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Old 09-25-2004, 07:44 PM   #11
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:oops: Sorry, Yakuta, thought you were Indian from all those wonderful recipes you posted on the 'other' board!

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Old 10-06-2004, 02:12 PM   #12
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From Rick Rodgers, I love his turkey stuffings. My favorite is his italian one, I'll post that too:

Autumn root vegetables, with their firm textures and hint of sweetness, are especially wonderful when roasted, and can be turned into a fabulous stuffing. As a time saver, roast the vegetables the night before, if you wish. Don't be afraid to let the vegetables get nicely browned--the caramelization will only enhance their flavor.

3 tablespoons olive oil
3 large carrots, cut into 1/2-inch thick rounds
2 large parsnips, cut into 1/2-inch thick rounds
1 large (1 1/4 pounds) celery root, pared, and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1 large onion, cut into sixths
Freshly ground pepper
1 pound crusty country-style bread, cut into 1/2-inch cubes, dried uncovered
at room temperature overnight to stale
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1 1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh sage
1 1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary
1 1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
2 cups Homemade Turkey Stock or chicken broth, as needed
Preheat the oven to 450° F. In a large roasting pan, drizzle the oil over the carrots, parsnips, celery root, and onions and mix with your hands to coat the vegetables with the oil. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Roast, stirring the vegetables often, until they are tender and nicely browned, 35 to 45 minutes. Transfer to a bowl and cool. On a work surface, coarsely chop the cooled vegetables into pieces about 1/2-inch square. (The roasted vegetables can be prepared up to 1 day ahead, covered and refrigerated. Reheat in a skillet before using.)

Transfer the roasted vegetables to a large bowl. Mix in the bread cubes, parsley, and poultry seasoning. Gradually stir in about 1 1/2 cups of broth. Season again with salt and pepper. Use as a stuffing. Or, place in a lightly buttered casserole, drizzle with the remaining 1/2 cup of broth, cover and bake as a side dish.

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Old 10-06-2004, 02:15 PM   #13
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i do the same rub on toikey as i do on a roast chicken. equal parts of a good paprika, onion powder, garlic powder, and freshly ground black pepper. the i add a pinch of ground sea salt and rub the poultry all over inside and out. i then baste it with a beer or 2.
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Old 10-06-2004, 08:46 PM   #14
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Yakuta, here is the Italian Turkey Stuffing by Rick Rodgers. You can try to omit the sausage, but the red bell pepper and the parmesan I think are a must. I like it with lots of black olives chopped:

When I asked my Italian-American neighbors how they make their stuffing, they all shared what was essentially the same recipe. There's nothing subtle about this stuffing--Italian sausage, red bell pepper, Parmesan cheese, and lots of herbs give a zesty Mediterranean flavor. Some cooks add 1 cup toasted pine nuts or 1 cup coarsely chopped black Mediterranean olives to pump up the flavor even more. If you are making the Herb-Brined Turkey, bake this on the side instead of inside the bird.

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
2 medium celery ribs with leaves, chopped
2 medium red bell peppers, seeded and chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 pound sweet or hot Italian sausage, casings removed
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon crushed hot red pepper
12 ounces day-old crusty Italian bread, cut into 1-inch cubes (about 7 cups)
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 1/2 cups Homemade Turkey Stock, or use canned reduced-sodium chicken
broth, as needed
In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onion, celery, red pepper, and garlic. Cook, stirring often, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the sausage and cook, breaking up the sausage with a spoon, until the sausage loses its pink color, 8 to 10 minutes. Stir in the basil, oregano, salt, and crushed red pepper. Transfer to a large bowl.
Add the bread and cheese and mix well. Stir in the butter and wine, and enough of the stock to moisten the dressing, about 1 cup. Use as a stuffing. Or place in a buttered baking dish, drizzle with an additional 1/2 cup broth, cover, and bake as a side dish.

Playing Safe with Stuffing
For years, roast turkey meant stuffed turkey. Then, health concerns arose about whether or not stuffed birds were safe. While these concerns are real, they shouldn't affect sensible cooks who are familiar with common food safety practice.
Just follow these simple rules:

Stuffing should always be cooked to at least 160° F in order to kill any potentially harmful bacteria. When the turkey is done, insert the meat thermometer deep into the center of the body cavity to check the temperature of the stuffing. If it isn't at least 160° F, scoop the stuffing out of the cavity and transfer to a casserole. Cover and bake at 350° F until the stuffing reaches 160° F.

Always prepare your stuffing just before filling and roasting the bird. Never stuff a bird the night before roasting, as the turkey cavity provides the warm, moist environment that encourages bacterial growth. To save time on Thanksgiving morning, prepared the stuffing ingredients the night before--chop the vegetables, toast the nuts, and so on--and store them in self-sealing plastic bags in the refrigerator. If you are really pressed for time, you can cook, cool, and refrigerate the seasoning meat and vegetables the night before. But, reheat them thoroughly in a large nonstick skillet before adding to the bread or grains.

The stuffing should be warm when placed in the turkey. An ice-cold stuffing may not cook to 160° F by the time the turkey is ready.

Never mix raw meat or vegetables into a stuffing. All meat and vegetables should be thoroughly cooked.

Before serving the stuffing, remove it from the turkey and place in a serving bowl.. Do not allow the turkey or stuffing to stand at room temperature for longer than 2 hours. Refrigerate any leftovers separate from the turkey and use within 2 days. Reheat leftover stuffing thoroughly before serving.
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Old 10-07-2004, 11:12 AM   #15
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Thanks Deb the stuffing sounds really good. I can also substitute pork sausage with turkey.
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Old 10-10-2004, 05:57 PM   #16
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Hi Yakuta

Here's what I'm doing for tomorrow, starting the job today...

A 14 lb fresh turkey...

About a gallon of water, a half cup of kosher salt, a half cup of brown sugar, three bay leaves, a cup of seasoned rice vinegar, 6 tablespoons of minced garlic, ten inches of fresh rosemary, chopped, 1/4 cup of fresh marjoram, shredded, and a bottle of "garlic and herb marinade" asvailable at the local supermarket, heated and dissolved together, then a tray and a half of ice cubes to cool it...

Take this mix, and empty into a clean garbage bag, then toss in the turkey (less neck and giblets, of course!), press out the air, knot the bag, and insert into the fridge for 24 hours...

(This, of course, is simply "brining the bird", probably been addressed elsewhere, but hold on and wait for the rest!)

Taking the neck, heart, liver and giblets and stew in water with minced garlic (I'm big on garlic!) until cooked...bone the neck meat out, cut away the gristle off the giblets, and mince the result, saving the stock for the gravy...

Here in Hamilton Ontario, we can get "Dempsters 12 Grain Bread", I'm sure that equivalent breads are available where you are...anyways, I use two loaves of this, cutting away the crusts and dicing or tearing the loaf into bits...

A half cup of olive oil, a finely diced onion, my minced neckmeat and giblets, finely chopped fresh sage (those herb gardens of the summer are paying off!), finely chopped celery, and, inevitably, a few tablespoons of minced garlic, sauteed until transluscent...

Then add in the bread cubes, then adding a cup or two of "All Bran" breakfast cereal, stirring well...

Moisten with vegetable stock until it just "starts" to get gooey...and you are ready to "stuff"

Remove your turkey from the bag of brine, and wash it quickly...

Stuff the bird full, leaving the "pope's nose" stuck "outside" where it can roast properly, and be enjoyed by some lucky person (my daughter is known for "stealing" this tidbit while the bird cools!)...note that I stuff my birds more firmly than the consensus of cooks say to, as you might gather from the volume of stuffing I use...I use metal skewers of very light gauge to seal the bird up tightly, so it doesn't gout out stuffing in the cooking process...

With the bird stuffed, I use heavy gauge skewers, stuck all the way through the carcass, in order that I can "hang" the bird on the edges of the roasting pan (so it doesn't stick to the pan) and spray the roasting pan down with olive oil...

I place my turkey "on" the pan, breast side down, in order that the dark meat gets heated more at the start of the cooking cycle, and, given my 14 lb sample, and, after 90 minutes cooking time, can very easily "flip" it over onto its back, so its breast side up again...this gets you through that issue of cooking the breast meat to 160 and the dark meat to 180...

I use a digital meat probe for "proving" the temperatures, and, on instruction from a chef at a cooking school, remove the bird from the oven (but not from the pan!) when the temp is 10 degrees below its target heat, and leve it sit on the counter on the pan, as the temperature continues to rise as it sits in the pan (note that this will not be the case if you remove it to the "cold" carving board!)

About 30 minutes standing time, you can start carving...creative use of tinfoil can hold it even longer, and you will find that the brining causes the meat to be exceptionally juicy, as well as doubling the gravy amounts! So be prepared to drain the carving board back into the pan periodically!

