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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 15 minutes
Yield: 4 to 6 servings
Essentially a savory bread pudding flavored with herbs, spices, and dried fruit, 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.
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  • 1 (10 to 12-pound) turkey, with giblets removed
  • 1 quart chicken broth
  • 2 ounces dried mushrooms
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1 cup chopped celery
  • 1 cup chopped green pepper
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil, plus extra for rubbing on turkey
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt, plus extra for seasoning turkey
  • 3 cups (4 to 5 slices) challah bread, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1 cup unsweetened dried cherries
  • 0.5 cup chopped pecans
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • 2 teaspoons dried rubbed sage
  • 2 teaspoons dried parsley
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus extra for seasoning turkey

Specialized Hardware

  • Electric kettle
  • 1 reusable organic cotton produce bag
  • Digital instant-read thermometer
ACTIVE TIME: 45 minutes
TOTAL TIME: 3 hours 15 minutes
Yield: 4 to 6 servings

Procedure

  • Heat oven to 400ºF.
  • Place the turkey into a deep, high-sided bowl, cavity-side up. Set aside.
  • In an electric kettle (or in the microwave in a microwave-safe bowl), heat the chicken broth. Put the dried mushrooms in a glass bowl and pour heated broth over them. Cover and soak for 35 minutes.
  • In a large mixing bowl, toss the onion, celery, and green pepper with the oil and salt. Spread the vegetables on a half-sheet pan and roast for 25 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven and sprinkle bread cubes over the vegetables. Return to the oven and cook for 10 more minutes.
  • Drain the mushrooms in a sieve set over a bowl, reserving 1 cup of liquid. Chop the mushrooms and place in a large, microwave-safe bowl with the vegetables and bread, reserved mushroom liquid, cherries, pecans, eggs, sage, parsley, and black pepper. Stir well to break up bread cubes, using your hands to combine, if necessary. Fill the produce bag and return to bowl, if using. Heat the stuffing in microwave on high for 6 minutes.
  • While the stuffing is heating, rub the bird with oil. Working quickly, place the stuffing into the cavity of the turkey to avoid losing heat. Place the turkey onto a rack set inside a roasting pan and season with salt and pepper. Roast in the middle rack of oven for 45 minutes, then reduce heat to 350ºF and cook for another 60 to 75 minutes, or until the bird and stuffing both reach an internal temperature of 170ºF.
  • Let the bird rest 15 to 20 minutes before removing stuffing and carving. Serve immediately
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