Thursday, November 28, 2013

Roasted Turkey in Parchment with Sausage Pear Stuffing

1 14lb turkey - neck and giblets removed
1 stick unsalted butter - softened
salt and pepper

1 loaf day-old rustic bread, dark hard crusts removed - cut into 1/2 inch cubes and baked at 350 on a cookie sheet until crisped but not golden
1 stick butter - cut into pieces
1 1/2 medium-large onions - chopped
2 leeks - thinly sliced into half moons
3 celery stalks - chopped
1 large fennel bulb - chopped
2 - 3 firm ripe pears - chopped
salt and pepper
2 TBSP finely chopped fresh rosemary
2 TBSP finely chopped fresh sage leaves
1 pound sweet Italian sausage - removed from casings
2 cups turkey or chicken stock
2 large eggs - lightly beaten
3/4 cup chopped fresh flat leaf parsley

Prepare stuffing:
In a large skillet, melt butter over medium-high heat. Add onions, leeks, celery, fennel and pears; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables and pears are softened and starting to turn golden. Stir in rosemary and sage.

Meanwhile, cook sausage over medium heat, stir occasionally and breaking into large pieces, until browned and cooked through. Drain on paper towels. Stir into vegetable mixture, then transfer to a large bowl. Add bread crumbs and toss well. Drizzle stock over mixture, add eggs and parsley, and toss to combine well. Season with 2 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp pepper.

Let turkey stand at room temperature for 1 hour. Preheat oven to 325 with rack set on lower third. Pat turkey dry with paper towels. Fill body and neck cavities with sausage pear stuffing and secure skin flaps with toothpicks. Spread softened butter over turkey, then season generously with salt and pepper. Put remainder of stuffing in a buttered casserole and bake after removing turkey from oven for about 40 minutes.

Place a 40 inch sheet of parchment paper on work surface and place turkey on top with short side of bird facing you. Gather ends, wrapping turkey. Fold overlapping ends of parchment over turkey and secure with staples. Place another 48 inches of parchment on work surface and turn turkey 90 degrees, wrapping it from other direction. Secure all openings with staples.

Place parchment wrapped turkey on a rack inside of a roasting pan. Roast turkey 2 hours 45 minutes. Remove from oven and carefully remove all parchment. Increase oven temp to 425. Return turkey to oven and roast until turkey is golden brown and a thermometer inserted in breast reads 165 degrees (about 45 minutes). Transfer to a carving board and let rest at least  45 minutes before carving.

While resting, remove stuffing and transfer to a casserole dish. Bake until thermometer reads at least 165 degrees, 15-20 minutes.

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