Thanksgiving, something I have grown accustomed to over here. Coming from across the pond, Turkey is mostly eaten in and or around the Christmas time. Why? It’s a great meal, shoot this year I have had deep fried turkey on several occasions and OMG it’s awesome every time. A bird that is large enough to feed a family for several meals is definitely something not to be sneezed at.
Here is a way to ensure that not only your turkey is moist but has extra stuffing to ensure lots of food for everyone to enjoy.
“A Day of General Thanksgiving to Almighty God for the bountiful harvest with which Canada has been blessed…”
Turkey, yum… Many people say cook it at 350 degrees F one half-hour per kilo. Well to be quite honest I like a very moist bird and I get it by cooking for a long period at a lower temperature (225 degrees) and basting every half-hour. It may takelonger but it is well worth the time taken.
1 turkey, eight kilograms
3 large onions
12 small breakfast sausages
2 cups fresh breadcrumbs
Oregano, parsley, sage and thyme for seasoning
Fresh rosemary sprigs
Salt and pepper to taste
1 pound sausage meat
½ pound of butter
1 fresh orange
1 cup fresh orange juice
½ cup sherry
½ cup dried apricots.
Wash the turkey thoroughly inside and out. Dry with a paper towel.
Making the stuffing couldn’t be easier. Place the sausage meat in a large bowl, finely chop one onion and add to the bowl, add all your herbs, add the dried apricot finely chopped and the egg along with a little salt and pepper, and blend thoroughly.
Now to stuff the bird. Most chefs will tell you that if you put the stuffing inside the bird it will take some time for the stuffing to cook. However, by cooking at a lower temperature you will find the stuffing cooks perfectly. Trust me.
I put some of the stuffing inside the neck area, covering some of the breast. You don’t want to use so much here that it falls out but enough so that when you carve the breast and have some stuffing showing. I place a large peeled onion inside the bird and then put in the remainder of the dressing.
So we’ve stuffed the bird (it looks like an alien). We then place it in a large sealable oven dish. The last onion is then peeled and placed in the oven dish beside the bird.
Now to ensure that your bird is moist here’s the trick. Melt one-half a pound of butter (I know that’s a lot, but don’t worry; you can diet another day). Melt the butter in the microwave; add to this the cup of fresh orange juice and a half cup of sherry. Mix well, then; slowly pour over the turkey.
Before placing in the oven lay fresh sprigs of rosemary on the turkey and add salt and pepper to taste. Finally cut the fresh orange in half and place alongside the turkey in the oven dish.
Put the lid on the oven dish and place in the oven, cooking on a low heat — 225 degrees F — to start. Remember, you must baste the turkey every half-hour with the liquid in the dish. After about two hours place the 12 small breakfast sausages in the dish and return to the oven. Again after a further 1½ hours take the dish out of the oven, remove the sprigs of parsley and place the strips of bacon on top of the turkey. Increase the oven temperatue to 375 degrees F, remove the lid and cook for a further hour. Remember to continue basting, though now you must baste every quarter-hour keeping the bird moist. Finally remove from the oven and let stand.
Remove the turkey from the dish after 20 minutes and briefly place the dish on high heat on your stove top to reduce the liquid that remains. Strain the residual liquid and make your gravy of choice.
Carve the bird and enjoy.