Porcini Roasted Turkey With Sausage Fennel Stuffing

This is my favorite recipe for roasted turkey which entails first rubbing the bird in a mixture made of porcini mushrooms and butter. I continue the mushroom theme in the gravy, and stuff the bird with a flavorful fennel, sausage stuffing. While living in Italy, it was rare to find a whole turkey in the market, and in fact when the holiday season rolled around, we had to special order a whole turkey to roast. Although roasting a whole turkey in this manner really isn’t traditionally Italian, many of the ingredients used definitely are.

Buon Appetito!
Deborah Mele 2011

Porcini Roasted Turkey With Sausage Fennel Stuffing

A slow roasted turkey infused with the earthy flavors of porcini mushrooms.

Ingredients:

Turkey:

  • 2 Cups Dried Porcini Mushrooms
  • 4 Tablespoons, Softened, Unsalted Butter
  • 1 (14-16 Pound) Turkey
  • 4 Cups Chicken Broth

Stock:

  • Turkey Neck, Heart, and Gizzard
  • 1 Large Onion, Quartered
  • 4 Carrots, Chopped
  • 4 Garlic Cloves, Peeled
  • 1 Teaspoon Black Peppercorns, Uncrushed
  • 1 Bay Leaf

Stuffing:

  • 1 Pound Sweet Italian Sausage, Casing Removed
  • 1/4 cup Unsalted Butter
  • 2 Medium Onions, Finely Chopped
  • 1 1/2 Pounds Fennel Bulbs,Trimmed And Finely Chopped (About 4 1/2 Cups)
  • 1 Teaspoon Fennel Seeds, Chopped Fine
  • 2 Teaspoons Fresh Sage, Chopped
  • 2 Teaspoons Fresh Rosemary, Chopped
  • Salt & Pepper
  • 7 Cups Cubed Stale Italian Country Bread
  • Chicken Broth

Gravy:

  • 6 Cups Reserved Turkey Stock
  • 6 Tablespoons Unsalted Butter
  • 1/4 Cup All-purpose Flour
  • 1 Pound Fresh Portabello Mushrooms, Coarsely Chopped
  • 1/3 Cup Port Wine
  • 1 Teaspoon Finely Chopped Rosemary

Directions:

  1. The day before, make the stock by placing all of the listed stock ingredients in a large pot.
  2. Add 6 cups of water and simmer for 4 hours, strain, and refrigerate stock until the next day.
  3. For the stuffing, heat a heavy skillet, and cook the sausage over medium high heat, stirring and breaking up lumps with a fork, until no longer pink.
  4. Transfer sausage with a slotted spoon to a large bowl.
  5. Add butter to fat remaining in skillet and cook onions, chopped fennel, and fennel seeds over moderate heat, stirring, until the fennel is softened, about 10 minutes.
  6. Add the chopped herbs, season with salt and pepper and cook, stirring, until most liquid is evaporated.
  7. Add mixture to sausage with cubed bread and toss to combine well.
  8. Add a few teaspoons of broth to moisten the mixture if it seems dry, but do not make it too wet.
  9. Set aside.
  10. To prepare the turkey, grind dried porcini in a food processor until it is almost reduced to a powder (about 4 minutes).
  11. Place the porcini into bowl, and mix in 2 tablespoons of the butter.
  12. Rinse the turkey inside and out, and pat dry with paper towels.
  13. Place turkey on small rack set in large roasting pan.
  14. Rub porcini butter over the outside of turkey.
  15. Sprinkle it with salt and pepper.
  16. Bring the chicken broth to boil in small saucepan.
  17. Remove from the heat, and reserve for basting.
  18. Set the oven rack at lowest position in the oven and preheat it to 325°F.
  19. Spoon the stuffing loosely into the main cavity and neck cavity.
  20. Tuck wing tips under, and tie legs together loosely.
  21. Roast turkey 1 hour 15 minutes, covering loosely with foil if browning quickly.
  22. Baste with 1 cup porcini broth.
  23. Continue to roast turkey until thermometer inserted into thickest part of thigh registers 175°F, basting with 3/4 cup porcini broth and pan juices every 45 minutes, for about 3 hours.
  24. Transfer turkey to a platter. and let it stand 30 minutes.
  25. Internal temperature will increase 5 to 10 degrees as it sits.
  26. To make the gravy, place roasting pan over 2 burners.
  27. Add the turkey stock and any remaining porcini broth and bring to boil, scraping up browned bits.
  28. Strain turkey broth into heavy large saucepan, spooning off excess fat.
  29. Mix 4 tablespoons butter and flour in bowl to form paste.
  30. Melt 2 tablespoons butter in large skillet over medium heat.
  31. Add the mushrooms, and cook until softened, about 8 minutes.
  32. Add the Port wine, and boil until the liquid evaporates, about 2 minutes.
  33. Add mushroom mixture to turkey broth with the rosemary, and bring it to a boil.
  34. Whisk in flour paste.
  35. Reduce heat to medium, and simmer until the gravy thickens, whisking occasionally, about 5 minutes.
  36. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  37. Carve the turkey and spoon the stuffing into a large bowl.
  38. Serve the turkey with the gravy and stuffing.