Squeeze the meat out of the skin, mix with the shallots and all the other ingredients up to and including the pepper.
Rinse the turkey in cold water, dab dry with kitchen roll. Season inside and out, stuff. Secure the opening with toothpicks. Cross the legs, tie with kitchen twine. Place on a baking tray (breast side up), top with the knobs of butter.
1 hr. in the lower half of an oven preheated to 200°C. Reduce the heat to 140°C, continue to roast for approx. 3 hrs., add the chestnuts and pears to the tray and cook with the turkey for the final 30 mins. Baste the turkey with the cooking juices from time to time. The turkey is cooked when the juices run clear when pricked.
Noilly Prat sauce
Heat the butter in a pan. Sauté the shallot. Pour in the vermouth and cream, add the thyme, bring to the boil, simmer over a medium heat for approx. 5 mins., season. Remove the toothpicks and twine from the turkey, carve the turkey. Plate up the meat and stuffing, serve with the sauce, chestnuts and pears.