How to dress your turkey for Thanksgiving

Published: 18 November, 2012 12:01 IST | Anjana Vaswani |

James Reppuhn, the new executive chef at JW Marriott sharesh is turkey recipe for the perfect Thanksgiving, a holiday that was institutionalised by US President Abraham Lincoln almost 150 years ago

American Chef James Reppuhn, who has previously worked at the Ritz and the Four Seasons Hotels and alongside celebrity chef Mark Miller, doesn’t usually prepare stuffed turkey. He prefers to roast the stuffing separately, he tells us, “the way my mother would prepare it at home on the holiday.” Here he shares how the dish can be prepared either way

Step 1: Cut the wings of the turkey at the end bone

Step 2: Stuff the turkey with the dressing

Step 3: Apply leftover stuffing on the outside 

Step 4: Place the stuffed turkey in the oven and roast for 75-90 minutes. Pics/Sameer Sayed Abedi

1 (approximately 5-6 kg) whole turkey
300 g unsalted butter
30 g (40-45 leafs) fresh sage
2 onions
4 sticks celery
2 carrots
2 leeks
Salt to taste
Black pepper powderto taste
For stuffing/dressing:
10 slices white bread
3 sticks celery
1 (medium) onion
1 cup chicken stock
1 egg
Salt to taste
Black pepper powder to taste

Ø Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius for 30 minutes

Ø Keep the unsalted butter at room temperature. When it is soft, mix it with chopped fresh sage

Ø Trim excess fat on the bird. Wash the turkey and pat dry with paper towel(s)

Ø Cut the wings of the turkey at the end bone. This helps it to sit securely while roasting. Cut the excess skin near the neck (do not tie the legs of the bird with string as per conventional recipes. It actually cooks faster when the legs are not tied)

ØPlace the bird on a clean work surface

Ø Prepare the dressing by cubing the sliced bread. Finely chop onion and celery and sauté lightly in butter

Ø In a mixing bowl, combine bread cubes, sautéed mixture, egg and chicken stock. Season with salt and pepper

Ø Sprinkle cavity liberally with salt and pepper. Stuff it with the dressing. Take some more mixture and slide through the thin skin layer on the top. Place any leftover stuffing around the turkey in the final step (or, don’t stuff the cavity at all. Simply lay the dressing in a roasting dish and place it in the pre-heated oven for 15 minutes)

Ø Dice the onion, celery sticks, carrots and leeks. Place them in a roasting tray. Their flavours will then be infused in the turkey during the roasting process

Ø Place the turkey in the same roasting tray. Rub it with sage-butter and season it with salt and pepper

ØPlace it in the oven and roast for 75-90 minutes

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