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Roast Turkey with Farmhouse Stuffing
From '500 Treasured Country Recipes' From Martha Storey & Friends/Storey Books
Turkey always says Thanksgiving, and for such an important holiday I like to make the stuffing extra special. This one, with dried cherries, sausage and walnuts, is so delicious that you can serve it as a meal by itself, which has been known to happen more than once during our Thanksgiving weekends.
1. To make the stuffing, crumble the sausage into a large skillet; cook until browned. Remove from skillet and drain well.
2. In the same skillet, melt the butter. Saute the celery and onion until the onion is translucent. Add the sage and thyme; mix well. Remove from heat.
3. In a large mixing bowl, combine the onion mixture, stuffing mix, broth, cherries and walnuts; toss together lightly. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.
4. Preheat oven to 325 F. Place the oven rack in lowest position.
5. Rinse the turkey inside and out and dry it with a cloth. Rub the cavity with a little salt and set the turkey in a roasting pan. Loosely pack the body and neck cavities with stuffing. Tuck the legs under with the metal cleat or truss and tie the legs down. Brush the entire outside of the turkey with melted butter.
6. Roast the turkey, basting every 30 minutes with additional melted butter or pan drippings, until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh registers 180° F; the stuffing temperature should be 165° F. If the turkey is done but the stuffing is not, remove the bird from the oven. Spoon out the stuffing and transfer it to a buttered baking dish to finish cooking while the turkey rests. Cooking time for a stuffed turkey is about 12 to 15 minutes per pound; for an un-stuffed turkey, 10 to 12 minutes per pound. Transfer the cooked turkey to a platter; allow it to rest for 20 minutes before slicing.
7. In the meantime, skim off and discard any excess fat from the pan juices and add water or broth to the pan to make gravy.
Yield: 12 servings
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