To give somer thoughts on "tweaking" this a bit, as seems your point, and remembering that not everyone shares the same tastes...lets consider:

a) The turkey liver acts best as a meat additive to the stuffing; so if you like that idea, chicken/turkey liver is pretty despised at the grocery store, you could buy some extra's and add it in...

b) I'm fond of Club House seasoning, the "BBQ Chicken" powder makes a great "rub" for the bird, and by no means forget the inside of the carcass!

c) I do NOT like eating nuts, by and large, but if you do, using a half cup or so of crushed (as opposed "ground") walnuts and a bit more liquid in the stuffing might get it there for you, or even slivered almonds...

d) If you want some real fun, try stuffing the bird entirely with garlic cloves! Garlic "sweetens" as it cooks, and have done this with chickens and its a really neat taste!

e) "Beer-Canning" the bird eliminates the stuffing, but makes the bird really, really moist (if you "brine" it)...brine the bird, as above, then take a cleaned can (soup cans are usually best) filled halfway with a wide variety of options, such as beer, scotch, garlic, soya sauce, chicken or vegetable stock, onion soup, etc..stick the can into the gut cavity, sit the bird on its butt (so that it appears to be "dancing")(I was first introduced to this method as a "Dancing Chicken" recipe ten years ago!)

You need a plan for removing the can without personal injury, I'd suggest rubber gloves, tongs, and/or strategically placed heavy duty skewers...if you do this on the BBQ, which really does it BEST, using hickory wood chips will give you something like ham with the smoke (remember to soak a huge amount of chips an hour or two in advance!) and expect to close the hood on the BBQ for most of the cooking process (you might also want to call the Fire Department in advance to tell them the huge volume of smoke is innocent! The house is not in glorious flame!)

You can do this in the oven, obviously without the smoke, provided the oven is large enough to stand the bird up (usually involves moving out a rack from the oven)

Anyways, I hope this is of interest, if not use, to you and other readers, and that you enjoy some of the results!

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Old 10-10-2004, 06:27 PM   #17
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I should apologise for that posting, in that I am rapidly advancing to that point in life of being called an "old fart", and therefore learned a lot about cooking from a wonderful set of pioneer parents/grandparents, who never had much use for "measuring cups"...you did whatever, or added the ingredient until the mix "looked" or "acted" like "so"...so by no means are my "measurements" precise!

You have to fool around to get things to where you like them (and a warning!) espercially getting the constitution, bodily, to accept the "All Bran" ingredient, even if the taste is superb!

Using "white bread" for stuffing, in our house, is very much "verboten", as the multigrain stuff works so much better (the bran was a last minute "discovery" umpteen years ago at Christmas, where we ran out of bread on Christmas Day; it succeeded wonderfully, and had the added feature of chaining my brother-in-law to the toilet on Boxing Day)

I'd like it if any of you can add any herbs or spices that flesh out the stuffing or the "rubbing" of the bird!

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Old 10-12-2004, 01:23 PM   #18
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Hi John, I appreciate your detailed instructions very much. I like a lot of your tips. I have never brined my turkey but now I will. I have heard brining does a lot to inject moisture into the bird and hence a tender more juicy bird.

I like your idea of using multigrain bread for stuffing. I normally don't prefer the white stuff or packaged mixes anyway. I normally make my own bread croutons from whole wheat or multigrain bread.
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Old 10-12-2004, 08:24 PM   #19
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"White bread for white rats"...as my dietician sister says...

You'll find enormous change in the taste and texture; all to the better!

Likewise, the brining of your birds will really bring you a lot of joy with the results; just "experiment a bit" with chickens before you go all the way with a turkey...a "mistake" with a chicken is 3-7 lbs of bird=2-5 lbs of meat not tasting quite right; imagine a 20 lb turkey!

Note I added Rosemary, Marjoram and Bay Leaves to my brine, and would now repeat that, but double or triple the amounts I used, as I think the three bay leaves, 10" of fresh rosemary and modest bunch of marjoram might have done it for a chicken, but were too light for a turkey. Likewise, will stew them a bit longer next time in order to "tea" my brine to better effect...

My misunderstanding of chemistry is that if you put salt on the outside of a piece of meat, it tends to draw the juices out...if you can get the salt "inside" (as by brining) you tend to hold the liquids in...

Don't forget that "flipping" technique with the shish kabob skewers, because white meat that is juicy is so much nicer than the dried out results (and the bird browns all over!)


Good Luck!
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Old 10-13-2004, 08:37 AM   #20
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Lifter - question for you....I like cooking the turkey breast down, but always wondered how to manage a flip without assistance....maybe it's blondeness - but if you don't mind...You put skewers thru the turkey [rib area side to side?] suspend it from the edges of the roaster [I like that idea!] when it's time to flip - do you use the skewer, long tongs, a second pair of hands? I can see me lifting - catching the edge of the pan with a skewer and dumping all on the floor [of course, I'd just stick it back in the pan and continue on...but the mess.......yuck! Thanks for your help!

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