as needed. Half the amount of salt would have been fine. Waste of time and money... I guess I just have to make more of everything else and mix it back in.
    i loved it, it was a nice change from the old fashion cornbread stuffing. thanks Alton! 
    I used this technique on a 22+ lb brined locally raised fresh turkey for Thanksgiving. A heads up--the turkey was cooked 2.5 hrs ahead of "schedule". I worried about the long wait but the bird was the "best"--& I normally cook a nice juicy bird. I later learned that Gordon Ramsey rests his turkey for hrs--as long as it cooks. I used my own stuffing recipe & a square of muslin instead of a bag. I did have a problem with too much stuffing in the bag. It was not easy to fix with scalding hot stuffing. Next time I'll put the muslin empty in the bird & mark the fill line. Remove from the bird, fill with stuffing & microwave.
    Tried it for Thanksgiving... It was a great success. Ths is my new favourite stuffed turkey recipe.
    Best turkey and stuffing I have ever made and ate! Making this again for Christmas LOL! Oh well my Thanksgiving menu was so good I just can't get enough!
    This is, hands-down, my favorite stuffing ever. I bake my own challah several days before, and cut it up (also prep the celery, onion, and green pepper the night before Thanksgiving. I always double the recipe, which seems to work well for the cavity size on a 22-25lb turkey. I've found that using dried mushrooms gives a bit too strong of a mushroom-y flavor for me and my family - I instead prefer to use some fresh baby portabello mushrooms, sliced small. I find that the dried cherries give a nice sweetness, and always throw in a second handful of pecans. My only real disappointment with this stuffing is that no matter how much I make, there are rarely any leftovers for the next day! 
    One tip on roasting the stuffed turkey - we always roast it breast side down for the first few hours of cooking, and then flip it at the halfway point. This makes for super-moist breast meat, which is my favorite part.
    Very good recipe. TIP: I have used a reynolds browning bag for my turkey for 30 years. So Easy, browns beautifully, cooks faster and no basting, tons of gravy and super moist. Just season your turkey and go by direction on bag. Don't forget to cut severals small slits in the top of the bag for steam to escape
    I was looking for something to stuff a duck with and came across this recipe. I simply halved the stuff recipe and made a few modifications. Firstly I kept the original amount of mushrooms because I was going for a very mushroom-y flavor. Secondly, I was unable to find challah bread and used brioche instead. The stuffing was very good overall, but a little on the salty side. I enjoyed the addition of the green peppers, but they more than overwhelmed the mushroom flavor I was aiming for. Overall this was a very tasty alternative to the standard stuffing flavor that most Thanksgivings are replete with. Very simple as well, and eye catching with the dried cherries.
    this was a really eazy to do recipe and delicius at the same time thaks to alton every body loves me more .
    The stuffing was great! The cherries, pecans and challah bread made the difference. If you try this stuffing be careful about how much stock you add to the stuffing. I did not use all the stock that the recipe called for. Instead, I added enough until the stuffing seemed pretty moist. Sticking it in the microwave for six minutes caused much of the liquid to absord so I added a little more before stuffing the turkey and it turned out great.
    I made this turkey for my office party (ok ok, I admit I did not have Challah bread, so I used rosemary and garlic ciabbatta) and it was AWESOME!!!! It has been voted the best office turkey in the last 10 years!!!
    THANKS, ALTON!! :-)
    As always Alton, your recipes are awesome. Fabulous classic turkey recipe and I love the idea of cherries for my husband who doesn't like cranberries!
    I have been making turkeys for over 30 years; mostly with pretty good results. A constant problem is waiting for the stuffing to reach proper temp., while the rest of the bird is done. This can make for a dry bird. It has never occurred to me to par-cook the stuffing in the microwave. I'm going to be sure to do just that this year. I'm anxious to see the results this year. Talk about a bulb going off! Thank you, Alton!
    As always....Family will love this one this year.. 
    Thanks so much...
    well i made a turkey fort he first time last year (I'm 20 years old) and i used this recipe. 
    My dad was amazed said it was the best turkey ever... 
    I didn't use walnuts and cherries but the stuffing was still good, really good 
    I'm gonna use it again this year...
    I used this recipe for the past 2 Thanksgivings and each time it was great!. Last year was my first time roasting a turkey and I couldn't have been more thrilled with the results. The stuffing was great and the turkey was juicy and browned to perfection! I had the same results this year. This time I switched up the cherries for dried cranberries. My husband said he prefers a more "bready" stuffing but it was still the best dinner I've had if I do say so myself!
    The challah bread really makes a difference. Previously, I have always used just plain white bread. Also, the fresh herbs enhanced the flavor. I stuffed the turkey and it was delicious.
    I made the "Good Eats Turkey" from another recipe, but I used this stuffing recipe to make dressing on the side. I doubled all the stuffing ingredients, except for the salt and cherries. I put it in a 9x13 and covered with foil. It baked on 350 for 20 minutes, then I took the foil off and baked for another 10 minutes until it was slightly brown on top. It turned out fabulous! I liked the slight sweetness of the cherries with the savory mix of veggies and bread.
    After researching many recipes (to include family recipes), I decided to trust Alton with my very first Thanksgiving turkey. I bought a fresh 23-pound bird a the local co-op and followed his directions, with the exception of using cranberries for cherries and leaving out the cotton bag. The family raved! All 16 of 'em! I was proud to serve not-so-traditional (for us) stuffing to my family. I had people asking for the recipe. I'm sure I'll do this again next year!
    the turkey came out great only thing that kept it from 5 stars was I was not a big fan of the stuffing that may be in part to me thinking it was going to be more like cornbread stuffing lol
    This was the first turkey my husband and I cooked so we were a bit nervous but we had Alton by our side so of course it turned out great! We used his brine recipe and brined the turkey for 18hrs the night before and then used this recipe with it...it turned out great! We had rave reviews from our guests!

    For the stuffing we made some modifications. We used almonds instead of walnuts and we omitted the cherries and it still turned out very tasty. We couldn't find a re-usable organic produce bag (we searched everywhere!) so we ended up using cheesecloth that we folded around the stuffing and then tied with butchers twine. It looked sorta weird but it worked!

    Try it out--you won't be disappointed!
    I made this stuffing this year and last year. Perhaps my mistake last year was not knowing that you can't switch a tablespoon of Kosher salt for table salt. I guess the small granules probably make it much more salt. I didn't realize it, and last year had to make a second batch because the first was ruined. This year, I recalled this situation. I tripled the recipe and still only used one teaspoon of regular salt, which was the perfect amount. I also used regular, unseasoned cubed bread stuffing instead of the challah bread, as well as only one ounce of dried oyster mushrooms for the TRIPLED recipe. I microwaved the veggies w/ the oil and salt to cook them, but then mixed everything else up and baked it in a dish in the oven instead of in the bird. I think I only used somewhere between 3 and 4 cups of the chicken broth, as well. It turned out great! I think the lower amount of mushrooms was just perfect for us.
    While I did not use all the ingredients listed, the baking of the veggies & bread prior to making stuffing mad the world of diference.
    I saw this episode and frankly, the stuffing idea didn't look at all appetizing. The best part of the stuffing, the part we all fight over, is what swells out of the loosely trussed bird and darkens to a crispy delight. It never makes it to the diningroom table. It's the cooks reward; it "might" be shared with someone who's been particularly nice to the chef since the last turkey. So I thought, how about taking 2 long metal skewers and running them, 2 inches apart, straight though the stuffed cavity? They should conduct enough heat to bring the stuffing to temperature. I'm going to try it this year and will report on the results.

    Paula Johnson
    I don't even want to think about turkey, as I'm not a huge fan. So, instead, I doubled the bread and eggs, dropped in a can of chicken broth, and added a pound of sausage. Yum - we ate leftovers for breakfast. Oh, and I popped it in the oven for half an hour while I cooked some sweet potatoes instead of using the microwave.
    Because of dietary restrictions, I had to tweak the recipe a bit, leaving out some things I'm not allowed, but following the basic recipe, AND following Alton's carving method, my 6'6" eating machine son, who rarely tastes anything, was visibly impressed! Thanks for the miracle!!!
    As usual, Alton hits a home run with this recipe. I am mainly concerned with the stuffing, as I have followed Alton's recipes on everything else I have prepared from his show. However, I have one suggestion. As he was preparing the stuffing, he had several turn tables with possible ingredients, sometimes looking to be as high a a dozen. He just swooped in on one or two ingredients from each one, and the viewer could not make out what the other ingredients were. My wife will NOT eat mushrooms, she says she doesn't do fungus. When there are multiple possible ingredients as there were in this case, why not have a graphic on the left side of the screen with other possibilities? This would also be helpful for recipes that contain ingredients which may cause allergic reactions. My wife is highly allergic to shellfish, but no substitute is ever given for shrimp or such. How about it? Otherwise, Alton Brown and Gordon Ramsay rule!!
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    Classic Thanksgiving Menu