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Blue Goose Holiday Dinner Series- Part 4

  • December 25, 2014
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This four part series is brought to you in partnership with our friend Chef Nancy Crocker. These recipes can also all be found (along with so many more!) on her blog Nancy’s Cravings. Wishing you many Eat Well Moments this holiday season!

The Main Event!

All the sides, desserts and company can be spot on, but if the turkey is dry and the gravy tasteless the whole meal is a fail!

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I always buy organic fresh turkeys and it has to be Blue Goose. Blue Goose’s farming philosophy is to treat the land and animals with respect and dignity. Animals are raised in cage-free environments and farms that are never over-populated. None of the animals on Blue Goose’s farms are ever fed animal by-products and are always hormone and antibiotic-free. The result is Certified Organic turkeys and chickens that have outstanding flavour, tenderness and juiciness. It may cost a little more than conventional but there is no comparison in taste. Your guests will rave.

They do at times tend to be smaller than conventional turkeys but if you have a large crowd and need a huge turkey then just select two and cook them together.

I’ve included recipes for a no fail stuffing and gravy. The stuffing is filled with Italian turkey sausage, apples and cranberries. Its the perfect combination of sweet and savoury. Don’t be intimidated by cooking a turkey and stuffing it. It’s really quite simple if you follow the basic directions and use a meat thermometer. When you take it out of the oven it really is important to let it rest for 30 minutes. During that time it also gives you the moments you need for making the gravy and gathering the troops!

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I hope this series has inspired you to create a beautiful holiday menu and get excited about feeding some hungry guests! Happy holidays!

Ingredients

  • Roast Stuffed Turkey and Gravy

  • 1 10-pound Blue Goose Organic Turkey turkey, fresh or frozen (allow 1 pound per person for birds 12 pounds or under, and 3/4 pound for anything larger)
  • Kosher salt and ground pepper
  • 2-3 teaspoons poultry seasoning
  • 5 cups stuffing (recipe follows)
  • Vegetable oil
  • Giblet stock (recipe follows)
  • Turkey Gravy (recipe follows)
  • Giblet Stock

  • Giblets (heart, gizzard, and liver) and neck, reserved from turkey
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 onion, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch cubes
  • 1 rib celery with leaves, stalk cut into 1/4-inch cubes, leaves roughly chopped
  • 1 small leek, trimmed, washed and cut into 1/4-inch cubes
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 dried bay leaf
  • Turkey Sausage Stuffing with Apples & Cranberries

  • 8 cups day old crustless Italian bread, cut into small pieces
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 2 pounds sweet Italian turkey sausage, casings removed, divided
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • 3 medium onions, chopped
  • 4 large celery ribs, chopped
  • 5 garlic cloves, minced
  • 4 teaspoons poultry seasoning
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 cup turkey giblet stock or reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream, divided
  • 1/2 cup coarsely chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano (2 ounces)
  • 2 apples, peeled and chopped
  • 1 cup dried cranberries

COOKING INSTRUCTIONS

To prepare the turkey for roasting:

  1. Do not stuff the turkey until immediately before roasting. When ready to roast the turkey, rinse the outside and cavities of the bird under cold, running water. Cut away and discard any fat remaining on the bird. Place the turkey on several layers of paper towels to drain. Using additional paper towels, pat the outside and cavities dry. Sprinkle cavity liberally with salt and pepper.
  2. To stuff the turkey, stand the bird on its tail end in a large bowl; using a tablespoon, stuff the neck cavity loosely with dressing. Pull the neck skin over the dressing and fasten it to the body with a poultry skewer. Turn the bird and place the neck end in the bowl; stuff the body cavity loosely with dressing. It is important to stuff the dressing fairly loosely in the bird because dressing expands during cooking.
  3. Remove the turkey from the bowl and lay the bird, breast side up, on a piece of waxed paper or directly on a clean work surface. Pull the legs close to the body and tie the ends together with cotton string. If the tail has been left on the bird, tie the legs to the tail to partially close the body cavity. Some frozen turkeys are packed with a metal clamp to secure the legs, in which case it is not necessary to tie the legs with string. Fold the wings under the bird to provide a platform for roasting.
  4. Place the turkey, breast side up, on a wire rack in a shallow roasting pan. Brush all the exposed surfaces with vegetable oil. Sprinkle liberally with poultry seasoning.
  5. Insert a meat thermometer into one of the inner thigh areas near the breast, making certain the tip of the thermometer is not touching bone. While many commercial turkeys are packed with a disposable thermometer pre-inserted into the breast which is designed to pop up when the bird is done, a standard meat thermometer, inserted into the thickest part of the thigh at the time the turkey is placed in the oven for roasting, is considered a more reliable means of determining doneness. Also, a standard meat thermometer makes it possible to know how close the turkey is to being done — an aid in timing preparation of the remainder of the meal.

To roast the turkey:

  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.
  2. Cover the turkey loosely with extra-heavy aluminum foil, leaving space between the bird and the foil. Lightly tuck the foil around the front, back, and sides of the bird. Do not add water to the pan. Roast the turkey until the meat thermometer reaches 180 degrees F. and the juices run clear.
  3. A 10lb bird should take about 4 hours to cook. The roasting time may vary up to 30 minutes, depending upon the bird and the oven. Use the meat thermometer to check the temperature of the dressing. The center of the dressing inside the bird (or in a separate baking dish) must reach a temperature of 165 degrees F. for food safety.
  4. Remove the aluminum foil about 30 minutes before the turkey is done to complete the browning of the bird.
  5. When done, remove the turkey from the oven and place it on a serving platter or carving board; cover loosely with aluminum foil and let it stand 10 minutes before carving. Meanwhile, make the Turkey Gravy. Remove all the dressing from the neck and body cavities before carving the turkey. Pour the gravy into a gravy boat and pass at the table.
  6. Trim any fat or membrane from giblets. The liver should not have the gallbladder, a small green sac, attached. If it is, trim off carefully, removing part of the liver if necessary. Do not pierce sac; the liquid it contains is very bitter. Rinse giblets and neck; pat dry.

Turkey Sausage Stuffing with Apples & Cranberries

  1. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a 12-inch heavy skillet over medium-high heat until it shimmers, then cook half of sausage, stirring and breaking it into small pieces, until golden brown, about 6 minutes. Transfer with a slotted spoon to a large bowl. Brown remaining sausage in remaining tablespoon oil, transferring to bowl.
  2. Pour off fat from skillet and wipe clean. Heat butter over medium heat until foam subsides, then cook onions, celery, garlic, poultry seasoning and 1 teaspoon each of salt and pepper, stirring occasionally, until golden, 12 to 15 minutes. Add vegetables, apples, cranberries and bread to sausage.
  3. Whisk together eggs, 1/2 cup cream, turkey stock, cheese, and parsley, then stir into stuffing and cool completely, about 30 minutes. Reserve 5 cups stuffing to stuff turkey and spoon remainder into baking dish. Cover stuffing and chill.