Photo: Woman's Weekly/REX USA.
Cook the turkey on high heat — 475 degrees Fahrenheit — for the first 20 minutes, then baste it, and reduce the temp to 375 degrees Fahrenheit for the rest of the roasting time. Fifteen minutes per pound is a good rule of thumb. Tent it with foil if it starts to get too dark.2.
Make as much of the meal ahead of time as possible. Most people only have one oven, and the turkey will monopolize it for most of the day. Think about what can be reheated while the turkey is resting.3.
If you are making bread stuffing, it can be prepped a day ahead. Assemble the ingredients in the baking dish, toss together, then cover and refrigerate. The day of, moisten with broth and bake. Make sure it is at room temperature and the oven is thoroughly preheated. Here are two (quite different) recipes we make every year. I hope one (or two!) make it to your table. Mary’s Thanksgiving Dressing
Recipe courtesy of Giada’s Digital Weekly
1 (24 oz) loaf regular white bread; day-old is best
6 stalks of celery
2 green peppers
1 large Bermuda onion
½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
2 tsp kosher salt
½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
3 medium russet potatoes, scrubbed
1 cup unsalted chicken stock
1½ tsp rubbed dried sage
The day before preparing the dressing, cut the bread slices into half-inch cubes, leaving on the crust. Place the cubes on cooling racks to dry on both sides, overnight.
If the cubes are not dry enough when you are ready to make the dressing, spread cubes onto two cookie sheets and place in a 200-degree oven while preparing the other ingredients.
Cut the celery, green peppers, and onion into third-inch pieces. Preheat a large, nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the stick of butter, vegetables, one teaspoon salt, and the pepper. Sauté until the vegetables are soft and translucent, about eight minutes. Remove the vegetables to a large bowl.
While the vegetables are cooking, cut the potatoes into half-inch cubes.
Place the potatoes in medium saucepan and cover with cold water. Add half teaspoon salt. Over medium-high heat, bring the potatoes to a simmer and cook until they can be pierced with a fork but are not falling apart, about five minutes. Drain well.
To the large bowl with the sauteed vegetables, add the drained potatoes and two-thirds of bread cubes. Mix together using a wooden spoon. Add the rubbed sage, remaining half teaspoon salt, and the chicken broth. Mix until well combined.
When your turkey is ready to be stuffed, put the dressing into the turkey's cavity, lace the cavity shut using cooking skewers, and roast according to the turkey's weight.
Alternatively, you can bake the dressing separately in a buttered 9-by-13-inch casserole at 400 degrees for 25 minutes.
This makes a dressing for a 13- to 20-pound turkey or six to eight servings.Raffy’s Ciabatta Stuffing with Chestnuts and Pancetta
Recipe courtesy of Giada’s Digital Weekly
8 oz thinly sliced pancetta or bacon, cut into 1/4-inch dice
6 tbsp (¾ stick) unsalted butter
2 large onions, finely chopped
2 carrots, peeled and finely chopped
3 celery stalks, finely chopped
2 tbsp chopped fresh rosemary
3 garlic cloves, chopped
2 7.4-oz jars roasted peeled whole chestnuts, coarsely broken
1 pound day-old ciabatta bread, cut into ¾-inch cubes
⅔ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
¼ cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 cup canned reduced-sodium chicken broth, or more as needed
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 large eggs, beaten to blend
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Butter a 15-by-10-by-2-inch glass baking dish.
Melt two tablespoons of the butter in a heavy, large skillet over medium heat. Add the pancetta, and sauté until crisp and golden, about 10 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the pancetta to a large bowl. Melt the remaining four tablespoons of butter in the same skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onions, carrots, celery, rosemary, and garlic. Sauté until the onions are very tender, about 12 minutes. Gently stir in the chestnuts.
Transfer the onion mixture to the large bowl with the pancetta. Add the bread, Parmesan cheese, and parsley, and toss to coat. Add enough broth to the stuffing mixture to moisten. Season the stuffing to taste with salt and pepper. Mix in the eggs.
Transfer the stuffing to the prepared dish. Cover with buttered foil, buttered side down, and bake until the stuffing is heated through, about 30 minutes. Uncover and continue baking until the top is crisp and golden, about 15 minutes longer.
This makes eight to 10 servings.