With Thanksgiving around the corner, I'm going to do a turkey test run tomorrow evening. Like I said in the past post, I've never cooked a turkey before and I don't want it to turn out like the dry bird on Christmas Vacation. So, I have a 12 lb turkey that has been thawing in the refrigerator for two days and should be ready by tomorrow. Along with the turkey, I'll be preparing cranberry sauce, dressing and gravy. Here are the recipes I'll be using:
Spiced Cranberry Sauce
Adapted from allrecipes.com
4 cups fresh cranberries
1 1/2 cups orange juice
5 whole cloves
5 whole allspice berries
3 cinnamon sticks
1 1/2 cups white sugar
Zest of one orange
Place fresh cranberries and orange juice in a medium saucepan over medium heat.
Wrap cloves, allspice berries and cinnamon sticks in a spice bag. Place in the orange juice with cranberries.
Cook until cranberries begin to burst, 15-20 minutes.
Stir in sugar and reduce heat to low. Continue cooking 5 minutes, or until sugar has dissolved. Remove from heat and allow to cool. Discard spice bag. Chill in the refrigerator 8 hours, or overnight, before serving.
Awesome Sausage, Apple and Cranberry Stuffing
1 1/2 cups cubed whole wheat bread
3 3/4 cups cubed white bread
1 pound ground sage pork sausage
1 cup chopped onion
3/4 cup chopped celery
2 1/2 teaspoons dried sage
1 1/2 teaspoons dried rosemary
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1 Golden Delicious apple, cored and chopped
3/4 cup dried cranberries
1/3 cup minced fresh parsley
1 cooked turkey liver, finely chopped
3/4 cup turkey stock
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
Preheat oven to 350 degree F (175 degree C). Spread the white and whole wheat bread cubes in a single layer on a large baking sheet. Bake for 5 to 7 minutes in the preheated oven, or until evenly toasted. Transfer toasted bread cubes to a large bowl.
In a large skillet, cook the sausage and onions over medium heat, stirring and breaking up the lumps until evenly browned. Add the celery, sage, rosemary, and thyme; cook, stirring, for 2 minutes to blend flavors.
Pour sausage mixture over bread in bowl. Mix in chopped apples, dried cranberries, parsley, and liver. Drizzle with turkey stock and melted butter, and mix lightly. Spoon into turkey to loosely fill.
* I'm not actually going to be making dressing for Thanksgiving, but this recipe got great reviews and 25,000 people saved this in their recipe boxes, so I thought I might as well see what all the fuss is about.
1 (12 pound) whole turkey
6 tablespoons butter, divided (all the reviews said to use one full stick)
4 cups warm water
3 tablespoons chicken bouillon
2 tablespoons dried parsley
2 tablespoons dried minced onion
2 tablespoons seasoning salt (I'll be adding cracked pepper and garlic too)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Rinse and wash turkey. Discard the giblets, or add to pan if they are anyone's favorites.
Place turkey in a Dutch oven or roasting pan. Separate the skin over the breast to make little pockets. Put 3 tablespoons of the butter on both sides between the skin and breast meat. This makes for very juicy breast meat.
In a medium bowl, combine the water with the bouillon. Sprinkle in the parsley and minced onion. Pour over the top of the turkey. Sprinkle seasoning salt over the turkey.
Cover with foil, and bake in the preheated oven 3 1/2 to 4 hours, until the internal temperature of the turkey reaches 180 degrees F (80 degrees C). For the last 45 minutes or so, remove the foil so the turkey will brown nicely.