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At Thanksgiving time Mom and Grandma always got up before daylight to get the turkey on and make sure it was roasted to golden perfection. I have to admit, I have not been as dedicated, and it seems the
This recipe is a step-by-step guide to achieving that old fashioned turkey and stuffing with pan gravy. You will not be told to get a browning bag, and open a box or bag of stuffing mix and pour up a jar of gravy. Instead our turkey will be golden brown from butter basting and will truly be stuffed with stuffing. This Thanksgiving we will make culinary memories clear down to old fashioned gravy.
Some people do not like giblets, not in their gravy or in their stuffing either. They can easily omit them if they want to. For those who are not familiar with the term, giblets are the edible internal organs of fowls. They include heart, liver, and gizzards. Often the giblets and the neck are packaged in a separate bag and placed inside the turkey, chicken or duck for you to use or discard as you choose. You can brown the neck and boil it to make a great bone broth to use in your cooking. Chopped giblets may be used in stuffing, like in this recipe, or in giblet gravy.
Even a beginning cook can succeed with this recipe for old fashioned turkey and stuffing with pan gravy by following it step by step. There are other improvisations that are also delicious. Let’s examine a few:
Stuffing can be a culinary masterpiece. Instead of ground pork, ground sausage, either pork or turkey, can go in with the bread and apples. Change up the texture by using half cornbread instead of dinner rolls in the dressing, plus some chopped nuts. Add your favorite poultry seasoning in addition to sage and pepper. If you choose it is okay to omit the giblets, maybe add in mushrooms, or dried cranberries instead.
Your stuffing can all be cooked in a casserole, although many people love how moist internal stuffing keeps their turkey. If you cook stuffing in your turkey use a kitchen thermometer to make sure the stuffing inside the bird reaches at least 165 degrees F. No one wants to spoil a holiday with a case of food borne illness.
The old fashioned gravy will be the last step in the preparation of your main dish. Remove the stuffed turkey from your roaster, set the pan across two burners for even heat and follow the instructions for a wonderful sauce. If your guests do not care for sherry or other alcohol in their food, increase the pan drippings and leave the sherry out. If you are concerned that your gravy may have lumps, either put the gravy through a strainer or use a stick or immersion blender to guarantee a smooth sauce.
Family traditions and memories can be as close as the aroma and taste of a traditionally prepared turkey with stuffing and old fashioned pan gravy this Thanksgiving.
You’ll definitely want to serve this classic recipe with other classic Thanksgiving dishes. Like these!
- Cranberry Sauce – made from scratch and easy to do!
- Date and Nut Bread – moist and delicious just like you remember
- Sweet Potato Casserole – it’s like a warm hug!
Stuffing and Turkey:
- 6 crusty rolls, about 1 pound broken into small pieces
- 1 pound ground pork
- Turkey giblets, diced
- 3 apples, cored and chopped, about 5 cups
- 2 ribs celery chopped, about 2 cups
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 2 eggs, lightly beaten
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon dried sage
- ½ teaspoon pepper
- 12–14 pound turkey, thawed if frozen, neck and giblets removed
- ½ cup butter, melted
- 3 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
- ½ cup milk
- Chicken broth, as needed
- ½ teaspoon dried oregano
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- ½ cup dry sherry
- Preheat oven to 350°F. For stuffing, soak roll pieces in water, squeeze almost dry; set aside. In large skillet over high heat cook pork with giblets, breaking up meat with spoon, until browned, about 8 minutes.
- Remove meat with slotted spoon; set aside. To drippings in skillet add apples, celery and onion; cook until just softened, about 10 minutes.
- In large bowl combine bread, meat mixture, vegetable mixture, eggs, salt, sage and pepper.
- Fill turkey body and neck cavities with stuffing; truss, if desired. Place remaining stuffing in covered 6-cup casserole.
- Place turkey on rack set in roasting pan.
- Pour melted butter over turkey. Roast, basting every 30 minutes with pan juices, until thermometer inserted into thickest part of thigh registers 180°F 3 to 3½ hours.
- Place casserole with stuffing in oven 30 minutes before turkey is done. Let turkey stand 15 minutes before carving.
- Meanwhile, for gravy, skim fat from pan juices, reserving 3 tbs. fat. Over two burners on medium heat combine reserved fat with flour in roasting pan; cook, stirring constantly, 2 minutes.
- Combine milk and pan juices with enough broth to equal 2 cups. Add to roasting pan with oregano, salt and pepper; bring to boil.
- Add sherry, cook until mixture thickens slightly, about 2 minutes. Serve with turkey.