The Turkey – They have now done a new thing with the turkey – they say it is fresh not frozen but trust me it is frozen. They suggest keeping the turkey in the bag and submerge it in cold running water until it feels soft. I haven’t tried this. BUT be forewarned you can’t cook this turkey that way it comes from the market – ice crystals everywhere, stiff as a board – you can’t work with it at all.
Remove turkey from the bag. After removing neck and giblets from body cavity, rinse bird with cold water. Pat cavities lightly with paper towel.
Separate skin from breast. Let Turkey sit uncovered overnight in refrigerator.
The turkey just out of the refrigerator – you can see that the skin has shriveled
More turkey out of the refrigerator – I let it come up to room temperature – about 1 3/4 hours
While turkey is coming up to room temperature, saute the giblets and and neck pieces in butter.
Add drained giblets and neck to some of the stock you have made previously. Recipe here:
Let cook until stock is strengthened. This is perfect for your stuffing.
Finished stock for stuffing
Chestnut Dressing for turkey – the ingredient list are equivalents –
2 pounds chestnuts (see peeling chestnuts on this site – let cook until crumbly in turkey stock) – chop coarsely – I have discovered “THE” easy way to do the chestnuts. Order peeled and steamed chestnuts from Melissa’s. They are delicious and no work peeling chestnuts. Melissa’s can be found on the internet – just do a search.
Peppridge Farm cornbread stuffing mix
Peppridge Farm regular stuffing mix
1 pound pork sausage
1 large onion, diced
3 stalks celery diced
butter for cooking the onions and celery
2 eggs, lightly beaten
onions beginning to saute in butter
sausage just about done
Stuffing – this was a huge bowl – enough stuffing for a 15 1/2 pound bird with lots of leftovers
Slather softened butter directly on the breast. Then just before cooking the turkey, stuff turkey. Spread softened butter over breast and back. Season with salt and pepper. Loosely truss so temp hits legs and stuffing.
Place bird in open pan, breast side up. Put turkey in oven with legs pointing to the back. Pour in 2 cups stock – add more butter as needed – baste every 30 to 35 minutes
Use a 325 oven
14-16 pounds 3 1/2 to 3 3/4 hours
16-18 3 3/4 to 4 HOURS
18-20 4 to 4 1/2 hours
20-22 4 1/2 to 5 hours
When turkey is half done, heat DO NOT BOIL one cup of white wine and pour over turkey.
New trick! 30 minutes before the turkey is done transfer turkey to a new pan on the original rack. Remove stuffing from cavity and put in new casserole and return to oven to insure proper temp. Return turkey to the oven for the last 30 minutes, cover lightly will foil if necessary. Now you have your original pan and you can make the sauce! No last minute sauce making and carving!
We like sauce not thick gravy. Deglaze pan with white wine. Separate fat from brown bits – add turkey stock and concentrate – My husband is the saucier and he is a genius at saucing.
Final Turkey sauce – reheated
When turkey is done, the thickest part of the drumstick will feel soft. Remove from oven and let stand 15 minutes. DO NOT COVER. Carve and reheat sauce.