ROAST TURKEY OR TURKEY BREAST WITH NUTTY CHERRY OR CRANBERRY CORNBREAD STUFFING/DRESSING
about 20 to 32 servings for whole turkey, about 8 servings for turkey breast
- 1 (12 to 16-pound) whole fresh or thawed frozen turkey, or 1 (4 to 7-pound) turkey breast, fresh or thawed frozen
- Nutty Cherry or Cranberry Cornbread Stuffing/Dressing
- Mayonnaise or reduced-fat mayonnaise or butter or margarine, melted, as desired
- Non-caloric vegetable cooking spray as desired
Water as needed
- 1 to 2 chicken bouillon cubes, mashed
- Salt as desired (optional)
- Freshly ground black pepper as desired
For whole bird, remove giblets and neck from body cavity. Rinse turkey and pat dry with absorbent paper. Fill neck cavity loosely with desired stuffing/dressing. Do not pack, as stuffing/dressing expands during roasting. Fold neck skin over stuffing/dressing in cavity opening and fasten securely to back with skewers. Stuff body cavity loosely. Lock wings behind the back and tie drumsticks to bird with kitchen twine or heavy string. Place turkey on a metal rack coated with non-caloric vegetable cooking spray in a shallow ungreased roasting pan. Insert a meat thermometer, if desired, into the thickest part of the breast or inside thigh. Brush entire bird liberally with mayonnaise or melted butter. Sprinkle bird lightly with salt and pepper. Add ½ to1 cup water and chicken bouillon cube(s) to pan. Baste bird frequently during roasting. Place a tent of aluminum foil, shiny-side turned in, loosely over bird. Allow a hole in the foil for the meat thermometer or pop-up timer. Bake in a preheated slow oven (325 degrees F.) until done, about 4 ½ to 5 hours. Allow 20 to 25 minutes per pound for roasting. Meat thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the breast should register 170 degrees F. or thermometer inserted into the area between the body and thigh should register 180 degrees F. Cut string holding legs when bird is two-thirds cooked. Remove foil during the last 30 to 40 minutes of roasting, basting frequently with pan liquid. Remove turkey from oven when done and cover tightly with aluminum foil. Allow turkey to rest for 20 to 25 minutes for easier carving. Arrange turkey on heated platter, garnish as desired, and serve.
For turkey breast, lightly coat outside surfaces of breast with mayonnaise or melted butter. Stuff breast neck cavity and body cavity loosely with stuffing/dressing, if desired; close skin over cavities and secure with long wooden picks. Or, bake stuffing/dressing separately in a 2-quart casserole. Arrange turkey breast in a lightly greased or aluminum foil-lined roaster or broiler pan or 13 x 9 x 2-inch baking pan (if not stuffed, place breast on metal rack in pan). Insert a meat thermometer, if desired. (May add ½ to 1 cup water and chicken bouillon cube(s) to pan, if desired.) Bake, covered with a tent of aluminum foil, shiny side turned in, ends open, in a preheated slow oven (325 degrees F.) for about 2 to 3 hours, depending on weight of turkey breast, 20 to 25 minutes per pound, or until meat thermometer inserted into the thickest part of breast registers 170 degrees F. (Allow a hole in the foil for meat thermometer or pop-up timer.) When turkey begins to brown, may sprinkle top of breast with salt and pepper, if desired. About 30 minutes before end of baking time, remove aluminum foil to insure turkey breast browning; baste breast with pan liquid and continue baking until turkey breast is done. Allow turkey breast to rest at room temperature, covered with aluminum foil, for about 15 to 20 minutes after removing from oven to allow easier carving. May use liquid in baking pan for preparation of gravy.
Nutty Cherry or Cranberry Cornbread Stuffing/Dressing
about 6 servings (see note)
- 4 cups cornbread stuffing mix
- ½ cup chopped celery
- ½ cup chopped peeled onion
- ½ cup coarsely chopped dried cherries (tart or sweet dark (Bing) cherries, or ½ cup sweetened dried cranberries
- ½ cup chopped English walnuts or pecans
- 1 (14-ounce) can chicken broth
- 1/3 cup water
- 6 tablespoons butter or margarine
- ½ to 1 teaspoon mace or to taste (optional)
- Salt and freshly ground black or white pepper to taste
In a large bowl, combine stuffing mix, celery, onion, cherries or cranberries, and nuts, mixing well.
In a medium heavy saucepan, combine chicken broth, water, and butter or margarine. Bring mixture to a simmer over moderate heat, melting butter or margarine; stir hot broth mixture into stuffing mixture, mixing well. Season with mace and salt and pepper to taste.
Stuff turkey breast or whole turkey as previously directed or place stuffing/dressing in a 1½-quart casserole lightly coated with non-caloric vegetable cooking spray. Loosely cover with aluminum foil and bake in a preheated moderate oven (350 degrees F.) for 45 minutes or until done.
Note: For a whole turkey, double the amount of ingredients for Nutty Cherry or Cranberry Stuffing/Dressing.