Roasted Turkey Italian Style
preparing the turkey
* Preaheat oven 325 F. Wash the turkey in fresh water and dry, patting with a kitchen towel.
* In a large bowl combine the ground beef, onion, garlic, egg, parsley, parmigiano, breadcrumbs, raisin, pine seed, orange rind, chestnuts.
Fill the turkey with the ground beef stuffing.
* Season the outside of the turkey with salt and pepper. Tie the drumsticks together. Secure the wings against the bird.
* Brush the surface with olive oil and butter. Spread on the top the sage and rosemary.
* Place the turkey in the roasting pan. Cover with aluminum foil and place in the oven. Roast for about 2 hours.
* Remove the aluminum foil, add cognac, and set temperature to 360 F. When the cognac is evaporated add broth to the pan. Distribute the whole chestnuts in the pan.
* Occasionally baste the turkey with its own cooking juices.  Cook until the temperature reaches 170 F in the breasts or 185 F in the thigh. In total a 15 lb turkey should cook for about 5-5 ½ hours.
* Remove turkey from the pan and place on a serving dish. Remove the chestnuts. Transfer the cooking liquid to a fat separator. Remove the fat away.

preparing the gravy
* Place the chestnuts in a food processor and reduce to a paste. Put the turkey cooking liquids in a saucepan on medium heat. Add the chestnut paste. When the gravy reaches a slow simmer, add the cornstarch dissolved in few tablespoons water.
* Cook for few seconds until the gravy thickens. Filter the gravy through a colander. Decorate the turkey with chestnuts, bay leaves, rosemary springs, orange slices, and serve lukewarm accompanied by the warm gravy.

for the turkey

1 fresh organic free range turkey (approximately 15 lb)

salt and pepper

1 ½ lb ground beef (optional mix of beef, veal, pork)

1 onion, finely chopped

1 garlic clove, finely chopped

1 egg

2 tablespoons Italian parsley, finely chopped

2 oz parmigiano reggiano cheese

3 oz breadcrumbs

2 tablespoons golden raisin

2 tablespoons pine seed

1 orange grated rind

1 lb whole canned boiled chestnuts (½ lb finely chopped + ½ lb whole)

1 large spring sage leaves, half whole and half chopped

2 tablespoons butter

4-5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1 spring of rosemary leaves, finely chopped

½ cup cognac

1 quart chicken or turkey broth


for the gravy

2 tablespoons cornstarch