Source: Gourmet, 11/1988
For the stuffing
corn bread for stuffing (recipe follows)
2 cups chopped onion
1½ cups chopped celery
1½ sticks (¾ cup) unsalted butter, softened
2 cups pecans
3 tablespoons minced fresh sage leaves or 1 tablespoon crumbled dried
2 tablespoons minced fresh thyme leaves or 2 teaspoons crumbled dried
1 tablespoon minced fresh rosemary or 1 teaspoon crumbled dried
½ cup minced fresh parsley leaves
3 Granny Smith apples
a 12- to 14-pound turkey, the neck and giblets (excluding the liver) reserved for making turkey giblet stock
1½ sticks (¼ cup) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup turkey giblet stock (below) or chicken stock
For the gravy
1 cup dry white wine
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
3 cups turkey giblet stock and the reserved cooked neck and giblets
3 tablespoons Cognac or other brandy, or to taste
fresh sage leaves and thyme sprigs for garnish
Make the stuffing: Crumble the corn bread coarse into 2 jelly-roll pans, bake it in the middle of a preheated 325° F. oven, stirring occasionally, for 30 to 35 minutes, or until it is dry and deep golden, and transfer it to a large bowl. In a large skillet cook the onion and the celery with salt and pepper to taste in ½ stick of the butter over moderately low heat, stirring, until the vegetables are softened and transfer the mixture to the bowl of corn bread. Add the pecans, the sage, the thyme, the rosemary, the parsley, the remaining 1 stick butter, melted, and salt and pepper to taste, toss the mixture gently until it is combined well, and let it cool. The mixture may be prepared up to this point 1 day in advance and kept covered and chilled. (Do not stuff the turkey in advance.) Just before stuffing the turkey stir into the mixture the apples, peeled, cored, and cut into ¼-inch pieces.
Rinse the turkey, pat it dry, and season it inside and out with salt and pepper. Pack the neck cavity loosely with some of the stuffing, fold the neck skin under the body, and fasten it with a skewer. Pack the body cavity loosely with some of the remaining stuffing and truss the turkey. Transfer the remaining stuffing to a buttered 2-quart baking dish and reserve it, covered and chilled. Spread the turkey with ½ stick of the butter and roast it on the rack of a roasting pan in a preheated 425° F. oven for 30 minutes. Reduce the heat to 325° F., baste the turkey with the pan juices, and drape it with a piece of cheesecloth soaked in the remaining I stick butter, melted and coolest Roast the turkey, basting it every 20 minutes, for 2 hours and 30 minutes to 3 hours more, or until the juices run clear when the fleshy part of a thigh is pricked with a skewer and a meat thermometer inserted in the fleshy part of a thigh registers 180° F. During the last hour of roasting bake the reserved stuffing, drizzled with the 1 cup stock and covered loosely, in the 325° F. oven. Discard the cheesecloth and trussing string, transfer the turkey to a heated platter, and keep it warm, covered loosely with foil.
Make the gravy: Skim the fat from the pan juices, reserving ¼ cup fat, add the wine to the pan, and deglaze the pan over moderately high heat, scraping up the brown bits clinging to the bottom and sides. Boil the mixture until it is reduced by half and reserve it. In a saucepan combine the reserved fat and the flour and cook the roux over moderately low heat, whisking, for 3 minutes. Add the stock and the reserved wine mixture in a stream, whisking, bring the mixture to a boil, whisking, and simmer the gravy, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes. Add the reserved cooked giblets and the neck meat, chopped fine, the Cognac, and salt and pepper to taste, simmer the gravy for 2 minutes, and transfer it to a heated pitcher or sauceboat.
Garnish the turkey with the sage leaves and the thyme sprigs. Serves 8.
Corn Bread for Stuffing
The following recipe yields a very dry corn bread that is best suited for stuffing.
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/3 cups yellow cornmeal
1 tablespoon double-acting baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk
1 large egg
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
In a bowl stir together the flour, the corn-meal, the baking powder, and the salt. In a small bowl whisk together the milk, the egg, and the butter, add the milk mixture to the cornmeal mixture, and stir the batter until it is just combined. Pour the batter into a greased 8-inch-square baking pan and bake a the corn bread in the middle of a preheated 425° F. oven for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the top is pale golden and a tester comes out clean. Let the corn bread cool in the pan for 5 minutes, invert it onto a rack, and let it cool completely.
Turkey Giblet Stock
the neck and giblets (excluding the liver) of a 12- to 14-pound turkey
4 cups canned chicken broth
1 rib of celery, chopped
1 carrot, chopped
1 onion, quartered
1 bay leaf
½ teaspoon dried thyme, crumbled
1 teaspoon black peppercorns
In a large saucepan combine the neck and the giblets, the broth, the celery, the carrot, the onion, and 4 cups water and bring the liquid to a boil, skimming the froth. Add the bay leaf, the thyme, and the peppercorns and cook the mixture at a bare simmer for 2 hours, or until it is reduced to about 4 cups. Strain the stock through a fine sieve into a bowl, reserving the neck and giblets for the gravy. The stock may be made 2 days in advance, cooled completely, uncovered, and kept chilled in an airtight container or frozen. Makes about 4 cups.