Honestly, I wasn’t that excited to make the turkey. My own foodie sister even told me to pass that job to my mother because “it’s not fun.” I knew that I needed to do it myself (with the ever-present watchful eye of my mother as sous chef, of course). Turns out, preparing the turkey wasn’t too difficult and kind of fun. It also was incredibly tasty. I highly recommend this recipe to Thanksgiving host newbies: it comes highly rated and is practically foolproof!
I also give high marks to the stuffing recipe. I loved the fact that it was made with whole wheat bread and festive chestnuts. I was happy to sneak in some whole grains, and no one complained the dish didn’t taste like traditional stuffing. In fact, my friend Josh who doesn’t eat vegetables went back for multiple helpings! I may have snuck some extra nibbles in too.
Ultimate Roasted Turkey
from Cooking Light
3/4 cup apple cider
5 tablespoons dark corn syrup, divided
1 (12-pound) fresh or frozen turkey, thawed
1 tablespoon poultry seasoning
1 tablespoon dried rubbed sage
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
4 garlic cloves, sliced and divided
2 onions, quartered and divided
2 Golden Delicious apples, cored, quartered, and divided
1. Preheat oven to 375°.
2. Combine the cider and 4 tablespoons corn syrup in a small saucepan; bring to a boil. Remove from heat; set aside. *Note: I ended up making two batches of this glaze.
3. Remove and reserve giblets and neck from turkey. Rinse turkey with cold water; pat dry. Trim excess fat. Lift the wing tips up and over back; tuck under turkey. Combine poultry seasoning, sage, salt, and pepper. Rub seasoning mixture into skin and body cavity. Place half of the garlic, onion quarters, and apple quarters into the body cavity. Place turkey, breast side up, in a shallow roasting pan coated with cooking spray. Arrange remaining garlic, onion, and apple around turkey in pan. Insert a meat thermometer into meaty part of thigh, making sure not to touch bone. Bake at 375° for 45 minutes. Baste turkey with cider syrup, and cover with foil. Bake at 375° an additional 2 hours or until meat thermometer registers 165°, basting with cider syrup 4 times at regular intervals. Let stand for 10 minutes. Remove turkey from pan. Place turkey on a platter; keep warm.
Whole Wheat Stuffing with Pancetta, Chestnuts and Parmesan
from Bon Appetit
1 1-pound loaf rustic whole wheat bread, cut (with crust) into 1/2- to 3/4-inch cubes (about 10 cups)
2 tablespoons (or more) extra-virgin olive oil
4 ounces 1/4-inch-thick slices pancetta (Italian bacon), cut into 1/4-inch cubes
1 7.25- to 7.41-ounce jar whole steamed chestnuts or vacuum-packed roasted chestnuts, broken into 1/2-inch pieces
1 cup chopped shallots (about 4 large)
1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme
1/2 teaspoon minced fresh rosemary
3 cups low-salt chicken broth
2 large eggs
1 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
1. Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 375°F. Toss bread cubes and 2 tablespoons oil in large bowl. Spread in single layer on large rimmed baking sheet. Sprinkle with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Bake until bread cubes are golden and slightly crunchy, stirring occasionally, about 15 minutes. Cool slightly, then return bread cubes to same large bowl.
2. Sauté pancetta in heavy large skillet over medium heat until crisp, adding oil if dry, about 6 minutes. Tilting skillet to allow pan drippings to accumulate at 1 end and using slotted spoon, transfer pancetta to bowl with bread cubes. Add chestnuts and shallots to drippings in skillet; sauté until beginning to brown, about 6 minutes. Add thyme and rosemary; stir 1 minute. Transfer mixture to bowl with bread.
3. Preheat oven to 375°F. Generously butter 13x9x2-inch glass baking dish. Boil 3 cups broth in medium saucepan until reduced to 1 1/2 cups, 6 to 8 minutes. Whisk eggs in another large bowl. Mix in cheese. Gradually whisk in broth. Pour broth mixture over chestnut-bread mixture. Sprinkle with black pepper and stir well.
4. Transfer stuffing to prepared baking dish. Cover dish with foil and bake 25 minutes. Remove foil and bake uncovered until top is golden brown and slightly crisp around edges, about 20 minutes longer.
How do you like your turkey prepared? What ingredients do you have to have in your stuffing?