Since we had two Thanksgiving celebration’s this year, I had 2 different menu options. I’m not sure why so much fear has been instilled in us upon cooking a turkey, but I think it’s important for anyone facing Thanksgiving meal prep, that cooking a turkey is one of the easiest things to do in the kitchen. I think the most difficult part of any holiday meal is the planning. Looking for different, or more up-dated food options always keeps things fresh and exciting. My menu for the friend gathering was more of a pot-luck style. I cooked the turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, buns and carrots,..while my friends brought the additions: corn casserole, carrots, cranberry salad, and dessert (apple and pumpkin pie).
I’ll post the recipe for the stuffing, & the turkey. Enjoy!
So, one of the most important things I think for a successful meal, is a high-quality turkey. We ordered ours, and picked it up 24 hours after slaughter. It was extremely fresh, and ready to be seasoned, stuffed and baked. I learned a few years back that once you put your turkey in, keep the oven door closed until the end. When enough time has passed (based on weight, stuffed, etc), take it out, measure the temperature and when it's reached 165 degrees, then you're good. It really is that simple. The other turkey essential is a delicious stuffing. I always go with an Italian undertone with herbs, turkey hearts and gizzards, Italian sausage, and a good bouillon base.
- 1 Turkey
- 2 loaf french/italian bread diced about 10 cups
- 2 onions diced
- 2-4 cloves garlic
- 4-6 stocks celery diced
- 1 celery root peeled and diced
- 2-3 strips bacon
- 1-2 boullon cubes for flavor
- 1-2 pats butter for sautee
- 2-4 TBS olive oil for sautee
- 2-3 sprigs herbs sage, rosemary, oregano
- 2-3 TBS butter smear for bird
- 1 cup dried apricots
- 1-2 cups white wine for base of turkey tray
Like I said, find first a good-high quality turkey. Let it sit, room temperature a few hours before your bake begins
while the turkey acclimates to room temperature, gather your stuffing essentials. As you can see, we have onion, garlic, apricots, celery and celery root, bouillon, herbs
Get your bread, a chiabatta or french loaf
dice it up to amount to 10 cups worth
Begin to sautee the items for the stuffing. Onion, bacon, and the rest of the raw ingredients. When the meat, and other ingredients are cooked, mix well with the dry bread. and combine well.
Your cooked stuffing is now ready to be stuffed into the hollow cavity of the bird.
In a deep roasting dish, add the wine and some bouillon stock to the base. Put turkey in, smeared with butter, salt pepper, and herbs. Now, stuff the bird. Secure her in the dish, and begin her roast.
Put her in a set oven @ 200 degrees Celsius, and keep the door closed until the calculated time (based on size and stuffing) has been determined. Take her out when finished, measure temperature with thermometer, then cover with foil and let her sit for up to 30 minutes. This encourages her juices to accumulate and will enhance moisture in the meat.
Take out stuffing, slice and serve.