Butterflied Turkey with Sausage Stuffing

This year...

...I’m sure you’ve heard by now, Hanukah and Thanksgiving overlap for the first time…so we made Butterflied Turkey and Thanksgiving-Ka Latkes…enjoy !!

This turkey recipe is the best crowd pleaser.  People just linger at the table talking and eating and marveling at the perfection of flavors…I have made it through the years, always on the Fridayafter Thanksgiving…why?  Because everyone likes the look of the traditional stuffed turkey on Thanksgiving.  And Hill and Michael are gluten free, so in recent years I could not make the ‘real’ stuffing.   I just made it for my Thanksgiving Leftovers Party and everyone wanted the recipes…Nadia brought her unbelievable bread…

Thanksgiving-Kah Latkes – because Hanukkah and Thanksgiving overlap in 2013 for the first time in 80,000 years!  You have to read my story first – then the reward – the recipe below…

Butterflied Turkey with Sausage Stuffing

(adapted from Cook’s Illustrated with my flourishes and substitutions of course…)

  • 2 c Kosher salt (or 1 c table salt)
  • 1 c sugar
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 t poultry seasoning
  • 12 – 14 lb butterflied turkey
  • unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 package seasoned cornbread stuffing
  • 1  3/4 c chicken stock
  • 1 c half/half
  • 2 eggs  lightly beaten
  • 2 lbs spicy turkey sausage removed from casings
  • 3 chopped onions
  • 3 celery stalks chopped
  • fresh tarragon thyme, and sage
  • salt & ground black pepper
  • 4 cups coarsely chopped shiitake, crimini, oyster and white mushrooms
  • 1/2 c dry white wine
  • Dissolve salt and sugar and herbs in 2 gallons cold water. Brine turkey for 8 hours.

Place stuffing mix in large bowl.  Whisk together stock, half and half, and eggs in medium bowl.   Pour over bread and toss gently.  Set aside.  Cook sausage.  Transfer to stuffing.  Cook mushrooms separately in a little chicken stock on high heat till crisp on edges.  When done, mix into stuffing.  Cook onions and celery until translucent.  Add the herbs and very little salt and pepper.  The sausage supplies plenty of salt and pepper flavor.  Add wine. Cook on high for a few minutes then reduce heat.  Cook 10 minutes more until alcohol and most of wine evaporates and brown bits are released.

Add to stuffing and gently combine. Spray your pan, you can use a disposable aluminum 12×16 roasting pan, with nonstick spray. Transfer dressing to pan, cover and refrigerate.

Remove turkey from brine.  Rinse turkey well and place on top of a broiler pan. Pat dry.  Shove legs up and over breast.  Pull wings over breast.  Can be Refrigerated uncovered for 8 – 24 hrs.

When ready to cook, tie one leg and one wing, pulling the string tight so the breast is covered.  Repeat on other side.  Then use a third string to tie over the legs in the middle to secure in place.  Adjust oven rack to lower middle position and heat oven to 450 degrees.  Uncover stuffing.  Place  broiler pan top w/turkey over uncovered stuffing.  Place in oven.  Cook 80 – 100 mins or until breast reads 165° and thigh reads 175°.  Rotate pan after 1 hour.  Cover wings with a little piece of foil if they brown too much.

Tent loosely w/foil and let rest 20 mins.  Bake stuffing an additional 10 mins. for golden brown top.

Make sure the turkey does not overshoot the boundaries of your stuffing pan.  You might have to put foil under the turkey and bring it up and over the edges if it don’t fit directly on top of the broiler pan.  Otherwise the juices drip to the oven floor and burn and smoke.