Jacques Pepin’s Holiday Turkey with Mushroom Stuffing

Today's Gourmet

by Jacques Pépin
Jacques Pepin's Holiday Turkey with Mushroom Stuffing

Holiday Turkey with Mushroom Stuffing is on the menu in Book recipe, and we are going to teach you how to make this delicious recipe from scratch!

Recipe video

I cook year round, all the time, but for the holiday, this is when I like to cook the best. I like to take my time and
cook something with the family. Something that I enjoy cooking. Tradition is big at our house. We like to eat together and have fun. And even though, you know, you kind of splurge a little bit during holiday, you can still do terrific cooking and with a menu like we are going to do today, which is about half of what usually holiday meals are. I mean, it can go to 3000 calorie and I think ours would be in the area of less than half of this and what we’re going to start with. is the turkey, of course, there is no holiday for me without a turkey. I love turkey. My wife loved turkey, my daughter, my brother, everyone is crazy about turkey at our house. So I have one in the oven now, which has been cooking for about 20 minutes.

What I do is to start it this way, breast side up for about 20 minutes so that I form a crust on top. And so it doesn’t stick. And when I have that crust forming on top, then I turn the turkey upside down and all of that, so that now the juice go into the turkey and it’s still nice and moist. So I don’t really have to baste it at that point. The reason is that as I said,

The juice will go into the turkey. Now for my sauce, I use whole cloves of garlic and diced onion. And that has now to go back into the oven and we cook it for about an hour and a half more, so it depend on your size with that, like small turkey. First, you saving time and you saving energy cooking, you know, too small turkey about 10, this one is about 11 pound, rather than the large, large one, What we are going to do next, is the stuffing.

And for that stuffing that we are doing, I have the, that will go later on into the sauce. But I wanted to show you that we have here the neck, the neck of the turkey, as well as the gizzard. I put that in water and I cook it for like an hour. So it’s nice and tender. I will pick the meat out of this to put in the gravy later and the juice that it’s cooked on, will going to go in the, in the pan also to make our gravy. So we use everything.

Remember that we put no fat or anything to stuff the turkey. There is plenty fat in the skin. And actually when we do the gravy, we’re going to remove the fat. So our stuffing now, the stuffing here, we have breadcrumb that is diced bread. This is whole wheat bread, which has been browned. I have golden raisin. I have celery. I have onion, garlic and the provence, which are a mixture of different types of herbs

With those little blue flower, which are lavender flowers in it. And dried mushroom, see those dry mushroom like those here, shiitake and I have a tree mushroom here. We soak them in water. That not only is terrific to put in the, in the stuffing, but the juice we’re going to use also, it’s quite strong. So what we’ll do a little bit of oil in there. We do the stuffing only with oil. We, you know, stuffing,

We have less than half the amount of fat that you would have in regular stuffing. And we put first the onion in it, that we’re going to slice, nicely chopped, rather. And that’s saute and a bit of celery. The celery is special to the stuffing also. I like to use those, the thing, the celery, which we cut in little dice also, you know, you can crack it like that on the table, cut it into strips, and finally get it together to chop it coarsely or small dice, you know, about quarter of an inch. I like to cook the stuffing separate from the turkey. First, it’s easier and
it’s easier to serve. And I am sure that the, the stuffing come to the temperature that I want it to, to cook at because often when you put it inside, it starts fermenting, it doesn’t get hot enough, you know. So what we next is those mushrooms. And you know, that dark strong juice from those dry mushroom, this is really going to give taste to our stuffing. And what I do there is just to chop that coarsely. I wash the mushroom first under water then I put them to soak, you know. Here it is. And a dash of salt and pepper in there. That’s it. Freshly ground pepper. This is just saute a little bit to soften, you know, now we can put it here and finish the stuffing. And you know, stuffing, we have those golden raisins, which are good.

I put a bit of garlic. The garlic could be saute in there or put directly into here, have the provence, you know, you can put all the type of herbs if you want fresh herb, the bread. And I’m going to moisten that with a bit of that juice, pour it slowly here. You don’t want to put the bottom part of it where you may have a little bit of sand, you know. And that’s it.

