You know I did. There are going to be a lot of posts about individual dishes that happened this year. All in all, the meal was a success. But let’s start with the turkey.
This baby was 12.7 lbs. of tasty goodness. I’ve heard a lot about how to cook it, some advice more helpful than others. The most interesting was about how you can flip the bird upside down so that the juices drip down into the “pretty breast skin”. That phrase was literally used. In my office. By a man. I felt so uncomfortable.
I mentioned this to my mother. Leaving out the word “pretty”, to be sure. And I might have just called it “white meat” instead of using words that typically make boys in grade school giggle uncontrollably. My mom had heard something similar, but what she had read suggested that you flip it right side up for the last hour so that it still looks nice in the end. We did this with amazing success.
Cooked for 5ish hours at 300 in a convection oven. Stuffed with my cornbread stuffing. Topped with gravy. So let’s talk about these two.
The stuffing went like this:
- 1 recipe of cornbread (12 corn muffins), recipe to follow
- 1 small onion
- 3 stalks celery
- 2 carrots
- 1 lb. sage sausage
- 4 eggs
- 2 cups chicken broth
Saute the veggies with salt and pepper to taste. Remove from pan and transfer to large bowl (really large, trust me). Now use the same pan to cook the sausage. Brown that beautiful sausage. Meanwhile, crumble the cornbread into the veggies. Add the sausage to the cornbread/veg mixture. Add eggs and chicken broth. Don’t be a wimp. Mix with your hands. Then stuff it into that beautiful bird you’ve got waiting for you.
Now for the gravy:
- 2 Tablespoons of the turkey drippings
- 3 Tablespoons flour
- 2 cups chicken broth
- 1/2 teaspoon sage
- salt and pepper to taste
Over medium heat, mix the drippings and the flour until smooth. Whisk in the broth. Add the seasoning. Stir carefully until the gravy thickens.
So what about that cornbread?
I got this recipe from my mother, who got it from her grandmother. I cannot claim it, nor can I tell you its original source.
- 1 cup flour (if you wanted to go gluten free or just a heartier cornbread, you can replace this with cornmeal)
- 1 cup cornmeal
- 3 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cup sugar (we like sweet cornbread, but feel free to skimp, if you’d rather)
- 1 egg
- 1/4 cup oil
- 1 cup milk
Mix the dry with the wet, then pour into a greased baking dish (or muffin tins). Bake at 350 for approximately 20 minutes, or until golden brown.
So let’s talk about stuffing vs. dressing. Dressing being the stuff that doesn’t get stuffed, while stuffing is, by very definition, stuffed in something. So this is my first year with real, actual stuffing. It’s no joke. Stuff that bird. There’s no reason not to. And every reason to. The stuffing gets all that yummy bird fat flavor throughout. I had no idea what I was missing.