Thanksgiving Part 6: Bird is the Word

Stuffing 5 © The Baking Tour Guide

It’s the post you’ve all been waiting for… the grand finale… the last hurrah…

The turkey and stuffing.

I planned to publish this blog post on Thanksgiving day, but it was getting late and I wanted to enjoy dinner with my family.

I couldn’t leave you hanging, though, that would be cruel of me.

Although I’m a few days late with my post, it’s never too late to share my recipes with you.

Before you can cook the turkey, you have to make sure that it’s completely defrosted! A frozen turkey will take too long to roast in the oven, and the bacteria on the turkey might grow too much. This could become a food safety hazard, and no one wants that.

Defrost the turkey in the refrigerator, or under cold, running water. If you have a few days to defrost your turkey, then use the refrigerator option. If you only have a few hours, then use the cold water method. I did both!

You can’t make a Thanksgiving turkey without stuffing, of course. About an hour before you are ready to cook the turkey, you need to prepare the stuffing…

… and my mom makes the world’s best stuffing.

I’m sure all of you feel the same way about your mothers’ cooking, but you’ve never tasted my mom’s stuffing. It is just so good. She gave me her recipe the day before Thanksgiving, but, sadly, I didn’t have all of the ingredients necessary to recreate her perfect dish. I had to make some substitutions, but I think my stuffing came out quite well.

For the stuffing: 1 cup butter (2 sticks), 10 to 15 large stalks of celery, 1 medium onion, 2 cloves garlic, 1/4 cup fresh parsley, 2 1/2 tsp salt, 1 tsp pepper, 1 tsp Montreal chicken seasoning, one 2 lb loaf of white bread, 4 eggs

For the turkey: The size of the bird will vary based on how many people you are serving. I coated the skin of the turkey with olive oil, pepper, paprika, salt, some mushroom sauce from my Stuffed Pepper recipe, and Montreal chicken seasoning. Experiment with the spices you put on your bird. One recipe does not fit all for turkey!

Stuffing 1 © The Baking Tour Guide

Homemade white bread

I made my own white bread for this recipe with my bread maker. This white bread was milk-based. I think a drier white bread might have worked better for this recipe.

You live and you learn. The stuffing was still very tasty!

In a food processor, combine the celery stalks, onion, and garlic. Pulse the ingredients until they form small, minced pieces.

Stuffing 2 © The Baking Tour Guide

Place the butter in a large stock pot. Melt the butter on low to medium heat. Add the items from the food processor to the stock pot. Cook them until they are softened. Stir often. This part will take about 10 minutes.

While the vegetables are cooking in the pot, rinse your food processor. Create breadcrumbs by putting your 2 lb loaf of bread into the food processor. Add the parsley, and blend them together.

Stuffing 3 © The Baking Tour Guide

Final stuffing mixture

Place the breadcrumb-parsley mixture into the stock pot once the vegetables have softened. Take the pot off of the heat, and stir in the spices.

Beat the eggs in a separate bowl. Stir them into the stuffing.

Preheat the oven to 375ºF.

Line a large roasting pan with foil. Put the turkey into the roasting pan. Remove the giblets, and wipe the middle of the turkey with paper towels to remove the excess juices.

Stuffing 4 © The Baking Tour Guide

Turkey before roasting

Most people don’t like pictures of raw poultry, so I will spare you the multiple images. Instead, I will show you what the entire turkey looks like in preparation for the oven.

Put the stuffing in the middle of the turkey. Dress the turkey with the spices. Place a meat thermometer in the thickest part of the turkey.

I highly suggest using a meat thermometer while cooking the bird. The thickest portion of the meat needs to reach a minimum of 165°F. Also, by using a meat thermometer, you won’t need to cut open the bird to see if it is pink. The juices will remain in the bird, and you won’t need to smother the turkey in gravy. This is a win-win situation!

You’re likely going to have extra stuffing that won’t fit inside the turkey. Place 3 layers of heavy duty aluminum foil on a baking sheet. Put the remaining stuffing on the aluminum foil. Cover the foil completely over the stuffing.

Close the foil from the roasting pan around the turkey so it forms a tent. You want to be able to see the turkey slightly, but most of it will be hidden by the foil.

Put the turkey and remaining stuffing into the oven. My 10 lb. turkey needed 4 to 4 1/2 hours to cook. The larger the turkey, the more time it needs to roast. The extra stuffing only needed about 2 hours to cook through.

Stuffing 5 © The Baking Tour Guide

Once the turkey is ready, take it out of the oven. The thermometer should read 165°F or above.

Allow the turkey to cool for 20 minutes. Scoop out the stuffing from the middle. Then carve the turkey on a cutting board, and serve it!

This Thanksgiving was truly unique, because I shared my experience with all of you, readers! I hope you had a wonderful evening with your family and friends. Now you can use my blog as a resource in case it’s your turn to host Thanksgiving next year.

I’m not calculating any calories for this post. Calories don’t count on the holiday.

Happy Thanksgiving, readers! I am thankful for all of you today. Wishing you lots of love and happiness for the future.

All my best- The Baking Tour Guide

1 reply »

  1. A friend took out the backbone and flattened the turkey before roasting. Says the French do it that way and it’s supposed to be delicious.

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