Twelfth Night Turkey with Wild Rice Stuffing and Ale Reduction

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  • Level: Intermediate
  • Total: 6 hr
  • Prep: 1 hr
  • Cook: 5 hr
  • Yield: 6 to 8 servings
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2 cups chicken stock (*alternatively you can make your own stock from the unused turkey parts)

1 cup wild rice

4 tablespoons butter (1 tablespoon for rice and 3 tablespoons for sauteing)

1 pound sausage, casing removed

2 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and small diced

1 large white onion, chopped

1 tablespoon olive oil, if needed (approximately as needed to keep the pan oiled)

1/4 pound liver, blood vessels removed (we used rabbit liver for the episode, but you can use turkey and/or chicken livers)

3 stalks celery, roughly chopped

2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme leaves (from about 5 or 6 large sprigs)

6 fresh sage leaves, minced

2 tablespoons chopped fresh marjoram leaves (from about 5 or 6 large sprigs)

1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley leaves

Salt and pepper

3 eggs, beaten

Turkey and rub:

1/4 cup olive oil

5 or 6 large sprigs fresh marjoram, leaves stripped from the stems

1 tablespoon anise seed

6 to 8 sprigs fresh parsley leaves cut off (and stems reserved for the gravy - below)

1 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

1 (12 to 15-pound) turkey, breast and legs cut away from bones and tendons removed and soaked in cold water with kosher salt (buy the turkey breast and legs pre-boned or ask your butcher to do it)

Ale reduction gravy:

1 tablespoon olive oil

2 large cloves garlic, lightly crushed with the side of a knife blade, then minced

1 shallot, minced

3 or 4 sage leaves, minced

1 bay leaf

2 (12-ounce) bottles ale (such as Samuel Adams Boston Lager)

1 pint chicken stock (or turkey stock you have made)

1/2 cup butter (1 stick or 8 tablespoons)

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

*Turkey Stock:

Leftover turkey parts


1 quartered onion

1 carrot, cut into chunks

1 celery stalk, cut into chunks

2 teaspoons salt

1/2 teaspoon peppercorns

1 sachet d'epices containing: 1 handful parsley stems, a bay leaf, and 5 or 6 thyme sprigs


Special equipment:
Kitchen twine
  1. For the stuffing: Bring chicken stock to a boil in a medium saucepan. Add wild rice and 1 tablespoon butter (reserving the rest of the butter), cover, reduce heat to low and let simmer undisturbed for 50 minutes. Remove from heat and let stand 10 minutes before removing lid. Stir and allow to cool to room temperature.
  2. While the wild rice is cooking, melt another tablespoon of butter over medium heat (reserving the rest of the butter) in a large skillet and cook the sausage until browned. Using a slotted spoon, remove the sausage to a bowl. Pour most of the sausage fat from the pan, leaving about 1 tablespoon of fat. Add the apples and saute until tender. Using a slotted spoon, remove them to the bowl with the sausage. To the same pan, add oil if the pan is too dry and cook the onion until translucent. Cook the liver until cooked through and remove to a carving board to cool to room temperature. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons butter to the pan and saute the celery, thyme, sage, marjoram, and parsley over medium heat until tender. Season with salt and pepper and remove from heat.
  3. Cut the liver down into 1/4-inch cubes. Combine the liver with the wild rice, sausage, apples, and sauteed herbs. Add beaten eggs and mix well. Set aside briefly.
  4. For the turkey: Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Make the paste to rub on the turkey by adding 1 at a time through the feed opening of a running blender: oil, marjoram, anise seeds, parsley, salt, and pepper.
  5. Fill the turkey breast and thighs with the rice stuffing and secure with kitchen twine. Rub the paste liberally on the turkey and roast, basting with the pan juice every 30 minutes or so, until it reaches an internal temperature of 160 degrees F. This will take about 20 minutes per pound. Remove from oven and let rest. Pour the pan juices into a glass container so you can see the fat layer and pour off or spoon off most of the fat. Add the remaining pan juices to the gravy.
  6. For the ale reduction gravy: In a deep saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat until it shimmers. Saute garlic, shallots, sage, and bay leaf until the shallots turn translucent. Deglaze the pan with the ale and allow most of the ale to evaporate. Gradually add stock and bring to a gentle boil. Combine the butter and flour (to look like coarse cornmeal). Then gradually whisk the mixture into the stock. Reduce heat and allow flour to "cook out" and allow gravy to thicken. Whisk in the juices from the turkey pan and cook for a few more minutes. Remove bay leaf and strain gravy. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
  7. Serve sliced turkey and stuffing with gravy.

*Turkey Stock:

  1. Place the turkey parts in a large pot and completely cover with water. Add the onion, carrot, celery, salt, peppercorns and sachet. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and gently boil for about 3 hours skimming off impurities that rise to the top. Remove large pieces of turkey and strain liquid into a bowl for the stock.
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