We prepare that stuffing ahead. It should be kind of loose, directly into a loaf pan. And that’s it. This has to be covered now. Then we put it in the oven for about half an hour. Just put it when you’re about ready. Well, half an hour or 45 minutes before you take the turkey out, you put your stuffing so it’s nice and hot, when you’re ready to use it. So what we are going to do now,

Is the first course of our holiday meal and the first course is actually snow peas and scallop. And I need a little bit of water in there. I just want to steam the snow peas. So I will steam them in that water. And I have here the snow peas, I have some Tabasco, I have some red and yellow pepper, the scallop, and a bit of butter I put in there with a little bit of oil. So the first thing is the snow peas. I’ll put those which are already clean to cook.

And as you can see, again, it’s a type of steaming process because actually I put that amount of water. By the time this will be cooked. There will be no water left. So we continue with the rest of the recipe. So the first steaming, and by doing it this way, I don’t refresh the vegetable. I don’t wash them under water. I don’t lose any of the
liquid that I cook it in. So I get all the nutrient of course, and all the taste of the vegetable.

So I have the scallop that, I want to mention to you here. Those scallop, I may as well put that to get it warm. Those scallops here, you’re able to see, have a little muscle on top, right here, that I’m removing. That little thing, that little thing is tough. So you want to put it out. Now, if you do a scallop mousse, then it’s fine because it ground directly. But if you do what I’m doing today, you want to remove that thing and wash your scallop.

For the red pepper, I peel it with a vegetable peeler. I peel it wherever I have access to it. And of course in the pleat there, what I don’t have access, then I cut it between those pleat. So that now I have access to the side that I couldn’t reach before with that vegetable peeler. It’s a, it’s an easy way and a fast way to peel it. And it makes a big difference when you peel it because it doesn’t come back to you.

Remember that those are red. those are orange, you have some yellow one. I mean, there is a lot of different one on the market. So I’m cutting that, That’s going to go into, that’s going to go with the snow peas in a few seconds. This is a very fast type of dish. And with that, I will heat up a bit more of oil here. And for that, a little piece of butter, another little piece of butter, I mean the whole recipe will be less than one tablespoon of butter.

I’m putting a piece here and that over there. A bit of, Tabasco in there. And that’s it. Salt and we’re ready to saute the scallop. I want to show you there, the snow peas also should be peeled because there is a string on each side. If you take the end of it, you will have that string coming out here, then you break it at the end

And the string will come out on the other side. If you don’t do that, it’s going to be pretty tough to eat, you know, even the small one. So I saute this, we can put this one here now. And the scallop, we arrange them one next to the other, so that they brown nicely on each side. The scallop are going to cook quite fast in there. You want them on a very, very hot skillet.

With a dash of salt on top and a dash of pepper, that I add here. It’s a popular festive dish, And I have two different colored vegetables, which are going to go well with what I’m doing today. As the scallop crust on one side, you turn them. And now basically we are ready to arrange our dish on plate. I’m gonna turn the scallop on this side here. See after that they change color the scallop and start browning on one side.

This, you don’t want to overcook your scallop. Those are fairly large sea scallops, and they will take a couple of minutes on each side. Okay, here we are. Now let’s arrange some snow peas, beautiful color, and it’s particularly appropriate for the holiday. When you have the red and the green here, scallop arrange all over. And our scallop are about ready now. I put them on top.

Five or six scallop per person, depending on size you know, sometime that’d be less. This is about the amount you want to serve. And this is our first course for the holiday menu. We splurge a little bit for the holiday, more than usual, especially in the south. What I like to do best is chocolate truffle, candied orange rind. That’s really Christmasy holiday for me. And I want to show you how to do those, those chocolate truffle.

