Turkey Roast with Chantrelle Stuffing

As the popularity of turkey meat grows, meat processors have started packaging it in forms that resemble classic cuts of beef and pork. I prefer to avoid meats in general, but when I do eat them I find turkey to be among the most palatable. Yet somehow, as the industry breeds turkeys to produce more and more white meat, the flavor turns increasingly bland. Perhaps that's why stuffing is my favorite part of a holiday meal. The roast used in this recipe, consisting of breast pieces held together with a net of string, can easily turn dry and flavorless if left to cook on its own. However, you can enhance it's mild flavor with the sweet overtones of chantrelles. To add some depth I also added some duxelles made from Agaricus augustus, whose complex musty almond characteristics complement the chantrelles' apricot qualities and enhance the remnants of gaminess in the turkey. You can substitute another agaric duxelles if augustus is not available, or simply use 3 tablespoons chopped almonds instead.

For the gravy:

Preheat the oven to 375º F.

Dice the shallots very finely. Clean and chop the chantrelles. Sautée the shallots on medium heat with the olive oil until they begin to turn translucent, then add the chantrelles and sautée for a few more minutes. Add the sherry, duxelle, breadcrumbs, and tarragon. Stir together and allow the liquid to be absorbed, then remove from heat. Stir in the raw egg and a dash of salt and fresh ground pepper.

If the turkey roast already has string around it, leave the string on. If not, you will need to wrap it in string to avoid splitting it with the next step. Take a sharp knife and carefully cut a hole deep into the center of the roast, being careful not to split the sides or cut through the bottom. Spread the cut wide with two knives, and spoon as much of the stuffing as possible into the roast. There should be a bit left over, which you can add to the gravy. Use two bamboo skewers to tack together the opening in the roast.

Put about 1/2 inch of water in the bottom of a roasting tray, and put the turkey roast on a rack above it. Place in the preheated 375º oven for about 2 hours.

To make the gravy, remove the cooked roast from the oven and separate the turkey and rack from the tray. Place the tray with its drippings on the stove under low heat. Add the milk. With a wisk, mix in a bit of flour at a time until thick. Add a dash of salt and pepper, then the remaining mushroom stuffing. Bring to a light simmer, stirring constantly until thick, and serve with the roast.