Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Prepare
the stuffing: Place the bread in a large bowl. In a large skillet, melt
the butter and the oil over moderate heat. Add the onions and cook,
stirring, until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, celery,
scallions, thyme and half of the parsley and cook until soft about 5
minutes longer. Add the walnuts, apricots and a hefty sprinkle of salt
and pepper. The mixture should be cooked through but not soft and limp.
Add this mixture to the bowl with the bread and mix well. Add the
remaining parsley and additional salt and pepper. Pour 1/2 cup milk into
the empty skillet and heat for 1 minute, scraping up any bits clinging
to the bottom. Pour the warm milk over the stuffing and mix well. The
stuffing should be somewhat moist; add more milk (or water) if needed.
Do not make the stuffing more than 1 hour ahead of time and never stuff
the turkey more than 30 minutes before roasting.
Grease the bottom of a large flameproof
roasting pan with the oil. Using your hands, generously stuff the cavity
of the turkey, pressing down firmly to get as much stuffing in as
possible without letting it overflow. stuff the neck cavity, being
careful not to overstuff it. Sew the openings with a trussing needle and
string or poultry lacers, or close with wooden skewers. Place the turkey
in the roasting pan, breast-side up. Pack any remaining stuffing into a
small or medium-size lightly greased casserole and set aside.
In the same skillet used to cook the
stuffing, melt the butter over moderate heat. Add the cloves of garlic
and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Pour the melted butter and garlic over
the turkey. Sprinkle the skin with salt, pepper, and a generous pinch of
paprika. Sprinkle the chives over the turkey.
Roast the turkey for 15 minutes. Reduce
the oven temperature to 325 degrees and baste the turkey. Cover the
turkey very loosely with aluminum foil, creating a kind of tent.
Continue roasting the turkey, basting it every 20 minutes or so, for
15-20 minutes per pound. (Farm-raised fresh turkeys roast much faster
than grocery store brands, so generally a fresh turkey needs only 15
minutes per pound). The turkey is done when the juices run clear and not
pink when an inner thigh is pierced.
About 1 hour 15 minutes before the turkey
is done, add the 2 heads of garlic and the potatoes to the pan and baste
well. During the last 20-30 minutes of roasting time, add the casserole
of extra stuffing to the oven and bake until heated through. While the
turkey is roasting, prepare a turkey stock for the gravy: Place all the
ingredients for the gravy except the flour and ground pepper in a
medium-size saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat
to low and simmer until the stock is flavorful, about 2 hours. Season to
Remove the roasting pan from the oven and
place the turkey on a carving board. Let sit, loosely covered with
aluminum foil, for 15-20 minutes. Place the whole garlic, potatoes, and
loose garlic cloves in a bowl, loosely covered with foil to keep warm.
Meanwhile, finish the gravy: Using a large
spoon or a gravy or grease separator, discard all but a few tablespoons
of the fat. Place the roasting pan over two burners. Bring to a simmer
over moderate heat, scraping any bits and pieces clinging to the bottom
of the pan. Whisk in 2 tbsp of flour. Cook for about 2 minutes and then
slowly strain in about 4 cups of the turkey stock you have been cooking.
Whisk to prevent lumps. Bring to a simmer and add salt and pepper to
Scoop the stuffing out of the turkey and
place in a warm bowl. Carve the turkey and serve with the hot gravy,
roasted garlic, and potatoes. Pass the additional stuffing separately.
Makes 10 servings
Don't wait until Thanksgiving to try this
recipe. Make half of a quarter of the stuffing and try it in a large
chicken, capon, or several Cornish hens (A capon is a 10-week-old cock
that was castrated when young. They are generally 7-10 pounds and quite
tender.) This recipe makes enough stuffing to generously fill the cavity
and neck of a 16-pound turkey, as well as a small casserole dish.
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