I have melted chocolate here, which has about that thickness with a little bit of milk. Into this we put an egg yolk and as I stir it, you will see that it starts thickening with the egg yolk, you know. However, because of problem with salmonella, some people kind of are a little afraid to use egg yolk. So what you could do, now it’s thicker. I can leave it at 140 degree. That’s how about the temperature it is now for like three minutes and that avoid any problem if you have a bit of a, if you are a bit conscious about this, I have shredded mint into it. We mix it. And that’s it. When it’s stay for a couple of minutes there, it is ready. You put it in a bowl and that will become hard like this. Now we do small chocolate truffle with that, that just mold them out with a spoon like this and put them right on top of cocoa powder. What I do very often,

I just mold them this way and put them back in the refrigerator so that they start getting real hard, you know. And when those are hard, they are not quite as hard
now as they should be. Then I mold them with my finger because they are hot. I don’t want them round. I want them kind of twisted and so forth, just the same way that
the real truffle is. And I know the chocolate truffle are caloric, but you know, that size, there are about 30 calorie each,

Which is not that much. So you roll them like this in those chocolate truffle, in the cocoa powder. And now they will look like a real truffle. Remember that a truffle is
a subterranean mushroom, which pushing the roots, It grows in the root system of certain tree and it has a knot shape and all that, and kind of covered with
dirt like this one is, that’s where we imitate. That’s why we call it a truffle, you know. So we put that on top here.

And the next thing that we want to do is the candied, the candid rind of orange, you know, and the candied rind of orange again, it’s great because you can do it ahead. You can give it to friends and so forth. I do it usually with a vegetable peeler like this. That vegetable peeler will make a thick slice. And that’s what I want. So we cut those slices after into strip. Strip about that size. And those strips now are kind of bitter.

So what you do, you put them in a bowl, with about two, three cup of cold water. Bring it to a strong boil, pour that mixture into a sieve, wash it under water and put
it back into your skillet, into your saucepan with sugar and water and cook them for like 45 minutes. And at the end of that, they should look about like this one does. You know, cook in that sugar, not quite caramel, it’s still white as you can see, in fact talking about caramel,

I have a caramel here that, I’m going to use in a while, it just finish cooking. And I’m going to use it to do a fancy decoration with it in a few minutes. For the time being, Those candied orange rind, what you do with them, you live them up with your fork and put them in sugar. Then you can separate them in the sugar themselves. You know, you want them to be saturated with the sugar. If they get saturated with the sugar like this, then you take them out.

And those are going to get hard. I mean, look, you can hear how hard those are now. You want them chewy and elastic. And this, you can put them in a Tupperware and something, and you can keep that for weeks, you know, but you want to have them covered otherwise they get too hard. And now to decorate those, that we’re going to have with this here, which is of course our Christmas thing, we are going to do a beautiful decoration, which is the caramel cage.

I have cooked that caramel as you can see and let it cool off a little bit so that I get the viscosity that I have here about this. Now I have a bowl here, which is a standard steel bowl and I oil it lightly. What I want to do is to do long strip of caramel from one side to the other. You see very often people tell me “I cannot do a caramel cage, it breaks.” You have to follow, you have to follow the same principle of architecture here.

That is you bring your caramel from one side to the other of the bowl, like building a house. By doing this, of course you putting your beams, the large beam. When you’ve done that in a couple of places like this, you can put some in between and now it will hold. This has to cool off for a couple of minutes, theoretically, so that the caramel hardens and it’s ready to take it off. So it’s relatively easy to do. I push it on the side, the caramel, I could put water in it again.

And in that water, I could do a caramel sauce with it, or remelt it. You want to clean that up, just fill it up with water and let it, it will melt. So you can see that here, with our chocolate truffle and our orange rind, I have those little fig in the middle. Those are small mission fig, which I press so that they hold sitting and chop the hat off, make a little hole there. And here I have almond paste. You know, you take a little piece of almond paste

That your roll I mean, you can do another color to it and place that right in the middle. I mean, what we are doing here is like a Christmas Santa Claus, you know, walking and I have the skin of an orange, I could do a little bit of a type of leaves to place that, to do a little bit of a decoration right there, you know. Okay, well I push it with the knife inside. Okay, here. So this is cute.

You can do it with different color. And what I want to do now is to see whether my caramel cage is coming off. It should, it’s not quite cold yet. When it’s cold, it will come out relatively easy, but it has to be a bit colder than what it is. You push it from one side to the other. It’s coming up on this side. As you can see here, it’s still a bit soft, you know, to I put it right on top of it.

