Roasted Turkey with Rice Stuffing
This post may contain affiliate links.
This Roasted Turkey with Rice Stuffing is tender and full of flavor. I made this turkey for Thanksgiving, but I’m sure it will be a hit on any other holiday!
Roasted Turkey with Rice Stuffing
You are probably wondering, why am I sharing a roasted turkey with rice stuffing recipe past Thanksgiving. Well, because I made it for Thanksgiving and I didn’t want to wait a whole year to share this delicious recipe! So, if you are looking for a Christmas dinner turkey recipe, you are in the right place! This is THE BEST roasted turkey I have ever had, it’s packed with flavor, a recipe that my whole family on my husband’s side follows! Shhhh.
How to Thaw a Turkey:
If you are using a frozen turkey, this is the first step that you should think of. The turkey will need a few days to thaw depending on how big it is. The best way to thaw it is in the refrigerator, so it is a good idea to plan ahead. I had a 13 pound turkey and it took a 3 days to thaw in the refrigerator. So about 24 hours for every 5 pounds of turkey. It is a good idea to give yourself and extra day, just incase!
How to Make the Rice for this Roasted Turkey with Rice Stuffing:
The rice needs to be cooked half way to allow it to fully cook while roasting. Long grain rice such as uncle bens works best for turkey stuffing. This rice stuffing is very similar to my Lebanese Chicken and Rice recipe.
- In a large saucepan over medium heat, add butter and sliced raw almonds and stir constantly until light brown.
- Add the rice, salt/spices and mix well.
- Add water and bring mixture to a boil.
- Reduce heat to medium low, cover the pot and simmer for about 10 minutes or until the rice is half way cooked. Set aside.
How to Prepare Turkey for Stuffing:
- Remove the thawed turkey from it’s packaging. Remove the neck and the bag of giblets (usually found in the large cavity of the turkey or sometimes found in the smaller neck cavity). I usually reserve the neck and giblets and boil it separately on the stove top to use for gravy along drippings later.
- Wash your turkey very well with white vinegar or scrub with lemon halves, rinse and pat dry with paper towels.
- Season the outside of the turkey with salt if you’d like.
How to Stuff the Turkey with Rice Stuffing:
- You’ll need a large roasting pan, a disposable foil roasting pan works just fine. Cover the bottom of the roasting pan with a large piece of foil.
- Place your turkey breast side up on a rack in the large pan covered with a foil and get ready for stuffing.
- Start by stuffing the cavity of the turkey with the half cooked rice. You might have to hold the turkey up a little.
- Use your fingers to loosen and lift the skin above the breasts (on the top of the turkey) and stuff a hand full of rice underneath. Keep stuffing until you run out of rice mixture. You can also add a few slices of lemon.
- Tuck the wing tips under the turkey, this keeps the tips from burning and also helps stabilize the turkey.
- Now its time to sew up the opening underneath the chest of the turkey (see picture below). Using a needle and 2 feet of thread, sew the skin loosely.
- If your turkey has a band of skin near the cavity opening, you can tuck the legs into the band. If not, simply crisscross the legs and use some twine to tie the turkey legs together.
- Add 2 cups of water to the pan.
- Cover the turkey with a piece of foil on top tightly. That’s it! You are ready to let your oven do the rest of the work!
How to Roast the Turkey:
In general, a turkey with stuffing needs to cook for 15 minutes per pound of bird. But there is no way to be sure if it’s fully cooked unless you use a thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the chest to check the temperature. The minimum internal temperature should be 165 F.
- Move oven rack to lower third of oven and preheat over to 450 F.
- Place the pan in the oven and cook for about 3 hours.
- In last 45 minutes to an hour of cooking take the foil off to let the turkey brown.
- Using a turkey baster, squeeze out some turkey broth from the bottom of the pan, and squirt all over the turkey. Do this step a few times while still cooking, after uncovering.
- Remove from the oven and let cool at least 20-30 minutes before slicing.
YES, TO SAVING THE TURKEY DRIPPINGS:
After the turkey is finished cooking there will be juice at the bottom of your roasting pan. I reserve all of it for making turkey gravy. You can also boil the neck and giblet separately and use its broth for gravy as well! While this is optional, I do think that it will add lots of flavor to your gravy!