Turn your Thanksgiving or holiday dinner into a Greek feast with this traditional turkey recipe featuring a delectable chestnut and pine nut stuffing. The combination of Greek flavors and classic stuffing creates a unique and mouthwatering experience. Your guests will be delighted by the fusion of tradition and innovation on their plates.
This Greek twist on the traditional turkey and stuffing adds an array of Mediterranean flavors to your holiday table. The nutty richness of the chestnuts and pine nuts combines beautifully with the tender turkey, creating a unique and unforgettable dish.
For the Turkey:
12-14 lb whole turkey, giblets removed
1 lemon, zested and halved
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup fresh oregano, chopped
1/2 cup olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
For the Chestnut and Pine Nut Stuffing:
1 cup chestnuts, roasted and peeled
1/2 cup pine nuts
1 cup breadcrumbs
1/2 cup Greek feta cheese, crumbled
1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
1/4 cup Greek yogurt
Salt and pepper to taste
Prepare the Turkey:
Preheat your oven: Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C).
Season the turkey: Season the turkey generously with salt and pepper, both inside and out.
Greek marinade: In a bowl, combine the olive oil, minced garlic, lemon zest, and fresh oregano. Mix well.
Marinate the turkey: Use your hands to rub the Greek marinade all over the turkey, making sure to get it under the skin and in the cavity. Place the lemon halves inside the turkey’s cavity.
Truss the turkey: Use kitchen twine to truss the turkey, ensuring it retains its shape during roasting.
Make the Chestnut and Pine Nut Stuffing:
Prepare the chestnuts: If you haven’t already, roast and peel the chestnuts. Then roughly chop them.
Toast the pine nuts: In a dry pan, toast the pine nuts until they’re golden brown. Keep a close eye on them to prevent burning.
Combine the stuffing: In a large bowl, mix together the chopped chestnuts, toasted pine nuts, breadcrumbs, crumbled Greek feta cheese, fresh parsley, and Greek yogurt. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Stuff the turkey: Gently stuff the turkey with the chestnut and pine nut stuffing. Don’t overpack it, as the stuffing will expand during roasting.
Roast the Turkey:
Roasting pan: Place the stuffed turkey in a roasting pan.
Roast: Roast the turkey in the preheated oven for about 15-20 minutes per pound, or until the thickest part of the thigh registers 165°F (74°C) on a meat thermometer.
Rest: Remove the turkey from the oven and let it rest for about 20-30 minutes before carving.
4. Cook’s Tips
Chestnut roasting: If you’re roasting chestnuts at home, make a small slit in each chestnut’s shell before roasting to prevent them from exploding.
Chestnut alternative: If you can’t find chestnuts, roasted and peeled hazelnuts or roasted almonds can be great substitutes.
Greek cheese: While feta is recommended, you can also use Greek kasseri or kefalotyri cheese for a different flavor.
Experiment with other Mediterranean herbs such as thyme, basil, or mint in the stuffing.
Add some orange zest and a dash of orange juice to the Greek marinade for a citrusy kick.
Try different types of Greek yogurt like full-fat or low-fat for varying levels of creaminess in the stuffing.
The Greek Traditional Turkey with Chestnut and Pine Nut Stuffing offers a unique twist to your holiday table. The fusion of Mediterranean flavors with classic stuffing creates a memorable and delicious dish. Your family and friends will appreciate the innovation and tradition you bring to your celebration. Kali orexi! (Enjoy your meal in Greek)
With this recipe, you’re ready to infuse your holiday turkey with a Greek touch. It’s perfect for a special occasion or whenever you want to enjoy an exceptional meal. Happy cooking!