This is my grandmother's recipe for turkey and stuffing, which my mother has been using to make our Thanksgiving turkey and stuffing for more than 30 years. I've never tasted any turkey or stuffing that has come close to being as good as mom's.
Although years ago we used to stuff the bird, these days we cook the stuffing separately. It is much easier to get an even cooking of the turkey (and safer too) if you do not stuff it.
To infuse the stuffing with turkey flavor, we baste the stuffing often as it bakes with the drippings from the roasting turkey.
The Profera family’s Thanksgiving Family Fun Day dinner is shown. Not long ago, the family got together so the Profera siblings could learn what goes into the traditional side dishes and favorites.
My mom decided it was time for my sisters, Bonnie Peyon, Karen Rimar and Christine Forkin, and me to learn all that she does to prepare this scrumptious dinner for all of her family. She held a Thanksgiving Family Fun Day recently and invited us all to come join in the fun.
When we arrived, she had the turkey in the roaster, stuffing cooking in the oven, and when my sisters asked where all the side or extra dishes were, she pointed to the cans of green beans and mushroom soup for the green bean casserole, the uncooked yams for the sweet potato casserole, the bag of apples and peeler for the applesauce and the cans of corn for the corn pudding.
She put us to work making all the sides for our dinner.
This recipe is for a 22- to 24-pound turkey.
Wash turkey and dry inside and out with a paper towel.
Take 1 stick oleo and rub all over inside. Leave the rest of the stick inside of turkey. Take another stick of oleo and rub all over outside of turkey. Rub salt and pepper inside and out.
In a roaster, put 1/2 cup oil and 1 stick oleo, cut into pieces. Place turkey in roaster and roast about 8 1/2 hours at 325 degrees. Baste occasionally.
2 loaves stuffing bread (24 cups), broken into small pieces and dried for a few days
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
2 tsp. sage
2 tsp. poultry seasoning
Mix salt, pepper, sage and seasoning together and add to bread.
In a pan, boil the turkey giblets, heart, liver and neck in water. When it cooks down, add:
2 cups chopped onions
6 cups chopped celery
1 T parsley flakes
2 sticks oleo
Cook, then let cool.
(Hint: Refrigerate this mixture overnight and mix the dressing in the morning.)
Add cooled liquid to dry mixture. Toss with a fork. Add four eggs and toss lightly so as not to make the mixture mushy. Add 1 box or bag of prepared stuffing mix (preferably Pepperidge Farm mix). Toss and slowly add up to 2 cups of water until dressing is at preferred texture and not too wet. Place in the refrigerator to chill, tossing occasionally.
Turkey may be stuffed, but the dressing will not all fit in a turkey. Some will have to be cooked in a buttered casserole dish for about two hours before serving in a 325 degree oven. Sprinkle drippings from the turkey over the extra dish of stuffing to keep it moist while baking, or put the neck of the turkey on top of this dish of stuffing.
We had fun working together to prepare our wonderful Thanksgiving feast. She reminded us that it is important to give thanks for all that we have and to share with those who have less. God has blessed us abundantly, and we must never forget to give Him our thanks.