Here is my homemade stuffed turkey recipe for Christmas.
- 1 14/16 lb Turkey
- 3/4 Loaf of Breads
- 1 1/2 Stick of Butter
- 1 Medium Onion
- 2 Stalks of celery
- 1/2 lb Sausage
- 4 Cups of Water
- 1/2 teaspoon Basil Leaves
- 1/2 teaspoon Parsley
- 1 teaspoon Salt
- 1 tablespoon Chicken Broth Powder
- 3 Celery Leaf Tops
This recipe is for what I call a “traditional” turkey with homemade stuffing and can be prepared and cooked faster than my original slow cooked turkey. It is also for a smaller bird than my original recipe which again is for quick serving. Quick in this case is around 1 1/2 hour preparation and 4 1/2 hours cooking time. So if all goes right, you should have a tender and juicy stuffed turkey on the table in around 6 hours. OK, let’s get started!
Preheat your oven to 325. Notice that I say that we will use 3/4 loaf of breads. This is because for my stuffing I like to use a mixture of bread that will usually include some white, wheat, rye or pumpernickel rye, cuban bread or dinner rolls. I have used garlic bread sticks as well and that will give your dressing a nice flavor.
Gather together around 3/4 loaf of breads as above and put it in a 13 x 9 deep pan or larger. Put the pan loaded with the bread in the oven. You will need to keep an eye on the bread and turn it a couple of times so that you get some of the pieces close to a dark toast color as below.
While the bread is toasting, you can brown the sausage. Tip: because you are doing this early morning, I usually will cook the whole pound of sausage. Use 1/2 pound for the stuffing and the other half set aside to make sausage gravy and biscuits! Do this and you will have kitchen help hanging around. I will post my recipe for the sausage gravy and biscuits another time if you need it, but for now back to our turkey dressing.
While you are browning the sausage, chop the celery, celery leaves and onion and set it aside. Don’t forget the bread that is in the oven, turn it bringing some of the slices to the top and flip them over. The bread should be getting light brown by now.
In a medium sauce pan bring 4 cups of water to a boil and add a couple of the leaves from the celery finely chopped to the water. When the water boils, turn it down to a simmer and add the chicken broth powder, salt, basil and parsley. Let this mixture just steam a bit and turn it off. You will be adding this to the bread.
By now your bread should be well toasted. Remove it from the oven and let it cool a bit. While the bread is cooling, drain the sausage of fat and return to pan. Set the pan on the same burner, but lower the heat to just above warm. Put 1 stick of butter in the pan with the sausage and let it melt down. While the butter is melting, chop your bread into cubes. I usually add a bit more basil and parsley into the bread while chopping.
Now that the butter has melted down with the sausage, turn up to a medium heat and add the chopped celery and onion. You want to just lightly heat this mixture, being careful not to fully cook the celery or onion. When the mixture begins to sizzle a bit, add the bread that you have cubed.
While stirring the bread, butter, sausage, onions and celery together, slowly pour in the water and spice mixture to moisten the bread. Mix all together lightly trying not to mash up the bread to much, but get it all moist. You may need to add more water depending on the types of bread that you used.
Be careful not to soak the bread! It will gain moisture while cooking inside the turkey. Remove the wrapping on your turkey and wash the bird inside and out. Remove the neck and giblets and wash the inside of the turkey well with cold water. You can cook the neck and giblets for those who like them, if not, for this recipe, throw them away. Again, this would be used in the stuffing for my original recipe, but for the traditional, they are not of use.
Pull the turkey neck skin up and stuff some dressing into the pocket below it. Then pull the skin back down and tuck it under the turkey setting the bird in your roaster pan. You should have 1/2 stick of butter left and it should be soft from being out. Take the butter and rub the turkey down with it. Be sure to coat the turkey well with the butter as this is what will cause it to brown nicely. Lightly sprinkle the chicken spice all over the turkey and put it in the oven at 325. Your turkey should be ready to serve in about 4 1/2 hours depending on the size of the turkey. Most turkeys have a pop-up timer that will pop when the turkey has reached the proper temperature.
I also suggest that you use a roaster oven as in my post about my Thanksgiving Turkey.
Don’t throw that turkey juice away, it makes a wonderful gravy!
So there you have it. My traditional stuffed turkey recipe. Give it a try and tell me how it turns out. I will post my original turkey and dressing recipe on a later date. However, for this recipe you will need more time and a larger bird.
By popular request, I have made this recipe available to print. Click here to view and print this turkey and dressing recipe.