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Monday, December 9, 2013

Classic Turkey Stuffing

About 34 years ago we learned about roasting a turkey on a Weber grill and have done it every year since. Colette doesn't even know how to cook a turkey in an oven. We love the taste, the smell, the moist texture of the meat and we enjoy having the oven free to cook everything else that accompanies a Thanksgiving meal. The turkey and the stuffing have become my jobs, spreading the work out, which goes a long way towards making the last Thursday in November a happy day.

on the stove top before going into the bird

Classic Turkey Stuffing

We can't remember the source, but its likely an old Betty Crocker cookbook.
Stuffs a 12-pound turkey with little or none left over for cooking outside the turkey and serves around 6

9 cups torn or cut bread pieces, preferably sour dough or another dense bread
3/4 c chopped onion
1 1/2 c chopped celery
1/2 c butter
1/2 teas salt
1 1/2 teas rubbed dried sage, the fresher, the better
1 teas dried thyme
1/2 teas pepper

Melt butter and add the onion and celery, cooking over medium low heat until they are translucent. Add the seasonings and stir for 30 seconds. Add the bread and toss. Stuff the turkey cavities lightly. Secure with kitchen twine and or skewers. Place turkey on the grill and cook.

Stuffing is one of the Thanksgiving essentials in our family so we have always made more than will fit in a turkey. We cook it on top of the grill during the last hour of turkey roasting and mix it with the stuffing that comes out of the turkey. We find the mixture of wet (from inside the turkey) and dry (from the grill top) best. Heat the stuffing that was in the turkey in the microwave to make sure the stuffing has reached its "safe" temperature of at least 165F and then mix with the "dry" stuffing.  Keep it in a 200 degree oven until serving time.

For excess stuffing, make rectangular foil pans so you can fit stuffing around the turkey on top of the grill. Place these on during the last hour or so that the turkey is roasting.

Note from Colette:

For years, I've torn the bread and left it out to dry a couple of days before Thanksgiving. However, Cook's Illustrated scientists indicate that stale bread and oven-dried bread aren't quite the same and the end result is better if you dry your bread pieces in the oven, rather than allowing them to go stale on the counter. Apparently stale bread will end up soggy compared to the oven-dried bread. To dry the bread, heat oven to 325F and place bread (about a pound of bread) in a rimmed baking sheet. Bake for 45-55 minutes stirring occasionally and turning the tray once. Cook until the pieces are golden brown and dry. See this link for more information.

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