Simple Butter Roasted Turkey and Cornbread w/ Apples and Sausage Stuffing

Simple Butter Roasted Turkey

12 – 16 lb. Turkey frozen, pre-brined (injected with salt solution)

1 Tbsp. sea salt

1 Tbsp. brown sugar

1 half stick softened unsalted butter

3-4 whole Rosemary stems

1 Tbsp. cracked assorted peppercorns (black pepper is fine)

2 lemons (1 halved, 1 quartered)

2 yellow onions (1 halved, 1 quartered)

8 cloves garlic peeled and halved

This recipe yields about 14-16 servings

Thaw the turkey in the refrigerator for 48-72 hrs. Preheat the oven to 350. Remove innards bag and clean turkey thoroughly by rinsing it under cool water. Pat dry with a paper towel and place in a large roasting pan.  In a small bowl, combine butter, salt and brown sugar. Mix well. Using your hands, slather mixture under the skin of the turkey, in the cavity and on top of the skin. Sprinkle the outside of the turkey with the cracked peppercorn. Stuff turkey with 1-2 Rosemary stems, the lemon and onion halves, and half of the garlic. Put the quartered lemon and onions and remaining garlic around the turkey in the roasting pan. Finish preparations by sliding two Rosemary stems under the skin of the turkey. Cover the bird completely with a few sheets of aluminum foil and place into the oven. Cook for about 3 1/2 to 4 hours or until juices run clear and the meat in the fattest part of the bird is white. Baste every hour using a turkey baster or large spoon. Remove foil for the last 30-45 mins of cooking to get a good crispy skin and golden color. Let your turkey stand for about 30 mins to an hour before serving to allow the juices to redistribute.

This is the most tender, juicy, and flavorful turkey I have ever tasted. It did not need any gravy. I think the secret is in the butter, salt and sugar mixture and cooking the turkey covered until the last 30-45 mins.

Tip #1: To store your turkey without taking up so much room in your fridge, cut the meat off the bones, store in zip lock bags and break down the skeleton and store in a separate bag and freeze it. You can use it for stock or soups later on.

Tip #2: The above photo shows the turkey with stuffing in the cavity. I bake my stuffing separate, remove the lemon and onion from the cavity of the turkey, and stuff the turkey at the last 30-45 mins of cooking. This is to avoid any contamination from the raw turkey blood in the stuffing.

Cornbread w/ Apples and Sausage Stuffing

2 Boxes Jiffy cornbread mix

1/2 Stick unsalted melted butter

2 eggs

1 – 1 1/2 cups milk

2 Tbsp brown sugar

1 tsp black pepper

1 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp sage

1 tsp red pepper flakes

1 tsp sea salt

1 tsp celery seed

1/4 cup celery chopped

1/4 cup red bell pepper chopped

1/4 cup green pepper chopped

1/4 cup yellow onions chopped

1/4 cup button mushrooms chopped

1/4 Granny Smith apples peeled and chopped

1/4 dried cherries chopped

1 tsp. chopped Jalapeno pepper

2 cloves garlic minced

1 – 1 1/2 cups chicken or vegetable broth

1/2 roll hot and spicy pork sausage browned

This recipe yields about 12 – 14 servings

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray baking dish with non-stick cooking spray and set aside. In a bowl combine Jiffy mix, half a teaspoon of all the spices and seasonings (reserve the other half), melted butter, eggs, Jalapeno peppers, and brown sugar. Add milk a little at a time and mix with a fork until the batter is a gloppy consistency. Do not worry if there are a few lumps. Sit the batter in the fridge for about 5-10 mins. and stick the baking dish in the oven to preheat it. In the mean time, heat some olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Form the sausage into patties and add to the skillet. Fry until the sausage is fully cooked, about 8 mins on each side. Take the patties out and place them on a paper towel to drain off  excess grease. Reserve the sausage fat in the skillet. Remove cornbread batter from the fridge, you might have to add a little more milk to loosen up the batter.  Pour the cornbread into the the hot baking dish, make sure you remove the dish from the oven first. Put the baking dish filled with the batter back in the oven and bake for about 15 – 17 mins. Reheat the sausage fat in the same skillet and add all your chopped fruit and veggies; celery, red and green bell pepper, onions, button mushrooms, apples, dried cherries, garlic, and the remaining seasonings and spices. Saute the fruit and veggies until they are just tender. Crumble in the sausage and combine. Remove skillet from heat. After the cornbread is done, crumble it into a large bowl, add your veggie and sausage mixture and combine thoroughly. You might have to add some broth if the mix is a little dry. Pour the mixture back into the baking dish. You can either bake it immediately at 350 degrees for 15 mins or sit it in the fridge covered until you are ready to cook it.

*Heads up! The cornbread will be a little undercooked  after 15 mins. This is ok because you want enough moisture in the stuffing since you will be baking it again after everything is mixed.

Tip #1: Use this stuffing to stuff turkey, chicken, pork chops, fish, shrimp, lobster, deviled crab, bell peppers, or tomatoes

Tip #2: Vegetarians and non pork eaters, omit the sausage.

Wine parings:

Sources: http://www.winedin.com

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