Just a few days before Thanksgiving, we couldn't believe our eyes as these walked through our yard...
But back to the Thanksgiving bird! I know everyone has their favorite dressing or stuffing. Some people make it on the side, some people like me, place the dressing inside the bird, filling both the body cavity and the neck cavity.
Here's a closer look at what I mean by the neck cavity. There is a large flap of skin that covers the neck cavity. I place the bird upside-down and fill this area, security the skin over the dressing with metal poultry lacers.
My mother made this dressing for as long as I can remember which was given to her by a Danish relative. Every Thanksgiving when I taste her stuffing I think of her and all of the wonderful Thanksgivings we shared and those that my family will share.
Two more of my family's traditional recipes that wouldn't be Thanksgiving without are my Brussels Sprout Souffle and my Cranberry and Dried Cherry Relish.
My Mother's Turkey StuffingPrintable Recipe
This recipe came from my mother's family. From Danish origins, the recipe originally included ground pork.
1 large onion, peeled and quartered
1 large apple, unpeeled, and quartered
4 stalks celery, cut into 2" pieces
1-1/2 bags of Brownberry Sage and Onion Seasoned Croutons (the original recipe called for stale bread, cubed - so you can make your own croutons if you wish)
1/2 pound lean ground beef (I use ground sirloin)
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
2 teaspoons dried sage
2 large eggs
1/2 cup water
In a food processor or by hand, coarsely chop onion, apple and celery. In a very large mixing bowl, add croutons and chopped onion, apple and celery. Add the ground beef and seasonings and mix well by hand until ground beef is well incorporated. In a small bowl, whisk eggs and water. Add to crouton mixture and mix again until everything is well moistened with egg and water.
Turn the turkey on its breast and loosely stuff the the neck cavity, pulling the neck skin over the stuffing and fasten the skin to the back of the bird with skewers or extra-large safety pins (being careful to remove them after the turkey is done!). Turn the turkey on its back and loosely stuff the main cavity. (If you have more stuffing than will fit inside the turkey, place the excess in an ovenproof dish, cover with giblets, neck or other excess turkey parts, cover with foil and roast seperately for one hour).
Roast the turkey for the required amount of time depending on the size of the bird. A 14 pound stuffed bird takes approximately 4 to 4-1/2 hours in a 350 degree oven.
Note - remove stuffing from turkey immediately after roasting to prevent possible bacteria formation.