Turkey - 6 1/2 - 7 lbs.
Ground Beef - 3/4 lb.
Onion - medium ( finely chopped)
Arborio Rice - 1/2 cup
Pine Nuts - 1/3 cup
White Wine - 1 cup
Chicken or Turkey stock - 2 cups (room temperature)
Butter - 1 1/2 cups
Lemons - 3 squeezed
Salt/Pepper - to taste
Clean and wash the turkey well (inside the cavity as well). Pat dry with kitchen towel.
Rub inside and out with the lemon juice, reserve in fridge uncovered until ready to bake.
Put a little olive oil in a saute pan large enough to saute the meat, the onion and the rice together at the same time.
Cook the meat and onion over medium heat until all juice and moisture from the meat has been released and then absorbed.
Add 1/2 the butter, and brown the meat mixture.
Once nicely browned, add the rice and the pine nuts. (Season lightly at this point with the salt and pepper)
Stir ingredients. Once the rice feels warm to the touch, add the white wine to deglaze the pan, stirring until wine evaporates completely.
At this stage, add a half cup of the stock, implementing standard "risotto" making procedures.
Once the 1/2 cup of stock is totally absorbed, stir in another, repeating this procedure until all the stock has been used. The rice will be al dente at this point.
Remove the risotto stuffing from pan and let cool prior to stuffing the bird.
This is not a "risotto" though we are using a risotto type of rice. We are making a stuffing in which the rice will be thoroughly cooked in the turkey but packed with flavor from the juices of the bird and the stuffing ingredients.
Season the bird inside and out well with the salt and pepper
Stuff the turkey with the mixture through the stomach cavity and the hollow part of the neck
Then close the cavity openings with wooden skewers, or close up with needle and thread
Cooking: ( Pre-heat over to 350 degrees)
Spread the bird with the rest of the butter. Place the bird on a rack in a roasting pan, and into a preheated 350 degree F (175 degrees C) oven.
Add 2 cups of water to the baking tin and roast slowly for approximately 3 hours. (basting intermittently)
Bake until the skin is a light golden color, then cover loosely with a foil tent. During the last 45 minutes of baking, remove the foil tent to brown the skin. Basting is not necessary at this point , but will help to promote even more browning.
Important Note: The internal temperature of the cooked stuffing must be at least 165 degrees.
A good indication to check if the turkey is done, is to pierce the thickest part of the breast and the leg joint with the point of a knife. If the juices run out clear the turkey is done! (The temperature in the thigh should reach 180 degrees.)
Let the turkey rest a good 20 minutes before carving and removing the stuffing. This is key in not losing all the juice from the turkey.
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