I should have taken photographs!  I’ve made at least thirty turkey dinners in the last twenty years, maybe more, and I’ve used all kinds of recipes.  Cover the top of the turkey with bacon and ice-water soaked cheesecloth for two thirds of the cooking time, brine the turkey, use a baking bag, aromatic herbs, etc. etc.

Yesterday, all I did was take a twelve pound turkey, well thawed, rinsed it well and patted it dry, rubbed it with canola oil, sprinkled salt and pepper inside and out, LOOSELY stuffed it, and the bird came out of the oven looking so good I should have had THEME MUSIC playing in the background.

The stuffing was simply Stove Top brand Turkey stuffing.  Normally, I shun this boxed stuffing, there isn’t anything wrong with it, I just know how to make GREAT stuffing without resorting to a box of crumbs.   When I do use a pre-mix, I usually saute minced celery and onions in a tablespoon of butter with some fresh cracked pepper, sea salt, and minced chicken or turkey liver, then add that to the stuffing mix with the liquid.  In this case, due to my own oversight, we didn’t have any celery or onions (the wife likes neither, one of the reasons I mince it so fine you can’t FIND it in the stuffing,) but I did have a nice turkey liver from the thawed bird, so I just added that.

The bird itself went into a 350′ oven with the main body cavity loosely stuffed with the pre-made stuffing, including half a cup of stuffing in the neck cavity, covered with the loose skin.  I put two cups of water in the bottom of the pan, keeping the bird out of the water using a lift-out rack that fit my pan.  I put the lid on, put it in the oven for 3.5 hours, then cranked the heat to 400′ for the last twenty minutes or so for the green bean casserole.

About that casserole – I love green bean casserole, but I didn’t have any onions to make the fried onions, I didn’t have any cream of mushroom soup (again, the wife hates mushrooms, so we never have it on hand) but I did have some Campbell’s Cream of Chicken soup and some Parmesan Panko bread crumbs, so that’s what I used.  It came out just fine, though my daughter said it tasted a bit peppery.

Other than those dishes, I made some mashed potatoes and gravy along with some King’s Hawaiian bread, and the three of us had a great Christmas dinner!

I hope everyone else had a wonderful dinner as well!

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