Joanne Weir Follow @ChefJoanneWeir

Roast Turkey with Dried Apple and Corn Bread Stuffing

Roast Turkey with Dried Apple and Corn Bread Stuffing

Serves 8


10 to 12 pound turkey
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
8 cups chicken stock
1 onion, coarsely chopped
1 carrot, peeled, coarsely chopped
6 parsley stems
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
1 bay leaf

1/2 cup plus 1/2 cup unsalted butter
2 large onions, finely diced
4 ribs celery, finely diced
1 cup dried apples, coarsely chopped
1/4 cup fresh chopped parsley
1 tablespoon fresh chopped thyme
1 tablespoon fresh chopped sage
1 recipe Corn Bread, air-dried 2 days
1 tablespoon flour
1 teaspoon cornstarch


Wash turkey and pat dry.  Remove the giblets from the inside of the turkey.  Place the turkey in a large bowl or deep pan.  Combine 12 cups cold water with 12 tablespoons kosher salt.  Stir to dissolve the salt.  Pour the water over the turkey until it is completely submerged.  If the turkey isn't completely submerged, make another mixture of cold water and kosher salt.  For each 1 cup of water, use 1 tablespoon kosher salt.  Continue to add water until the turkey is completely submerged.  Place the pan containing the turkey in the refrigerator.  Refrigerate for 1 to 2 days.

Remove the turkey from the refrigerator.  Remove the turkey from the pan and pat dry with paper towels.  Place on a cooling rack set on a baking sheet.  Place in the refrigerator uncovered for 24 hours.

Place turkey neck, gizzard, heart, chicken stock, onion, carrot, parsley stems, thyme and bay leaf in a saucepan and simmer over low heat until the stock reduces by three-quarters, 1 1/2 hours.  Strain.

In a large skillet over medium heat, melt 1/2 cup butter and cook the onions and celery, stirring occasionally, until soft, 10 minutes.  Place the contents of the pan in a bowl and add the parsley, thyme, sage, cornbread and approximately of the 1 1/2 cups of the reduced stock until the stuffing is light and fluffy and just holds together.  Season with salt and pepper.

Preheat an oven to 400°F.   Fill the breast and neck cavity loosely with stuffing.  Truss the turkey.  Place on a rack in a shallow roasting pan.  Melt the remaining 1/2 cup in a saucepan.  Cut a double piece of cheesecloth so that you create a tent for the turkey that completely covers the turkey and can be tucked into the pan around the turkey.  Place the cheesecloth in the saucepan of melted butter until it is completely submerged.  Drape the cheesecloth over the turkey and tuck the edges into the pan and around the turkey.  Cook the turkey in the middle of the oven for 45 minutes.  Reduce the heat to 325°F.  Continue to roast until the juices run clear when the thigh is pierced with a skewer.  Check the internal temperature by inserting an instant-read thermometer into the thickest part of the thigh.  It should register 170° to 175ºF.

Remove the turkey from the oven and let rest 20 minutes.  Remove the cheesecloth.  Remove turkey from pan.  Reserve 2 tablespoons fat and drippings from pan and discard remainder.  Whisk the flour, cornstarch and 1/2 cup stock together and add to heated roasting pan, whisking constantly.  Add remaining stock and continue to stir until thickened, 2 minutes.  Continue to simmer 1 minute.

Remove the stuffing from cavity.  Carve the turkey and place on a platter with stuffing.  Serve the gravy separately.