Herb-Rubbed Turkey with Pear Stuffing

  • Prep Time: 45 minutes
  • Cook Time: 3 hours
  • Servings: 12-14
  • Rating:


  • 3 tablespoons dried sage leaves
  • 3 tablespoons dried savory leaves
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons whole white or black peppercorns
  • 1 teaspoon celery salt
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 10- to 12-pound turkey
  • Pear Stuffing (see recipe below)
  • Cooking oil or olive oil
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • Chicken broth or water
  • Salt and ground black pepper (optional)
  • Autumn fruits, such as pears, crabapples, and lady apples, and assorted fresh herbs, such as tricolor sage, sage, or bay laurel (optional)


1. In a clean, dry blender, combine sage, savory, peppercorns, celery salt, and paprika. Blend until coarsely ground. Set aside.

2. Rinse inside of turkey and pat dry with paper towels. Lightly spoon Pear Stuffing into neck and body cavities. Pull neck skin of turkey to back and fasten with a skewer. If a band of skin crosses the tail, tuck the ends of the drumsticks under band. If there is no band, tie drumsticks to the tail using 100-percent-cotton string. Twist wing tips under the back. Place any remaining stuffing in a casserole; cover and chill.

3. Brush turkey with cooking oil. Rub ground herb mixture over entire bird. If desired, loosen skin from breast and rub mixture over meat under breast skin to infuse greater flavor from rub into meat.

4. Place turkey, breast side up, on a rack in a shallow roasting pan. Insert a meat thermometer into the center of one of the inside thigh muscles. (The thermometer should not touch the bone.) Cover turkey loosely with foil. Roast in a 325 degree F oven for 2-1/4 hours.

5. Cut the band of skin or string between the drumsticks so the thighs will cook evenly. Continue roasting for 3/4 to 1-1/4 hours more or until thermometer registers 180 degree F to 185 degree F and stuffing registers 165 degree F. Uncover the last 30 minutes of roasting. Remove from oven. Cover and let stand for 15 minutes before carving. Bake any remaining stuffing, covered, the last 45 minutes of turkey roasting.

6. Transfer turkey to a serving platter. Pour pan drippings into a large measuring cup, scraping the browned bits into the cup. Skim and reserve fat from drippings. Pour 1/4 cup of the fat into a medium saucepan; discard the remaining fat. Stir in flour. Add enough chicken broth to remaining drippings to make 2 cups.

7. Add dripping mixture all at once to flour mixture in saucepan. Cook and stir over medium heat until thickened and bubbly. Cook and stir for 1 minute more. If desired, season to taste with salt and pepper. If desired, garnish serving platter with fall fruits and assorted fresh herbs. Makes 12 to 14 servings.

Pear Stuffing: Rinse and drain 1/2 cup uncooked wild rice. In a medium saucepan, cook rice in 2 tablespoons butter or margarine over medium heat for 2 minutes. Carefully add two 14-ounce cans chicken broth. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer, covered, for 30 minutes. Add 1-1/4 cups orzo pasta. Return to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer, covered, for 10 to 12 minutes more. Stir in 2 medium red pears, cored and cut into 1/2-inch cubes; 3/4 cup toasted chopped hazelnuts; 1/2 cup sliced green onion; 1/2 cup golden raisins; and 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger.