Thanksgiving Turkey

I finally got me a Mary’s Free Range Heritage Turkey, fed no animal by-products, no preservatives. A true Thanksgiving turkey that’s lived its life healthily with lots of room to run around in. You can really taste the difference between one of these free-range birds and one that’s been farmed pumped with hormones, antibiotics and cooped up in a tiny cage. A free range Heritage Turkey is definitely a celebration of good harvest, abundance and food that warms the heart.

Roast Turkey Recipe
(for 8 to 10 lb turkey)

Brine the Bird: After thawing, rub 2 tablespoons of kosher salt on the inside of the turkey cavity, then rub on the outside with about 1/4 cup of kosher salt. Let it sit in a glass or stainless steel roasting pan. Refrigerate 24 hours before roasting.

Stuffing Ingredients:
extra virgin olive oil
2 celery stalks, chopped
1 medium carrot, chopped
1 large onion, chopped
1 apple, chopped
1/2 cup walnuts, chopped
3 cups bread cubes
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon thyme leaves
1 teaspoon sage leaves
ground black pepper to taste
1/2 cup chicken broth

Stuffing Directions:
1. Heat oil to medium low in a large skillet.
2. Saute celery, onions and carrots until softened, about 10 minutes.
3. Stir in apples, walnuts, bread cubes and toss lightly.
4. Sprinkle with all the spices and toss lightly.
5. Add chicken broth and mix until well blended.
6. Set aside to cool. Do not stuff turkey until stuffing cools off completely. Filling a turkey with warm stuffing invites bacteria.

Turkey Roast

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
2. Rinse turkey well and pat dry. Stuff the cavity loosely and skewer
or string up tight.
3. Arrange a bed of celery, onion and carrot pieces in a large roasting
pan. Place the turkey on the vegetables and pour 2 cups of water into
the pan.
4. Roast the turkey up to 4 hours, basting with sauce (recipe below) every
30 minutes. Turkey is done when meat thermometer thrust into the breast
reads 180 degrees Fahrenheit.
5. Transfer turkey to a platter and allow to rest for 30 minutes to
let the juices cook the turkey further.

Turkey Gravy

1. While turkey is resting, strain the pan juices into a saucepan.
Heat to a simmer.
2. Stir 1/8 cup flour in 1/4 cup water. Add to turkey juices. Let it
boil, then simmer for 5 more minutes until thick. Season with salt and

Basting Sauce

8 tablespoons (1 stick) butter, melted
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon paprika
freshly ground black pepper to taste

Stir together all the basting sauce ingredients. Brush or baste the
mixture on turkey every 15 minutes.

basting a turkey

Basting keeps the turkey moist as it roasts in the oven and gives the turkey that beautiful glazed crispy skin that graces the Thanksgiving Dinner table.

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