Christmas turkey with honey

Christmas turkey with honey

Christmas turkey is a classic dish traditionally served for the holiday table in many countries around the world: Britain, Spain, Greece, the United States, and France.

Relatively easy to prepare, hearty and healthy, it will be a win-win option for both novice cooks and experienced hostesses. The main thing is to remember the three important nuances:

Turkey has little of its fat, and therefore it often turns out too dry. To avoid this, it is necessary to put butter under the skin of the bird before baking. This trick will make the meat tender and juicy. A similar result can be achieved by keeping the turkey carcass in a marinade for 24 – 48 hours. In this case, it is acceptable to reduce the amount of oil or refuse to use it at all.

During baking, the bird should be periodically sprinkled with the released juice.

If you coat the turkey with a thin layer of honey before sending it into the oven, the result will surpass all expectations. The bee nectar crystallizes on the surface, forming a ruddy crust, which not only gives the cooked Christmas turkey an appetizing appearance but will prevent the meat from drying out. In addition, honey will add a special, incomparable touch to the palette of flavors of the dish.

Christmas turkey recipe with honey


  • turkey (it is better to choose not a very large bird, weighing no more than 5 – 5.5 kg);
  • butter – 100 gr;
  • honey – 3 tbsp;
  • dried apricots – 200 gr.

What will be needed for the stuffing:

  • walnuts – 200 gr;
  • prunes – 200 gr;
  • raisins – 200 gr;
  • Rice – 300-350 g;
  • apples – 500 g;
  • salt, pepper, saffron – to taste

For marinade:

  • water – 5 – 6 liters;
  • salt – 20 gr. for each liter of water; honey – 4 tbsp. sugar – 10 gr. for each liter of water;
  • garlic – 4 cloves;
  • black pepper – 25 – 30 pcs;
  • cloves – 4 – 5 pcs;
  • onion – 2 pcs;
  • orange – 1 pc;
  • Fresh ginger – small (5 – 6 cm) root.

Method of cooking

  1. Rinse the bird, remove the feather tips and the upper phalanxes on the wings (they usually burn when baked).
  2. Put the turkey in an enameled pot and pour cold water so that the water completely covers the carcass. Add salt, sugar, minced garlic, grated ginger, sliced orange, onion rings, spices, and honey. Place in the refrigerator for 24 to 36 hours.
  3. Prepare the stuffing for the Christmas turkey with honey. To do this, add chopped dried fruit, nuts, coarsely chopped apples, salt, and spices to rice boiled until half cooked.
  4. Pass the apricots through a meat grinder or chop them with a blender. The resulting puree mix with butter.
  5. Remove the turkey from the marinade. Lightly pat dry with a paper towel. Gently lift the skin with a wooden spatula, place the mashed apricots and butter underneath, distributing an even layer over the entire surface of the bird.
  6. Stuff the bird with the mixture prepared earlier. Sew up the cut. Tie the legs together with thick thread to make the baked Christmas turkey with honey look nice when cooked.
  7. Coat the bird with honey, place it on a baking tray and send it into a preheated 200-degree oven for 45 minutes until crusty. Then cover the turkey with foil, reduce the oven temperature to 180 degrees and bake until done. At the end of cooking, remove the foil again so that the Christmas turkey with honey will still brown a little more. The exact baking time depends on the size of the bird and is 45-55 minutes for each pound of weight.

Place the finished Christmas turkey on a warmed platter and garnish it with fruit.


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