Travel Secrets

Christmas Day festive table...the Greek way. Tradition V novelty

Christmas Day festive table...the Greek way. Tradition V novelty

Every region in Greece has its own traditions in what constitutes the typical Christmas Day table. But as the time goes by, novelties substitute the traditions in a “delicious” manner that no one wants to resist to!...

Every celebration is an opportunity for happy and quality family moments around the festive table. For Christmas Day, the dishes are numerous and tantalizing...and the consumption of meat absolutely necessary. A few decades ago, the presence of pork meat held a central position on the festive Greek table, especially on Christmas Day, with the lady of the house preparing it in different and interesting ways according to the geographical position and the local customs. 

We could mention just a few variations, such as the pork roast with cabbage or cauliflower in the Eptanissa island complex of the Ioanian sea, the pork marinated in lemon juice typical of the Dodecanese island complex, the pork stew with celery roots in the Peloponnese or - simply enough - the tender pork, cut in large cubes and cooked in the fireplace over the sizzling ashes of a wood fire in the region of Epirus, as well as, the traditional Christmas sausages stuffed with many spices in the Greek Midlands.  

And then came the turkey...and everything changed since it was highly appreciated by the Greek housewives as a novelty and it drew the attention of people of all ages, especially of the younger generations across the country. If by hearing the two words : "stuffed turkey" you feel tempted and your mouth waters...then you still have time to shop for the ingredients and surprise your family for tomorrow’s Christmas table. Here is an easy recipe to get you in the kitchen!

Recipe for traditional stuffed turkey


1 turkey of 2.5 to 3 kilograms

the juice of 4 oranges

½ cup of brandy

2 cups of sweet white wine

Oregano, pepper and grated black spice

For the stuffing

4 spoonfuls of olive oil

1 grated onion

1 leek thinly sliced

the insides of the turkey

300 grams of bird livers

500 grams of fresh mushrooms

3 spoonfuls of rice

1 ½ cup of boiled chestnuts cut in halves

2 spoonfuls of raisins

2 spoonfuls of roasted pine nuts

For the crust

½ cup of butter

1 cup of thinly cut peppermint and parsley

½ cup of cream cheese

salt and pepper

Cooking process

We place the turkey in a cooking pot and we pour over it the marinating mixture in which the turkey has to stay for at least 4 to 5 hours. After that timespan, we mix the ingredients of the crust and we take the turkey out of the pot in order to treat it with lot's of salt and pepper and get it ready for the stuffing. We have already created the stuffing by washing and cutting into small cubes the insides of the turkey. We place the butter in a cooking pot and we fry the onion with the bird livers, the leek and the mushrooms. We add the rice and keep blending with a wooden large spoon for a few more minutes. We add the chestnuts, the roasted pine nuts, the raisins, salt and pepper. We staff the turkey and sew it close. We place it on a baking tray with its front facing up. We roast at 160 degrees Celsius and we estimate the hours of baking according to the turkey’s initial weight. Every so often, we keep spraying the turkey with the juice of lemon and orange plus a spread of margarine and add a little water if necessary so that it is kept soft while baked.

Merry Christmas everyone!

From: Eva Kanellopoulos