Archive for stuffing recipe

Jack McDavid’s Tips on Keeping Your Thanksgiving Turkey Moist and Juicy

Thanksgiving Turkeys should be juicy.  Sadly, we’ve all endured our share of dry birds on the Day of Gratitude, but help is at hand.  Jack McDavid, Chef and Owner of the Down Home Diner shared two proven methods of keeping the bird from drying out.  Jack suggests employing both of these strategies on Thursday and he’s never steered us wrong.

Method One:

Immediately before cooking, fill the turkey with hot stuffing and pop it in the oven.  By placing hot stuffing into the bird, you begin an even cooking process from the inside out.  You also avoid the problem of the raw turkey juice seeping into the stuffing and making guests sick, because the interior starts off hot.

Jack’s Stuffing

1 cup chopped onion
1 cup chopped celery
1 cup chopped carrots
2 TBSP minced fresh sage
1/2 lb butter
1 cup chicken stock (or more if mixture seems dry)
4 cups cubed day-old bread

Melt butter in large skillet and add vegetables and sage.  Sweat this mixture for about 5 minutes.  Add stock, bring to boil.  Add bread to pan and mix thoroughly, keeping heat on.    While stuffing is still hot, stuff into turkey and cook turkey immediately.

Method Two:  Brine and Rub the Turkey

1 20 lb turkey

For the brine:
4 TBSP sugar
5 TBSP salt
1 TBSP white pepper
3 gallons water

Mix all brine ingredients, and submerge turkey in mixture for 24 hrs.

For spice rub:

2 TBSP sugar
21/2 TBSP salt
1/2 TBSP white pepper

Mix all spice rub ingredients.

Remove turkey from brine.  Rub spice blend under skin, in cavity, and massage thoroughly for about 5 minutes.  Or, as Jack said, “Caress it like you would your girlfriend.  Get to know it real well.  Let that turkey know you love it.  Give it a good rubdown.”    Then stuff it as directed above and…

Roast turkey at 300 degrees for 4  hrs.  If you wish to brown top, raise temperature to 450 for final 10 minutes of roasting.  To ensure that turkey is done, check temperature at thigh.  It should be 165.  If it is not up to temperature, return to oven at 300 degrees and check again in 15 minutes.  Remove from oven, cover, and let turkey sit for at least 20 minutes before carving.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Marilyn Monroe’s Secret Thanksgiving Stuffing Recipe

We’ve all heard the old adage “if you can’t stand the heat, get out of the kitchen.” And all we know Marilyn Monroe liked it hot–just check out her the steamy rendition of Happy Birthday.

But who would have thought that the glamorous film star actually did toil over a hot stove?

We are taking a brief break from ginger today to acknowledge Thanksgiving, this wondrous American observance of gustation and gratitude.  As we contemplated what to share on this momentous occasion, we came across the rather shocking news that American icon Marilyn Monroe (she keeps popping up, doesn’t she?) was a real cook.  Thanks to friend Dana Hall for sending us the fascinating New York Times article on Marilyn’s stuffing recipe–just in time for this week’s feast.  Here’s a link to the full article, which contains a more legible version of the recipe.

Marilyn’s Handwritten Stuffing Recipe c. 1955

The ingredient list, which includes pine nuts, raisins and Parmesan cheese suggests a nod to then-husband Joe DiMaggio’s Sicilian heritage.  The complexity of the process,  the sketchiness of the instructions, and the imprecise amounts written in her own hand suggest that Marilyn knew what she was doing and only needed rudimentary notes to execute the  recipe. 

Wonder what else she knew…..