And through the griddle of that, you could arrange some flowers and make really a beautiful decoration with this. So the turkey has to cook about an hour and a half in the oven, but I want to let it rest also. When it comes out of the oven, let it rest 20 minutes or so, the juice will go through it. And it’s much better before you carve into it. I have my turkey here now, and my stuffing, which is finished and the gravy.

I want to tell you a little bit about the gravy. It is important in the type of cooking that we do, particularly I take the gravy, the pan, you know, all the juice out of the pan, the onion and all that. We put that in a, in a large, in a skillet like this. And what I did after that, I let that rest for about 5, 10 minutes and pick up all the fat from the top. As much as of the fat as I could. Then remember that I had that giblet and the neck, we pull the meat out of that,

Cut it into pieces to add it to it and thicken that just a little bit with the a dash of potato starch, you know. So I put a bit of the gravy on top for color here. It looks beautiful on top and the rest in a gravy boat, like we can serve at the table directly. And the stuffing around, you know, my stuffing is nice and loose now the way with the bread and that strong smell of mushroom that I can taste, you know, through it. I love the smell of those,

Those dry mushroom, really makes it here. And I don’t like to fuss around too much with the, with the turkey. You see the gravy on the side, the stuffing right there. And with this, in that menu, I did a puree of carrot with, with some ginger on top. And I didn’t have time to show it to you, but you should have a couple of vegetable around, you know, either a green vegetable or yellow vegetable in addition to your stuffing and the sauce. And this is our beautiful turkey like this

Is ready to serve and carve the dining room now. The holiday would be very incomplete without the family. And today, I’m very happy that my daughter is here and Claudine, just fresh out of college is joining me for dinner. – Well, thank you for having me here. – Well, it’s nice to have you anytime Titin. What I’m going to do first, I’m gonna give you a piece of turkey and I know the piece of turkey that you like.

So I am not even going to ask you. I know that you like the dark meat right here, which I cut. And actually this is the drumstick. And with this, we have the stuffing. We have the gravy, but tell us a little bit what’s in there because you help in the kitchen making it this morning. – This is a puree of carrots that we do in the food processor. And it has ginger and some olive oil. It’s really good for the holidays. The ginger is a nice spice to have.

That’s good. And put you a little bit of gravy – Yes, please, and, and the first course that we have here now, you want to tell us what it is. – Well, there’s scallops and the snow peas. And it’s, it’s a really nice first course because it’s kind of light because afterwards we have a lot of food to eat. – Yes and it’s lot of food. Good and finally, of course, I’m going to give you this. And for dessert,

I have done the cage there, which is really a decorative element on top of our chocolate truffle and the candied orange and those little tiny mission figs stuffed with the marzipan. But this is not the way you do it, right? What do you do with it?

No, I see. I mean, having just graduated from college and not having all that much money, I like to make gift boxes with the food and you can use some fresh mint and the candied orange rinds and stuff,

And some fresh flowers. Don’t leave these in a box for too long they’ll wilt, but it makes a really pretty thing to give to friends and stuff. – Yes this one is for me, right? – Yes, this will be for you. What am I getting for Christmas? – What are you getting for Christmas? Well, I don’t know. Your mother hasn’t discussed it with me yet, but what we are going to do is to have a little bit of champagne to toast, everyone.

I hope you enjoyed what we are going, what we’ve done today. Remember that the turkey is roasted how they say upside down, most of the time, we haven’t put any fat on the Turkey because there is enough in the skin. And I know that you’re watching your, your diet all the time, like any young woman. So do you eat the skin of the turkey? – On the holidays, yeah. – On the holidays, yes.

During the holidays. – And how many chocolate truffle did you eat while you were doing those package? – Not too many, only three or four. – Remember there are only 35 calories, so it’s fine to, to have a couple, of course, if you have two dozen of them, you will see the difference, but you can do that ahead, those chocolate truffle. Actually, we can freeze them. And this is terrific for gift us Claudine is doing with a little ribbon around and those candied orange rind also. Sometime we dip them in chocolate remember.

When you have your melted chocolate, you can take those rinds and dip them into it. And that makes another, another variation on it. Well, we really enjoy cooking that dinner for you. And I hope you’re going to do it for your family as we’ve done it and enjoy it, I’m sure. It was nice cooking for you. Enjoy it and – [Together] happy cooking!


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