Sunday, January 11, 2009


The first family recipe that I attempted after making my declaration, was my in-laws' stuffing/gravy recipe AND Alton Brown's roast turkey recipe. I have never roasted a turkey before and honestly, I was pretty nervous! Thanksgiving dinner is such a huge part of family tradition, and I knew I had to find the perfect recipes. Lucky for me, a lot of pressure was relieved since we roasted our turkey in January. And let me tell you-it was delicious! My husband and I brined the turkey overnight (in a $2 home depot bucket!) which made it juicy and so flavorful.  Alton Brown has over 2,000 excellent reviews attached to his recipe, so I guess I don't have to elaborate, but when my husband said the turkey didn't need gravy, I knew we had a keeper!


I also have to admit, I'm slightly obsessed with the stuffing! We cut the stuffing recipe in half, since there are only two of us and as it is, we'll be eating turkey for the rest of our lives. Anyway, the recipe called for lemon zest, and its possible that I added too much-I loved the result: fresh and lemony, a nice addition to the heavy mashed potatoes and gravy. I think my husband prefers his parents' less lemon zesty original recipe, so next time we'll just have to make two batches.

Here is my in-laws' stuffing and gravy recipe, appropriate for a 25 pound turkey.
First, make the Turkey Stock:
Put neck, gizzards, heart, and liver into a pot with water along with 2 carrots, peeled and cut in into 1 inch pieces;
2 onions peeled and quartered,
8 sprigs of parsley rinsed;
2 bay leaves;
2 teaspoons of salt and water.
Use a 3 or 4 quart pot and use about 8 to 9 cups of water.
Bring to a boil and then simmer for 1 1/2 hours
Strain liquid into a container (you will use this liquid for basting the turkey and to make the gravy. Keep the neck, gizzards, heart, liver, for the gravy. You can let them cool and then chop them up and remove the meat from the neck and chop up. Discard the carrots, onions, and parlsey.

3 pounds of bread - cut into cubes - 2 to 3 days before or after you cube the bread place on cookie sheets and put into oven and bake at 350 degrees to dry out the bread and lightly toast the cubes.           (t) teaspoon (T) Tablespoon (c) cup (#) pound

1 t sage
3/4 c parsley - chopped
1/2 c walnuts - -coarsely chopped - can omit
****next two items***
4 stalks celery - use the leaves -chopped
3 medium onions - peeled - chopped
Place the onions in a skillet with 1/2 pound butter. Cook for about 5 minutes till the onion is translucent.
Stir in the celery and cook for an additional 2 minutes.
Add to the above items.
Add 1 t crushed bay leaf
2 T lemon peel
2 eggs
1/2 t ground pepper
1 T salt
3 to 4 cups of turkey stock...stuffing should be moist - not wet.
1/2 cup liquer...can be brandy, triple sec, or any liquer

Clean the two cavities of the turkey and wipe the insides of the two cavities with salt from your hand. We coat the entire bird with a light coating of olive oil. Stuff the bird and secure the legs and the neck flap to keep the stuffing in the bird. 
From here, we followed Alton's recipe for roasting.

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