Roast Turkey, Gravy & Stuffing
We used the same roast turkey, gravy, and stuffing recipes for the 3rd time at our family Thanksgiving at Whistler this year. The turkey recipe is from CBC Radio One’s Q program, but I’m repeating it here because somebody at the CBC apparently doesn’t believe in cool URLs - the recipe is still in the Q blog archive, but the URL from 2008 is broken and the page has moved to the URL given here - who knows for how long?
The stuffing recipe is from the Chef John Folse & Company site, but it’s repeated here too so that I know that we have it.
We usually cook a 12 to 14 lb, fresh turkey and it takes 3 to 3½ hours to reach the recommended 170°F temperature. We use calvados in the gravy instead of jam or jelly to match the calvados in the stuffing.
- 12 to 14 lb fresh turkey
- 250 g butter
- 750 mL bottle dry white wine
Preheat oven to 325°F.
Melt 250g of butter in a saucepan, and add 750 ml of dry white wine. Bring to a simmer.
Remove the neck and gibbets from the turkey cavity, rinse the bird, and stuff the cavity with onions, carrots, and celery cut in big pieces. Tie string around the bird to hold the wings against the body, and to hold the legs together.
Cut and/or fold the cheesecloth to form 4 layers about 18 inches square. Soak cheesecloth in the butter and wine mixture in the saucepan.
Place turkey on wire rack in roasting pan. Sprinkle with salt. Place soaked cheesecloth on top to cover breast and legs.
Roast in oven 3 to 3½ hours, basting every half hour with butter/wine mixture. Turkey is cooked when juices run clear or a meat thermometer placed in thickest part of thigh (do not touch bone) registers 180°F (82°C) for a stuffed bird, or 170°F (77°C) for unstuffed.
While turkey is roasting, make stock by simmering neck and gibblets (except liver) along with a carrot, small onion and herbs of choice in water to cover for at least 2 hours. Strain; discard solids.
Remove turkey from oven. Carefully peel off cheesecloth. Let stand about 15 minutes before carving.
Redcurrant or blackcurrant jam work best but raspberry or plum would be fine.
- 2 tbsp fat from turkey drippings
- 2 tbsp all-purpose flour
- 1½ cups turkey stock
- 1 tbsp Calvados
- Salt and pepper
Redcurrant, blackcurrant, raspberry, or plum jam or jelly can be substituted for the calvados.
Whisk flour into turkey fat in a saucepan to make a roux. Gradually add turkey stock and whisk while bringing to a boil. Add calvados, and salt and pepper to taste.
Fruit and Nut Stuffing
- ½ cup pecans, chopped
- 5 oz. day old French bread, cut into ½ inch cubes
- 1/8 pound unsalted butter
- ½ cup onions, finely chopped
- ½ cup celery, finely chopped
- ¼ cup red bell pepper
- ½ cup dried apricots, finely diced
- 2 tbsp dried cranberries
- 1¼ cups green apples, peeled and finely chopped
- ¼ cup Calvados, applejack or apple cider
- 1/16 tsp ground cloves
- 1/8 tsp dried thyme
- 1/4 tsp dried sage
- 1 cups chicken or turkey stock
- Salt and pepper to taste
Pre-heat oven to 350°F.
Toast pecans on a baking sheet until lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Remove and set aside to cool. On another large baking pan, brown French bread cubes, stirring occasionally until crisp and dried. Do not overbrown. Cool and place along with pecans in a large mixing bowl.
In a 1-quart sauce pot, melt butter over medium-high heat. Sauté onions, celery and red bell pepper for 3-5 minutes until wilted. Add apricots, cranberries and apples. Sauté 5-10 minutes, then add Calvados. Add cloves, thyme and sage.
Add chicken stock, bring to a low boil and reduce to simmer. Season the stock to taste using salt and pepper.
Pour the seasoned stock over the bread mixture, tossing to incorporate. Spoon the dressing into a 3-quart casserole dish and bake, covered, for about 45 minutes. Additional stock may be added to retain moisture. Uncover for 5-10 minutes to brown lightly, if a crispier top is desired.
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