Dinde de Noël (Christmas Turkey)

Turkey is also a holiday bird in France, but of course, it’s not eaten in November: there were no Pilgrims landing in France, and therefore no American Thanksgiving! However, Christmas turkey is a great tradition. It’s usually cooked with chestnuts or more fancy, with black truffles.

Serves: 12Hands-on: 15 minutesTotal: 3 hours 15 minutesDifficulty: Medium

Serves: 12


  • 2 tsp. salt, divided
  • 2 tsp. ground black pepper, divided
  • 1 small black truffle
  • 1 turkey (10 lbs.), liver, heart, and gizzard reserved
  • 4 slices stale bread
  • 1⁄4 cup milk
  • 2 medium onions, minced
  • 3 Tbsp. minced parsley
  • 3 oz. ground veal
  • 3 oz. sausage meat
  • 1 egg
  • 1⁄4 cup Cognac
  • 2 lbs. small potatoes, peeled and halved


  • Sprinkle 1 teaspoon salt and 1 teaspoon pepper inside the turkey and on its skin.
  • Cut the truffle in very thin slices. Reserve a teaspoon of the truffle for the stuffing. Put the rest of the slices under the skin of the turkey.
  • Preheat the oven to 350°F. In a bowl, soak the stale slices of bread in milk. Put them in a blender with the minced onions, parsley, the liver, the heart, and the gizzard. Process for 30 seconds. In a large bowl, combine the ground veal and sausage meat, using a fork. Add the egg and the Cognac, then add the bread mixture. Stuff the turkey and truss it.
  • Put the turkey in a roasting pan, and pour water in to a depth of 1⁄2 inch. Put in the oven and cook. Cooking time will depend on the weight of the turkey: Cook it for 18 minutes per pound. About 30 minutes before serving, add the potatoes to the bottom of the pan.
  • When the cooking time is up, place turkey on a large platter and surround it with potatoes.