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Galopoula Gemisti (Turkey Stuffed with Chicken Giblets and gravy) – Cypriot Recipe

Galopoula Turkey for Christmas.

Galopoula Gemisti, means stuffed turkey.  In Cyprus, we always used to roast our turkey on Christmas Day and I can remember what a huge bird we used to roast as I come from a big family.

turkey breast slices

I have two brothers and three sisters and apart from one of my brothers who lives in Australia, the rest we used to gather, with their wives or husbands and children, at a different house each time on Christmas Day, the day after Christmas, on New Year’s Eve, on New Year’s day, on Epiphany Day and on St. John’s (7th January).


I usually roast a turkey between 4 – 5 kilos. For each kilo of turkey, it should bake for an hour,

collage Turkey filling

I continue roasting the turkey on Christmas day making the same recipe year after year.  We love the stuffing with livers I don’t think I’ll ever try and make something different.

In Greece turkey is stuffed with minced meat and in the stuffing they add pine nuts and chestnuts.

Collage Turkey for stuffing collage

Galopoula Gemisti (Turkey Stuffed with Chicken Giblets and gravy) – Cypriot Recipe

Preparation time:  1 hour

Cooking time:   about 5 hours (for a 5 kilo turkey)


  • 1 turkey 4-5 kilos (considered relatively small) according to your guest list – 1/2 kilo per person


  • 550-650 grams of chicken giblets (livers and hearts only)
  • 1 onion finely chopped
  • 1 roasted garlic clove, mashed (0ptional)
  • 2 ripe tomatoes, peeled and blended
  • ½ cup white dry wine
  • ½ cup rice (Carolina or arborio)
  • ½ cup finely chopped parsley
  • ½ cup almonds crushed (with the skin)
  • ½ cup raisins
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • ½  tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • ½  tsp cinnamon
  • ½ cup water
  • ½ cup extra virgin olive oil

You may also add potatoes in your roast:

  • 2 kilos potatoes (about 1 medium potato per person)
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper (at will)
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon oregano (or more if you like)
  • 1 cup olive oil
  • Fresh rosemary leaves


  1. If you are buying a fresh turkey ask your butcher not to make a large incision, so you won’t be having a lot to sew afterwards.  If you are using a frozen one, make sure to thaw it in the refrigerator a couple of days before cooking it.
  2. Wash and clean both inside and outside. (This procedure is better done from the previous day as it takes a lot of time to have it ready).
  3. Brine the turkey.
  4. Prepare the stuffing. Wash the giblets and let them drain from the water then cut into small pieces (as small as possible). If you have a food processor where you can grind them, so much the better.
  5. Peel and finely chop the onion. In a large skillet heat the oil and slightly sauté the onion before browning add the giblets and sauté as well. Add wine and let the alcohol evaporate. Add, salt, pepper, cinnamon, parsley, almonds, raisins, tomatoes and the water and let it simmer for 15 minutes.
  6. Add the rice, lower heat and stir until most of the fluids have been absorbed.Remove from heat, cover with a napkin and let it cool down.
  7. Place turkey in large baking tin and season cavity with salt and pepper.Have a large needle and white thread ready for sewing. Stuff turkey’s cavities (stomach and throat) with the filling and sew the skin.
  8. Season with salt and pepper and tie legs together loosely to hold shape of turkey and place in the tin breast facing down.
  9. Preheat oven to 180º C / 350º F.
  10. Peel and cut potatoes in quarters or eight pieces if potato is big and add salt, pepper, rosemary leaves and oregano. Add 1 cup of olive oil and the lemon juice.
  11. Cover the baking tin with parchment paper and then wrap it with aluminum foil carefully so that steam will not escape.
  12. Bake for three hours and carefully remove foil to turn the turkey over.  Cover again and bake for another hour.  Remove foil and continue baking for another hour, until nice and golden.
  13. Remove turkey from the tin and let it cool down for at least 20 minutes before cutting. Before cutting remove the stuffing in a platter.

Note added after Christmas 2008:

I also added 2 cups of boiled and peeled chestnuts and 2 spring onions and all these added to the taste.

As soon as turkey is removed from the oven, put some slices of bread and roast them. Sprinkle some olive oil and oregano on top.


Update 27th December, 2013:

This year I made too much filling for the turkey so after stuffing the turkey, I wrapped the remaining in parchment paper and aluminum foil and baked it together with potatoes, separately from the turkey.   The potatoes were relatively large, so some of them were halved and a slit was made in the middle, in order to absorb the juices.  I added olive oil, lemon juice, mandarin juice, salt,  pepper and oregano.  These were placed on the lower rack of the oven and a separate baking tin with the turkey was cooked on top.

Turkey 2013

The turkey was around 4 kilos.  After adding the filling and sewing the skin, I prepared a marinade which I poured on top.


  • 3/4 cup olive oil
  • 3 tbsp mustard
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup mandarin juice
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • Salt and freshly grated black pepper
  • Oregano
  • 2 cups water


Around the turkey I added, lots of vegetables, which I  used later on to make the gravy.


  • 2 onions
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 sprigs celery
  • 6 carrots
  • Parsley ends (I kept them when making the filling)


The turkey was cooked covered with aluminum foil  as above recipe.  I then removed the turkey from the baking tin and the vegetables and juices were pureed in food processor and then sieved.

To make the gravy:

  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 tbsp flour
  • Broth from turkey drippings (about 3 – 4 cups)
  • 1 tsp butter


In a skillet heat the olive oil and add the flour to make a roux.  That means that they should be mixed until the flour starts to take a light brown colour.  Then add all the broth and stir until the sauce starts to thicken.  Finally add the butter and stir until the gravy thickens.

Christmas dinner

 Other relevant recipes:

Stuffed turkey roulade

Turkey leftovers?  Make a healthy Cottage Pie.

Turkey Soup and what to make with your leftovers

What to make with your leftovers:  Chocolate Truffles

What to make with your leftovers:  Cheesecake





Kopiaste and Kali Orexi,

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6 Responses

  1. Peter M

    Ivy, the stuffing sounds delightful. You should also consider “brining” your turkey. A day before roasting, place the turkey in a large “kouva” or bucket, fill it up until the turkey is submerged. Temporarily remove the the turkey and add 1 cup of salt to the water.
    Mix until the salt is dissolved then place your turkey back in the salt water (brine).

    Cover, keep in a cool place over night, then rinse the turkey well and prepare your turkey in your family’s usual way.

    You will never ever have dry turkey again!

  2. Ivy

    Peter if you say so I trust you and I will certainly try it. I’ll tell you about it after Christmas.

  3. Laurie Constantino

    I agree with Peter about brining turkeys — once I tried it, I can’t do it any other way. Here’s a good article explaining how to do it: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/chronicle/archive/2004/11/17/FDGIQ9RTLC1.DTL
    One thing though, I’ve found with brined turkey it’s best to cook the stuffing separately from the turkey. If you cook the stuffing in a brined turkey my experience is that the stuffing turns out too salty.

  4. Ivy

    Thanks for the link Laurie. Ok now I am torn. I decided to brine the turkey but the reason I stuff the turkey is for the stuffing. I wouldn’t like to cook it separately. What if I brine the turkey and do not add salt in the stuffing, will it still be salty?

  5. Laurie Constantino

    If you don’t add salt to the stuffing, that might work to balance the salty turkey drippings. I’ve gone to baking the stuffing separately and moistening it with well-flavored turkey (or chicken) stock. It’s worth it because the taste of brined turkey is so much better, at least in my family’s opinion.

  6. June

    We usually cook ham on Christmas but will bookmark it for Thanksgiving as it sounds amazing.