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Roast Turkey with Sage-Bread Stuffing

Turkey almost always has the place of honour when family and friends gather for holiday meals.  It's perfect when serving a crowd. It’s economical, too, and everyone loves it.  Best of all are the leftovers that get wrapped and placed in the fridge for hearty sandwiches the next day — or even later that night.

Roast Turkey with Sage-Bread Stuffing from Best of Bridge Holiday Classics Cookbook

  1. 1⁄3 cup butter 75 mL
  2. 2 cups chopped onions 500 mL
  3. 2 cups chopped celery 500 mL
  4. 8 oz mushrooms, chopped 250 g
  5. 4 cloves garlic, minced
  6. 1 tbsp dried rubbed sage 15 mL
  7. 1 tsp dried thyme 5 mL
  8. 1 tsp dried marjoram 5 mL
  9. 1 tsp salt 5 mL
  10. 1⁄2 tsp freshly ground black pepper 2 mL
  11. 12 cups white or whole wheat bread cubes, toasted on baking sheet in 350°F (180°C) oven for 15 minutes 3 L
  12. 1⁄2 cup chopped fresh parsley 125 mL
  13. 1 cup turkey gravy stock 250 mL
  1. 1 turkey (about 12 to 14 lbs/6 to 7 kg)
  2. 2 tbsp melted butter 30 mL
  3. 6 cloves garlic, unpeeled
  4. 1 large onion, cut into 8 wedges
  5. 2 carrots, cut into chunks
  6. 1 large stalk celery, cut into chunks
  7. 1 tsp dried rosemary, crumbled 5 mL
  8. 1⁄2 tsp dried thyme 2 mL
  9. 1⁄2 tsp dried marjoram 2 mL
  10. Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  1. 1⁄4 cup all-purpose flour 60 mL
  2. 1⁄2 cup white wine or additional stock 125 mL
  3. 3 cups turkey gravy stock (see tip, page 150) 750 mL
  4. Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  1. Stuffing: In a large skillet, melt butter over medium heat; cook onions, celery, mushrooms, garlic, sage, thyme, marjoram, salt and pepper, stirring often, for 15 minutes or until tender.
  2. In a large bowl, combine onion mixture, bread cubes and parsley. Spoon into a greased 12-cup (3 L) casserole dish.
  3. To bake, add enough turkey stock to moisten stuffing and toss. (If you plan to stuff the bird, omit stock.) Cover with lid or foil and place in oven for the last hour of roasting turkey, uncovering for last 30 minutes to brown and crisp the top.
  4. Turkey: Preheat oven to 325°F (160°C). Remove neck and giblets from bird; reserve to make stock.
  5. Rinse turkey with cold water; pat dry. Secure legs by tying with string or tuck under skin around the tail; fold wings back and secure neck skin with skewer. Place turkey, breast side up, on a greased rack in a large roasting pan or broiler pan. Brush bird with melted butter.
  6. Lightly crush garlic with side of knife; scatter garlic, onion, carrots and celery in pan. Season turkey and vegetables with rosemary, thyme, marjoram, salt and pepper. Insert meat thermometer into thickest part of inner turkey thigh, being careful not to touch bone.
  7. Roast turkey for 31⁄4 to 31⁄2 hours; no need to baste. (If turkey starts to brown too quickly, tent bird loosely with heavy-duty foil, shiny side down.) Turkey is done when meat thermometer registers 165°F (74°C) for unstuffed bird; 170°F (77°C) if stuffed. Remove from oven; cover with foil and let stand for 15 minutes for easy carving.
  8. Gravy: Skim fat from roasting pan; place over medium heat. Stir in flour; cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add wine; cook, stirring, until reduced by half. Stir in stock; bring to boil, scraping up brown bits from bottom of pan, until gravy thickens. Strain through a fine sieve into a saucepan, pressing down on vegetables; discard the vegetables. Season gravy with salt and pepper to taste.
  9. Serves 8 to 10, plus leftovers.
  1. Tip: Turkey Gravy Stock: Pat neck and giblets dry. (Do not use liver.) In a large saucepan, heat 1 tbsp (15 mL) vegetable oil over medium-high heat; cook neck and giblets, stirring, for 8 minutes or until nicely browned. Add 1 each chopped onion, carrot and celery stalk including leaves along with 1 tsp (5 mL) dried thyme; cook, stirring, for 3 minutes or until vegetables are lightly colored. Add 1 cup (250 mL) white wine, if desired. Stir in 6 cups (1.5 L) water; season lightly with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, cover and simmer over medium-low heat for 3 hours. Strain stock through cheesecloth-lined or fine sieve; discard solids. Makes about 4 cups (1 L) stock.
  2. Variation: Sausage-Apple Stuffing: Cook 1 lb (500 g) bulk sausage meat in a large skillet over medium-high heat, breaking up with back of spoon, until no longer pink; drain off fat. Add 2 peeled, finely chopped apples; combine with bread stuffing mixture.
  3. Image courtesy of ©
The Best of Bridge

This recipe is available in the book Best of Bridge Holiday Classics.