Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Are you afraid of the Big Bad Turkey?

I know a lot of people are. The thought of having to do the turkey is enough to scare an unseasoned cook. (Get it? HAHAHA) But fear not! For I shall show thee how to cook that bird!

Okay, all joking aside, this is a really good recipe for turkey. Don't be intimidated by the length of the article, I'll break it down. Oh, and remember this recipe is for after the turkey has been thawed. Directions for how to do this properly should be on the turkey. And you should start on thawing at least one day ahead. Maybe more depending on the size of your bird.

Traditional Stuffed Turkey

12 to 14 pound turkey with the giblets reserved (You also don't have to use giblets, but can instead use some cooked turkey meat. I'll explain later. I also never use the liver. Gives me the wiggins. LOL)

1 lemon, halved

salt and pepper

butter, melted

Meat Stuffing:

4 to 6 Tablespoons butter

2 onions, finely chopped

6 ounce lean ground turkey

Reserved turkey heart and liver (or cooked turkey meat) finely chopped (The easiest thing to do is purchase a few slices of turkey from the deli and chop them finely. You could also make this without the meat.)

1 pound fresh chestnuts

2 cups strained turkey broth

1/2 cup raw unprocessed rice

1 cup fresh bread crumbs

2 cooking apples, peeled, cored and finely chopped (Cooking apples can be any kind of apples you think taste good. Red Delicious is a great variety for this.)

Take fresh chestnuts and slit the base of each shell crosswise, boil for 5 minutes, peel and break into small pieces.

To make broth: simmer the reserved turkey neck and gizzard (or chopped cooked turkey) in 3 cups water for 45 minutes, then strain turkey broth.

Wash the turkey in cold water, pat it dry inside and out, and leave it for 30 minutes while you cook your stuffing.

For the stuffing, heat the butter in a skillet and fry the onions until they begin to change color, then add the ground turkey and simmer gently for 15 minutes.

Add the turkey heart and liver, (or chopped cooked turkey) the chestnuts, and pine nuts and simmer for another 5 minutes.

Add the broth and bring this to a boil.

Add the rice and cook quickly for 10 minutes, then add the bread crumbs, and apples.

Stir well.

To stuff the turkey, slit the skin at the back of the neck and cut off the neck down to the turkey's shoulders if the neck has not already been removed.

Lightly fill the cavity, remembering that the stuffing always swells and too much swelling might cause the neck skin to burst.

Sew or pin with a skewer the neck flap to the back of the turkey.

Just as lightly, fill the body cavity, and sew or skewer this together.

Tie the legs to the tail and fix the wings snugly to the body.

Do not bring the cord across the breast lest it mark the skin.

Rub the turkey cut with lemon, salt, pepper and melted butter and place it in a large, shallow pan in a moderate oven (preheat to 350 degrees, then lower temperature to 325 degrees).

Roast it according to its weight when stuffed, allowing 25 to 30 minutes per pound.

Extra stuffing can be roasted in a pan for 45 minutes or so and served with the turkey. Or it can be made into rissoles by shaping it into small balls, dipping them into beaten egg and bread crumbs, and then frying them in butter, to be served as a garnish.

Cook the turkey until temperature reaches 170 degrees F in the breast and 180 degrees F in the thigh. Cooking times are for planning purposes only - always use a meat thermometer to determine doneness.

Now, that wasn't so terrible, was it? Don't forget to serve it with a pretty garnish. Parsley and cherry tomatoes are always good:)

If you need a break while your turkey is cooking, why not check out my latest release? Touch of an Incubus is short (so you can read it during a break) and it's only .69 cents.

No comments: