Thursday, November 28, 2013

Turkey and Sage Dressing ala ~DKBB~

Turkey with Sage Dressing ala ~DKBB~
(based in part on Lyola Brown’s Sage Dressing recipe)

Turkey
We brine our turkey…it makes for a much moister bird.

Basic brine recipe (this amount per 4 pounds, increasing amounts as needed for your size of bird)
1 cup water
1 cup salt
1 cup brown sugar 
  • Allow salt and brown sugar to dissolve in water thoroughly.
  • You can place the bird in a large plastic bag and then add the brine – or – you can use a very large stock pot, place in the bird and then brine, then cover. Brine overnight, or at least for 8 hours.
Brine your bird overnight, removing bird from brine about 2 hours before you plan to stuff it to allow the skin to dry a bit.

Dressing
1½ to 2 loaves of bread
(I usually bake my own bread – Cracked Pepper Bread, Onion Bread, Oregano Herb Bread, Rye Bread, Wheat Bread…any and/or all combinations thereof. I slice the cooled loaves, then dice each slice into ½ cubes, place the cubes in one layer on cookie sheets, and bake at 250° F for 1 hour to create my own stuffing bread. Or you can do it the easy way and buy 2 packages of stuffing bread from your local grocery/bakery.)
½ to 1 cup diced onion
½ to 1 cup diced celery
3 eggs, lightly beaten
1½ cubes of butter/margarine
Chicken broth
2 chicken bullion cubes
3 ½ tsp.* Rubbed sage
Salt and cracked pepper to taste

(* I personally use a lot more than 3 ½ tsp. rubbed sage…I’d say add this “to taste,” same as the salt and pepper.)
  • Heat 1½ to 2 cups chicken broth, the butter/margarine, and the bullion cubes in a saucepan on low heat until butter/margarine melts. Remove from heat.
  • Place dressing bread in a big bowl.
  • Add eggs, onion, and celery.
  • Pour some of the broth mixture over this; add sage, salt and pepper.
  • Mix all well until moist (with hands – it’s a good idea to have short fingernails before you start mixing, or you’ll be dealing with messy fingernails for a while).
  • Add more broth mixture as needed to get it to the point where it holds together, put is not soppy.
  • Add more sage, salt and pepper as desired. You can gauge the taste from smell (that’s my husband’s specialty) or taste (that’s my specialty).

  • Stuff the neck and body of the bird. If there’s more stuffing than will fit in the bird, bake it in a foil-lined casserole dish, adding a little broth just before baking (350°F oven for about 1 hour).
  • Put the stuffed bird in a 350°F oven until internal bird temp is 170°F and internal dressing temp is 165° to 170°F. Use the remaining broth mixture to baste the bird (make more broth mixture if needed).

Gravy
  • When you put the bird in the oven, place the neck and giblets in a pan of chicken broth on the stove to simmer on lowest heat for the duration.
  • When the bird is done, use a turkey baster to remove the drippings into a large saucepan.
  • Remove the neck and giblets from the pan they’ve been simmering in; strain that liquid into the pan with the drippings.
  • If desired, strip the meat from the neck, cut up the giblets, and set aside.
  • Add Wondra flour one Tbsp. at a time to the gravy liquid; using a whip, mix well before adding another Tbsp. Plan on 2 Tbsp. of Wondra per cup of liquid. Keep adding Wondra until you have the consistency you desire.
  • If desired, add in the giblets, etc.