Roast Turkey With Apple Stuffing
My first Turkey dinner was a daunting experience, now it is easy. These basic steps make this Roast Turkey part of a great feast for Thanksgiving, Christmas or any other holiday that will be remembered.
I find that the easiest way to make a turkey using an oven bag, but it is very important that is an oven bag made for roasting your turkey. These bags are made of a heat-resistant nylon designed for cooking. The bag traps in moisture and natural juices to keep food from drying out so it comes out juicy and tender every time and one more good thing is it cuts down roasting time. Plus clean up is so much easier. Bags can be purchased in the paper goods section of most grocery stores.
To thaw a frozen turkey, calculate ONE DAY of fridge time for every 4 pounds of turkey. Messed up on the advanced planning? Fill a large bucket with cold water and plunk the still-wrapped bird in and let thaw for 30 minutes per pound, changing the cold water every 30 minutes to avoid accidentally inviting nasty bacteria to your holiday feast.
Roast Turkey With Apple Stuffing
- 12-14 pound turkey
- 1 cup butter
- 1/3 cup shallots minced
- 2 Tbsp fresh thyme or 2 tsp dried thyme
- 4 tsp fresh sage or 1 tsp dried sage
- 2 Tbsp poultry seasoning *use this only if you do not use the sage and thyme
- salt and pepper to taste
- 4 cups apple cider
- 1/3 cup cup sugar
- 1/4 cup maple syrup or honey
- 6 cups bread cubes
- 1 1/2 cups broth
- 4 Tbsp Oil
- 1 pounds sausage
- 1 onion chopped
- 3 celery stalks chopped
- 1/4 cup white wine
- 4 Tbsp parsley minced
- 1/2 cup apple chutney
- 1 Tbsp poultry seasoning or thyme
- 1/2 cup almonds sliced
- 1/2 cup dried apples
- 1 onion and celery stock 1dried thyme chopped
- Turkey neck and innards
- 1 bay leaf
- 6 cup water
- 1/4 cup flour
- 1 tsp Kitchen Bouquet
Turkey Stock- place onion, celery, turkey neck and innards, bay leaf, thyme (or poultry seasoning) and water in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Remove any foam that may collect. Simmer until reduced to 3 cups of liquid. Strain, either reserve and chop or discard heart and gizzard or return to broth. Some people like to eat these and other simply discard or give them to pets for the special meal.
Heat oil and sauté sausage, breaking up any clumps. Add onions and celery. Sauté until soft. Add wine and remaining ingredients. Set aside. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place bread cubes on a baking sheet; bake bread until dry and lightly toasted, about 15 minutes. Stir bread cubes in stock and remaining ingredient, set aside.
Rinse the turkey inside and out. Dry with paper towels. When you are finished wash hands, utensils, sink and anything else that has come in contact with the raw turkey with hot, soapy water immediately following preparation.
The preparation and roasting steps are identical to the steps used for preparing and roasting a turkey either in a bag or the roasting pan. Loosen skin over turkey breast and thighs by running fingertips between skin and meat. Spread 2/3 cup herb butter under loosened turkey skin on breast and thighs. Reserve remaining herb butter for gravy. Rub butter left on your hands over turkey. Spoon stuffing into turkey, pack tightly. Or you can place the stuffing is a casserole and bake separately. Season turkey skin with salt and pepper.
Roasting bag method:
Sprinkle the inside of the turkey size oven bag with flour, the flour helps to prevent the bag bursting and help with the gravy thickening. Shake the bag to coat the inside of the bag. Carefully slide turkey into the oven bag and place on top of the celery and onions. The celery and onions add flavor to the turkey and the gravy and keep the turkey from sticking to the bottom of the bag. Make sure the bag ends at one end of the roaster and not facing the top of the turkey. Seal the bag and poke several holes in it with a knife to allow the excess steam to to go out. Remember to allow for the turkey bag to expand in the heat, so that it does not touch the top or sides of the oven or it could melt. The bag should be inside the pan, not hanging over the edges of a roasting pan at least 3 to 4 inches tall. Use a meat thermometer inserted right through the plastic into the innermost part of the thigh. A whole turkey is safe when cooked to a minimum internal temperature of 165 °F as measured with a food thermometer. Check the internal temperature in the innermost part of the thigh and wing and the thickest part of the breast.
Roasting pan method:
Place the turkey with breast up on a roasting rack or on celery and onions. Pour a cup of water into the bottom of the pan. Bake in a 450-degree oven for 20 minutes. After every 20 to 30 minutes baste with glaze reduce oven to 400 degrees. Basting a turkey provides a crispy, golden skin. Basting should be quick and kept to a minimum so that the oven door is not opened too often, the longer the cooking time will be due to loss of heat. Basting is more important when roasting without a bag, for the color and moisture. Add more water if needed to the pan bottom. Cover turkey loosely with a foil tent if it begins to darken to much. When your turkey reaches a cooking thermometer internal temperature of 180°F in thickest part of the thigh it is done. Cooking Times below is for roasting in a pan, take off about 20 to 30 minutes if using a bag. Every oven and turkey is different, check the temperature to be sure.
Allow the finished turkey to rest for 10 minutes in the bag or roasting pan to give the juices time to redistribute through the meat. After this short resting use a large lifting forks or spatula, to remove the turkey from the roasting pan. Transfer turkey to platter or cutting board that has a reservoir for the juices. Let the turkey rest for at least 10 more minutes before you carving it. Tent the turkey with foil to keep warm.
Many people like to carve at the table but it is a messy job. Carving in the kitchen and neatly placing on a platter is often better. Use a sharp carving knife on a large cutting board and have some kitchen towels on hand. Grab the leg bones and pull away from the bird, slicing through the skin between the leg and the breast. This will allow you to find the thigh joint to cut off the leg quarter and work the knife through. For each leg, separate the thigh and drumstick at the joint which you can find with your finger. Remove the largest pieces of meat from the thigh and slice across the grain, about 1/4 inch thick. Return to the body and pull the wings away from the body, again finding the joint with your fingers and working the knife through the joint. Remove the entire breast all at once, and slice the meat cross wise and on the bias. Keep the skin in place so that each slice comes with a bit of skin. Assemble the pieces on a pretty platter.
Ladle off liquid in the roasting pan or bag. Add enough turkey stock to pan juices to measure 2 1/2 cups liquid. If you used a roasting pan, place on stove top burner and bring to a boil. Stir bringing up browned bits of on pan bottom. Bag method: Place reserved liquid in a large skillet and proceed. Both methods: Whisk flour and 3 tablespoons water in bowl until smooth. Add to stock mixture in saucepan and whisk to combine. Bring to boil, whisking constantly. Continue boiling until reduced and thickened, whisking frequently, about 10 minutes. Whisk in remaining herb butter and bring to boil. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Ready pour into a gravy boat.
Remove the stuffing and place in a serving bowl. Remove all of the stuffing, do not leave extra stuffing in the turkey after serving. Bacteria can get in and make you sick. Reserve in a zip lock bag for the next day or freeze for another day.