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Course: Mains
Keyword: Fall, Holidays, Meats, Thanksgiving, Turkey with Stuffing

Turkey with Stuffing

ACTIVE TIME: 45 minutes
TOTAL TIME: 3 hours 30 minutes
Yield: 4 to 6 servings
Essentially a savory bread pudding flavored with herbs, spices, and aromatic vegetables, classic Thanksgiving stuffing has a host of problems, from its inability to expand inside the bird to the potential for harboring microbial nasties like salmonella. However, if your cards, letters, faxes, cables, emails, and texts have told me anything, it's that I dare not toy with the tradition of stuffing the Thanksgiving turkey.
This one goes out to all you poultry lovers who just can't live without your stuffing.
This recipe first appeared in Season 8 of Good Eats.
Photo by Lynne Calamia
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  • 1 (10 to 12-pound) turkey, with giblets removed
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 1 ounce dried mixed mushrooms, such as cremini, shiitake, and porcini
  • 1 cup roughly chopped onion
  • 1 cup roughly chopped celery
  • 1 cup roughly chopped fennel
  • 1 1/2 cups butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
  • 3 tablespoons kosher salt, divided
  • 2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper, divided
  • 3 cups ciabatta bread, torn into 1-inch pieces
  • 2 whole eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 cup chopped, toasted pecans
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage leaves
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley leaves

Specialized Hardware

  • Flexible cutting board
  • Digital instant-read thermometer
ACTIVE TIME: 45 minutes
TOTAL TIME: 3 hours 30 minutes
Yield: 4 to 6 servings

Procedure

  • Heat oven to 400ºF.
  • Pat the turkey dry, rub with 1 tablespoon of the oil, and season with 1 1/2 teaspoons of the salt and 1 teaspoon of the pepper. Place cavity-side up into a deep high-sided bowl and set aside.
  • Heat the chicken stock in the microwave in a large microwave safe mixing bowl for 3 minutes. Add the dried mushrooms and press down with a wooden spoon to fully submerge. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let them soak for 30 minutes.
  • Toss the onion, celery, fennel, and butternut squash with the remaining oil, salt, and pepper in another large microwave safe mixing bowl. Spread the vegetables onto a half sheet pan and roast on the middle rack of the oven for 20 minutes. Remove the vegetables back to the mixing bowl and carefully spread the bread onto the hot sheet pan. Place back in the oven and toast for 8 minutes. Remove to the bowl with the vegetables.
  • Scoop the soaked mushrooms from the stock with a small hand strainer or slotted spoon and roughly chop on a cutting board. Add them to the bowl with the vegetables and bread and reserve the stock.
  • Add the eggs, pecans, sage, and parsley to the bowl and combine using a wooden spoon or your hands if the mixture isn't too hot. Begin adding the reserved stock in 1/2 cup increments until the stuffing is moist but not wet. You may not use all the stock.
  • Place the bowl of stuffing into the microwave for 6 minutes, or long enough for the temp to reach 165 F.
  • Roll the flexible cutting board into a cylinder shape and insert it into the cavity of the turkey. Quickly spoon the hot stuffing into the cylinder packing lightly to fit all the stuffing. Place the turkey onto a rack fitted inside a roasting pan and place in the middle of the oven for 45 minutes. Reduce the heat to 350 F and continue cooking for another 90 minutes or until the internal temp of the bird and stuffing reaches 170 F.
  • Let the bird rest for 15-20 minutes before removing the stuffing and carving. Serve immediately.
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