Crisp & Tender Turkey with Traditional Stuffing

2017-12-06

Ingredients:

For the Turkey:

1 pc. (about 12 to 15 lbs.) turkey, reserve neck & giblets for gravy
3 tbsps. + 2 tsps. Kosher salt
2 tsps. Baking powder
12 oz. Salted port, rinsed & cut into “-thick slices

For the stuffing:

1-1/2 lbs. White sandwich bread (15 slices) cut into ½”-cubes to make 12 cups
4 tbsps. Unsalted butter plus extra for baking dish
1 cup onion (med, size), finely chopped
1 cup celery ribs, finely chopped
kosher salt to taste
ground black pepper to taste
2 tbsps. Fresh thyme leaves, minced
1 tbsp. Fresh marjoaram leaves, minced
1 tbsp. Fresh sage leaves, minced
1-1/2 cups low-sodium broth
2 large eggs 1
pc. 136”-cheesecloth, folded in quarter

 

Method

Step 1

To prepare the turkey: Using fingers or the handle of a wooden spoon, separate turkey skin from meat on breast, legs, thighs and back; avoid breaking the skin. Rub 1 tablespoon salt evenly inside the cavity of the turkey. Rub 1-1/2 teaspoons salt under the skin of each breast and 1-1/2 teaspoons salt under the skin of each leg. Wrap the turkey lightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 24 to 48 hours.

Step 2

To prepare the stuffing: Adjust the oven rack to the lowest position and heat to 250ºC. Spread bread cubes in a single layer on the baking sheet. Bake until the edges have dried but centers are slightly moist (cubes should yield to pressure) for about 45 minutes, stirring several times during baking. Transfer to a large bowl and increase oven temperature to 325ºC. While bread dries, heat 4 tablespoons butter in a 12”-skillet set over medium heat. When foaming subsides, add onion, celery 2 teaspoons salt and 1 teaspoon pepper; cook for 7 to 10 minutes; stirring occasionally until vegetables begin to soften and brown slightly. Stir in herbs and cook for a minute or until fragrant. Add vegetables to bowl with dried bread; add 1 cup broth until evenly moistened.

Step 3

To roast the turkey: Combine remaining 2 teaspoons kosher salt and baking powder in a small bowl. Remove turkey from refrigerator and unwrap. Using paper towels, thoroughly dry the turkey inside and out. With a skewer, poke 15 to 20 holes in fat deposits of the turkey which are found on top the breast halves and thighs (about 4 to 5 holes per deposit). Sprinkle the surface of the turkey with salt-baking powder mixture and rub in mixture with hands, coating skin evenly. Tuck the wings underneath turkey. Line turkey cavity with cheesecloth packed with 4 to 5 cups stuffing. Tie ends of cheesecloth together. Cover remaining stuffing with plastic wrap and refrigerate. Using twine, loosely tie turkey legs together. Place turkey (breast side down) on a V-rack set in roasting pan. Drape salted pork slices over back. Roast turkey (breast side down) until the thickest part of breast registers 130ºC on instant-read thermometer for 2 to 2-1/2 hours. Remove roasting pan from oven; close oven door and increase heat to 450ºC. Transfer the turkey on a V-rack rimmed with a baking sheet. Remove and discard salted pork. Using clean potholders or kitchen towels, rotate turkey (breast side up). Cut twine binding legs and remove stuffing bag; empty into reserved stuffing in bowl. Pour drippings from roasting pan into fat separator and reserve for gravy (optional). Once oven temperature is set, return turkey, still on the V-rack, to the roasting pan and roast until skin is golden brown, crisp and thickest part of the turkey registers 160ºC; and thickest part of the turkey's thigh registers 175ºC for about 45 minutes; rotate the pan halfway through. Transfer turkey to a carving board and let it rest, uncovered, for 30 minutes. While turkey rests, reduce oven temperature to 400ºC. Whisk eggs and remaining ½ cup broth together in a small bowl. Pour egg mixture over stuffing and toss to combine. Break up any large chunks. Spread in buttered 13”x19”-baking dish. Bake until stuffing registers 165ºC and top is golden brown for about 15 minutes. Carve turkey and serve with stuffing.

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