Roast Turkey with Apple and Sage Stuffing
This recipe requires a lot of prep work – namely, preparing a brined turkey the day before cooking. Moist, tender and flavourful, this roast turkey is worth the extra effort.
- One 18-20 lb prepared brined turkey
- 1 loaf (or 1 lb) day-old crusty bread such as French or Italian bread
- 4 Tbsp unsalted butter
- 2 yellow onions, diced
- 2 tart apples, such as Gala, Pink Lady, or Macintosh, diced.
- 3 celery stalks, diced
- 1 Tbsp dried or fresh thyme leaves
- 1 tbsp finely chopped fresh sage leaves, or 1 tsp dried sage
- 1 ½ cups low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Cut the bread into 3/4-inch cubes, place in a large bowl and set aside.
- Melt the butter in a large frying pan over medium heat. Add the onions and cook, stirring, until they’re just starting to brown, about 5 minutes. Add the apples, celery, thyme, and sage and cook, stirring, until the apples are tender- about another 5 minutes. Add 1 cup of the broth and bring the mixture to a simmer.
- Turn off the heat and add the vegetable-apple mixture to the reserved bread. Season to taste with salt and pepper (not too much salt as the bird is already seasoned!), then stir to evenly combine. If the mixture seems too dry, add a little more broth, but make sure it doesn’t get mushy.
- If you prefer a stuffed turkey, you can now add the stuffing to the birds’cavity. If you’re cooking the stuffing and bird separately, spread the suffing mixture into a greased 9 x 13 casserole and bake for 30-40 minutes.
Cook the Turkey:
- To cook the turkey, preheat your oven to 350 F.
- Plan on baking your bird for about 15-20 minutes per pound (check the label, it should list the weight), so plan accordingly.
- Place in a roasting pan and season with pepper, but don’t add any extra salt. Bake for 4.5 to 5 hours, basting with drippings every hour or so.
- After hour 5, check the bird’s temperature by sticking an instant read thermometer into the thickest part of the turkey.
- For a stuffed bird, this will be right in the centre of the stuffing. Without stuffing, it will be deep in the meatiest part of the thigh.
- Your thermometer MUST read at least 170F for it to be safe to eat. Continue checking the temperature every 15 minutes, until the turkey is just done.
- Remove from oven and let rest, covered with foil, for about 20 minutes before serving.