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Roasted Turkey with Barley Walnut Stuffing

The barley stuffing makes a lovely alternative to the classic bread version, keeping the familiar flavours of thyme, onion and sage.

Serves: 12

  • 11⁄2 cups dried pearl barley, rinsed 375 mL
  • 5 cups chicken stock 1.25 L
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter 30 mL
  • 1 medium onion, finely diced
  • 2⁄3 cup walnut pieces, lightly toasted 160 mL
  • 1⁄2 cup dried cranberries 125 mL
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh thyme 15 mL
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh sage 15 mL
  • 1⁄2 cup dry white wine 125 mL
  • 2 tsp finely grated orange zest 10 mL
  • salt and pepper
  • Turkey
  • 2 onions, sliced
  • 1 16 lb (6.75 kg) fresh turkey, rinsed and patted dry
  • 1⁄4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature 60 mL
  • salt and pepper
  1. Preheat the oven to 325˚F (140˚C). Arrange the sliced onion over the bottom of the roasting pan and place the turkey on top. Stuff the cavity of the turkey with the barley stuffing (place any excess stuffing in a separate baking dish to be reheated later). Tie the turkey legs together with butcher twine and tuck the wing tips underneath the bird. Place a piece of foil over any exposed stuffing. Rub the entire bird with the butter and season with salt and pepper.
  2. <li>Roast the turkey, uncovered, for about 5 hours (allowing 20 minutes per pound/0.45 kg) until a thermometer reads 185˚F (85˚C) at the thigh joint and 165˚F (74˚C) in the centre of the stuffing. Baste the turkey with the juices from the bottom of the pan every 30 minutes for the first 3 hours, and then every 15 minutes for the final 2 hours. </li>
    <li>Lift the cooked turkey out of the roasting pan and loosely tent with foil. Let it rest on a cutting board for 15 minutes before carving. While the turkey is resting, prepare the gravy. </li>
Turkey Tips
  • Turkey size: plan on one pound (0.45 kg) per person, plus an extra 4 to 5 pounds (1.8 to 2.2 kg) for popular leftovers.
  • If ordering a fresh turkey, pick it up a maximum of two days before roasting it.
  • To thaw a frozen turkey in the fridge, allow one day per 4 pounds (1.8 kg) of turkey. Never thaw a turkey at room temperature.
  • Place the frozen, wrapped turkey on a platter with a lip that is large enough to catch any excess juices. Store on the bottom shelf in the fridge so it does not sit over other food. If it fits, store the turkey in an empty crisper drawer that can be removed and washed afterwards.
  • If you forget to pull out the frozen turkey in time to thaw, set the wrapped turkey in a clean sink basin and run cold water over it continually until thawed. The water should never be stagnant. Be sure to clean and sanitize the sink afterwards.
  • Select a roasting pan that leaves a two-inch gap between the turkey and the edges of the pan to allow the air to circulate for even cooking.
  • The turkey can be placed on a roasting rack within the roasting pan or on sliced vegetables.
  • A heavy metal roasting pan holds and conducts the heat well, promoting even cooking and browning. If you're using a disposable, aluminum roasting pan, place it on top of a baking tray for easier lifting and moving. Do not prepare the gravy in the aluminum pan - use a saucepan instead.
  • Insert the thermometer at the tightest point where the thigh joint connects to the turkey breast.
  • A large turkey will have carry over cooking, meaning it will continue to hold the heat and cook when removed from the oven. You should allow about 5˚F (3˚C) for every 10 pounds (4.5 kg) of turkey for carry over cooking. For example, a 10 pound turkey can be pulled from the oven when it reaches 180˚F (82˚C), but be sure to keep the thermometer in the turkey - if it doesn't come up to temperature, then pop it back in the oven.
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