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Roast Turkey with Chestnut Stuffing

This Roast Turkey with Chestnut Stuffing is one of the best Thanksgiving turkey recipes to be found. The rich, warm flavor of chestnuts permeates this simple roast turkey recipe, putting everyone in the mood for a feast.

  • 2 pounds fresh chestnuts
  • 1 cup butter
  • 2 medium onions, chopped
  • 1 1/2 cup chopped celery with leaves
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon sage
  • 2 teaspoons thyme
  • 2 teaspoons pepper
  • 2 1-pound loaves white bread, cut into cubes
  • salt, to taste
  • 6 cups water
  • Neck, gizzard and heart from 16-pound turkey
  • 16-pound turkey
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • GRAVY:
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 2 teaspoons fresh thyme, minced
  • salt and pepper, to taste


  1. Cut an "X" on 1 side of each fresh chestnut with small sharp knife.
  2. Cook whole fresh chestnuts in large saucepan of simmering water 12 minutes. Remove from heat.
  3. Remove 1 chestnut from water using slotted spoon. Grasp in dish towel.
  4. Using small sharp knife, peel off chestnut shell and inner dark skin. Repeat with remaining chestnuts.
  5. Coarsely chop chestnuts.
  6. Melt 1/4 cup butter in large skillet over medium heat. Add onions, celery, herbs and pepper and saute until tender.
  7. Put bread in large bowl. Pour onion mixture over.
  8. Melt 1/4 cup butter in same skillet over medium heat. Add chestnuts and saute until golden brown. Add chestnuts to bread mixture.
  9. Melt remaining 1/2 cup butter in same skillet. Pour over bread and toss well. Season with salt.


  1. Bring all ingredients to boil in heavy saucepan.
  2. Reduce heat and simmer until liquid is reduced to 3 cups. Strain.


  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
  2. Butter 8 cup baking dish.
  3. Rinse turkey inside and out; pat dry.
  4. Fill neck cavity loosely with some of chestnut stuffing. Fill main cavity loosely with some of stuffing.
  5. Sew main cavity closed. Tie legs together. Tuck wings under body.
  6. Place turkey breast side up on rack in large roasting pan. Rub butter over turkey.
  7. Transfer remaining stuffing to prepared dish; cover with foil. Roast turkey 45 minutes.
  8. Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees F. Roast turkey until meat thermometer inserted in thickest part of thigh registers 175F, basting frequently with pan drippings, about 2 1/2 hours.
  9. Place stuffing in covered dish in oven during last 45 minutes.
  10. Transfer turkey to platter reserving drippings for gravy. Tent turkey with foil to keep warm.


  1. Scrape bottom of roasting pan to loosen any browned bits. Pour contents of pan into large mesuring cup. Let stand until fat rises to surface.
  2. Spoon off fat from measuring cup, reserving 1/2 cup.
  3. Add 3 cups turkey broth to pan drippings in measuring cup. Pour reserved 1/2 cup fat into heavy skillet.
  4. Cook fat over medium heat until hot. Add flour and cook until golden brown, strirring constantly.
  5. Add broth mixture and bring to a boil, stirring constantly.
  6. Cook until sauce thickens, add thyme, and season with salt and pepper.

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