How to Debone & Stuff a Whole Turkey. Thanksgiving Recipe Special. Turkey Galantine / Ballotine.
Recipe type: Poultry / Thanksgiving / Christmas / Festive Season
How to Debone & Stuff a Whole Turkey. With Thanksgiving and the festive season just around the corner, here is a fantastic deboned stuffed turkey recipe for the occasion!!! A while back we demonstrated deboning a whole chicken in a few easy steps - deboning the turkey is just as simple, but requires a little more strength owing to the turkey having much stronger connective tissue than a chicken. The bird is stuffed with a rich filling of bacon, feta, olives and baby spinach.
- 1 x 3kg / 6.6lb Turkey (if you use a larger bird, simply scale up the filling and recalculate the cooking time using my formula below)
For the Filling / Stuffing
- 200g Baby spinach
- 200g Streaky bacon
- 140g Feta cheese
- 12 Olives
- Starting with the stuffing, cut the bacon thinly across the grain. Roughly chop the baby spinach, and pit and slice the olives into rounds. In addition take out 2 rounds or 140g of feta cheese.
- Heat your wok or pan over medium high heat and fry the bacon until lightly golden.
- Add the spinach and fry this until spinach is totally wilted and tender.
- Turn off the gas or remove the wok from the heat, add the olives and crumble in the feta cheese. Put this aside to cool.
- To debone the turkey, cut off the tail, then cut off the wings at the elbow.
- Turn the bird onto its breast and pull back the skin on the shoulder. Feel for the articulation in the shoulder and slice through the joint. Repeat this with the other wing.
- Slice all the way down the back of the turkey and then pull the wings and the skin away from the carcass all the way down to the oysters.
- Stand the bird up on its butt, and put your fingers under the skin on either side of the sternum. Pull the skin and the breasts away from the front of the carcass.
- Lie the bird on its sternum then cut the oysters free from the carcass.
- To free the legs, move one of the legs sideways and upwards then pull it over and straight downwards to snap and expose the hip joint. Use your knife to cut through the connective joint tissue. Repeat this with the other leg.
- Pull the carcass free from the bird. Do not dispose of this yet as any bits of meat left on the carcass will be used to fill up blank spots later.
- Open the turkey up with the skin side down.
- To debone the leg, cut around the hip joint then scrape the meat down the bone to the knee joint.
- Cut around the knee joint then scrape the meat down the drumstick.
- Press the bone back into the drumstick and break the bone just above the knuckle using the back of your cleaver. Pull the leg bone free, tuck the flesh back into the skin and continue with the other leg.
- To debone the wing, cut around the wing joint. Grab the joint and scrape the flesh down the bone. Pull the bone free, tuck the flesh back into the skin, and then continue with the other wing.
- The turkey is now totally deboned. Use the flesh recovered from the carcass to patch the blank spots between the legs and breasts.
- Cut at an angle through the thick upper breasts and flap the flesh forward.
- To stuff the bird, fill the legs and wings with the stuffing to plump them up. Spread all the remaining fill evenly across the bird.
- Fold one half of the turkey across the center-line, then fold the other half over this to entirely enclose the filling.
- Using butchers twine tie the legs together. Using half hitch loops close up the rest of the bird. Bring the twine back down to the legs and tie to secure.
- Place the turkey on a rack in a roasting pan and rub it all over with butter. Season with salt and cracked black pepper and roast the bird for 45 minutes plus 15 minutes per pound.
- At the end of the cooking time, remove the turkey from the oven and allow it to stand for 5 minutes before slicing into thick slices and serving with the accompaniments of your choice.