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Roast Turkey with Corn Bread Stuffing
Yield: 12 Servings

1/4 lb butter
1 turkey (12-16 lbs)
1/2 lb salt pork, thinly sliced

2 pkgs corn bread mix (10 oz)
1/2 c celery, chopped
1 onion, minced
1/2 c butter
2 egg yolks
pepper to taste

turkey giblets, neck and wings
3 c water
1/2 onion, sliced
1/2 garlic clove
1/2 bay leaf
1/8 ts basil
1/8 ts rosemary
1/8 ts thyme

1/4 c pan drippings
1/4 c flour
1 c water
2 c turkey stock
turkey giblets,cooked,choped

Preheat oven to 450F. Cut butter into very thin slices; place in
freezer to harden while you prepare bird. Wash turkey inside and
out. Remove and reserve neck, giblets and wing tips. Pat dry with
paper toweling. Starting at the breast, separate the skin from the
meat by working your fingers between them. Slide your hand under
skin as far as you can go and gently free the skin on both sides
of the breast. Loosen it around the upper part of the legs, stopping
about halfway down the legs. Insert slices of the cold butter,
first under the leg skin, then under the breast skin. Reshape the
loosened skin on the bird by patting it gently back in place. It
will sag a bit but don't let that upset you; it will cook back in
place. Wrap bird loosely in waxed paper and refrigerate while
preparing stuffing. Fill cavity of turkey loosely with stuffing.
(Place any remaining stuffing in a shallow baking dish and place
in oven about 30 minutes before bird is roasted. Bake until firm
and lightly browned.) Fasten neck skin of turkey to body with
skewer. Push legs under band of skin at tail or tie to tail. Place
slices of salt pork over breast and fasten with wooden picks. Place
turkey on its side on rack in shallow open roasting pan. Cook for
15 minutes, then turn bird on other side and roast for 15 minutes
longer. Lower temperature to 325F. and continue to roast turkey,
turning the bird from side to side and basting often with the
drippings from pan, for about 3-1/2 to 4 hours, or until juices
run yellow - no longer pink - when thigh is pierced with a fork.
Roast turkey breast side up for the last 15 minutes of cooking
time. (Remove and discard salt pork when crisp and most of fat has
been rendered. If fat in pan begins to burn, add a few tablespoons
of water.) Transfer turkey to serving platter and let rest 30
minutes before carving. Reserve all drippings in pan for gravy.

Prepare corn bread, following label directions, or use your own
favorite recipe. Cool. Crumble enough to make 7 cups and transfer
to a large mixing bowl. Saute celery and onion in butter in a large
skillet until soft. Spoon vegetables and butter over corn bread
crumbs. Beat egg yolks in a medium-sized bowl; stir in stock and
pour mixture over corn bread. Stir lightly to blend. Season with
salt and pepper to taste.

Combine giblets, neck, and wing tips with water in a large saucepan;
add remaining ingredients. Bring to boil, then lower heat and simmer
for about 15 minutes, or until liver is tender. Remove liver and
continue to simmer mixture for about 1 hour, or until remaining
giblets are tender. Strain mixture; remove and chop giblets and
liver for gravy. Reserve stock.

Pour off all turkey fat from roasting pan into a glass measuring
cup. Measure and return 1/4 cup to pan. Sprinkle flour into fat;
cook and stir 2 or 3 minutes over low heat. Add water and 2 cups
of the reserved turkey stock. Cook, stirring and scraping up browned
bits in pan with wooden spoon, until gravy thickens and bubbles 2
minutes. Strain gravy into saucepan; add chopped giblets and
reserved liver. Taste; season with salt and pepper if needed.


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