Why is turkey traditional at Christmas? Recommended recipe

We are going to tell you why it is tradition to consume turkey at Christmas, as well as we bring you a simple recipe to prepare it.

Last update: November 28, 2021

In several countries it is a tradition to eat turkey at Christmas, especially at Christmas Eve dinner. It is a characteristic food of Thanksgiving Day as well, which is celebrated in the United States and Canada. It is a custom of Aztec origin which was brought to Europe by the Spanish conquerors.

In this culture the solstice was celebrated, since it marked the beginning of a new cycle. However, Christmas did not exist as such.

Although at this time turkey was already consumed, it was not a common product in celebrations. However, during the conquest by the Spanish it became a meal for special occasions, being known first as guinea fowl.

Turkey breast stuffed for Christmas

Now that you know where the tradition of consuming turkey during the Christmas period comes from, We are going to show you a recipe that you can prepare for the celebrations. It is easy to make and has an excellent final flavor.


The ingredients you will need to prepare the stuffed turkey breast for Christmas are the following:

  • 2 carrots
  • 1 pinch of salt.
  • 2 large oranges.
  • 2 red onions.
  • 50 grams of dried apricots.
  • 50 grams of raisins.
  • 1 kilo of turkey breast.
  • 1 pinch of black pepper
  • 200 milliliters of sweet wine.
  • 1 tablespoon of cornstarch.
  • 300 milliliters of chicken broth.
  • 50 grams of peeled pistachios.
  • 6 tablespoons of olive oil.
  • 3 tablespoons of pomegranate grains.

Remember that the quality of the turkey can mark the result of the preparation. It is best to opt for an organic variety raised in freedom and fed with feed. In this way, the meat will be more tender, which will allow it to reach an optimal doneness.

Turkey is a white meat that has to be of good quality to get a tasty dish.

Step by Step

You have to start preparing the filling for the breasts. It will be necessary to peel the onions and cut them into Julienne.

Carrots should be cut in half, being subsequently cut into thin sticks. Then, heat oil in a pan and add the onion, cooking over low heat for 15 minutes.

Once it is poached, it will be time to add the carrots, keeping it over low heat for another 15 minutes. It is important to stir from time to time. Just before the time ends, add a little salt along with a pinch of pepper.

In parallel, it will be necessary to cut the dried apricots and pistachios. Although they can be omitted in case someone doesn’t like them.

Both elements, along with raisins, they are incorporated into the pan with the onion and everything is mixed well. Cook for 4 more minutes and the filling will be ready.

Now is the time to prepare the turkey breasts. First it is necessary to make a cut in the shape of a book, leaving the top part a little fatter. This upper part will open in the middle, in turn, to achieve a larger surface. The breasts are flattened with a kitchen mallet and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Stuffed and cooked

The breasts are arranged one on top of the other and the filling is placed on top. You have to roll the meat on itself so that it is well closed. When this is achieved, it is sealed with a kitchen string, preventing the filling from coming out from the sides.

You just need to preheat the oven to 200 degrees Celsius and brown the roll in the pan beforehand to improve the juiciness. It is then placed in an oven-safe dish with chicken broth and sweet wine. It is baked with heat on both sides for 50 minutes, opening every 10 minutes to water the roll with the broth.

Time passed, all that remains is to peel oranges and cut them into slices. They are arranged around a source and the turkey roll is placed right in the middle, removing the threads with kitchen scissors. To finish, it is decorated with grains of pomegranate and it can now be consumed.

However, the result will be even better if the rest of the cooking broth is cooked in a pan with a little cornstarch dissolved in water. In this way, an ideal semi-liquid sauce will remain to accompany the meat.

Benefits of including turkey in the diet on a regular basis

Turkey is a food that has several health benefits. In the first place, its protein contribution stands out. Thanks to it, chronic diseases such as sarcopenia can be prevented, which causes a catabolism of lean mass and loss of strength. This is evidenced by an investigation published in the journal BioMed Research International.

It must be taken into account that a sedentary adult may need a daily consumption of at least 0.8 grams of protein per kilo of weight to stay in good condition. In sports contexts, these needs can easily double or triple, according to a study published in Annals of Nutrition & Metabolism.

On the other hand, turkey meat has in its interior several essential micronutrients for the human body. It is important to ensure the consumption of all of them in sufficient quantities to avoid inefficiencies.

Out of all of them, special mention must be made of iron. A deficit of it has been shown to generate anemia.

Christmas celebrations are an opportunity to continue incorporating quality food. It doesn’t have to be the opposite.

Prepare turkey for Christmas

The consumption of turkey at Christmas has been a tradition for many years. It is a custom that our ancestors implemented and that has been maintained throughout the generations. It is a high quality meat, easy to prepare and with exceptional organoleptic characteristics.

Now, keep in mind that there are many different ways of preparation. We have shown you one, but you can vary and even modify the commented recipe.

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