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Roast Turkey with Pecan Corn-Bread Stuffing Recipe

1 turkey (about 15 lbs.)
2-1/2 C. pecan halves (8 oz.)
1/3 C. butter
2 stalks celery, chopped
1 large onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced
1/2 C. Bourbon, Tennessee whisky or rye
4 t. chopped fresh sage (or 1-1/2 tsp dried)
2 t. chopped fresh thyme (or 3/4 tsp dried)
1 t. salt
3/4 t. pepper
8 cups Corn Bread
1/2 C. chopped celery leaves or fresh parsley
1 Egg, lightly beaten
1/3 C. all-purpose flour
3 C. Giblet Stock for Gravy or chicken stock

Remove neck and giblets from cavity of turkey; reserve for Giblet Stock for Gravy. Finely chop liver and reserve for stuffing. Pull out any loose fat from cavity.

On baking sheet, toast pecans in 425F. oven for 4 minutes; let cool.

In skillet, melt 2 T. of the butter over medium-high heat; cook celery, onion, garlic, jalapeno pepper until lightly browned, about 7 minutes.

Stir in 2 T. of the bourbon, reserved chopped liver, sage, thyme and 1/4 t. each of the salt and pepper; fry for 2 minutes. Transfer to large bowl; let cool. Crumble corn bread into bowl. Add pecans and celery leaves; mix well. (Make-ahead: Cover and refrigerate for up to 1 day.) Mix in egg.

Pat turkey dry inside and out. Holding breast side down, sprinkle body cavity with 2 T. and neck cavity with 2 t. of the remaining bourbon. Stuff both cavities loosely with some of the stuffing; skewer cavities shut. Tie legs together and tuck wings under back.

Place turkey, breast side up, on greased rack in roasting pan. Place remaining stuffing in greased 11-x7-inch glass baking dish; cover with foil and refrigerate.

Melt remaining butter and stir in 2 T. of the remaining bourbon; brush over turkey. Sprinkle with 1/2 t. of the remaining salt and 1/4 t. of the remaining pepper.

Roast in 325F oven for 1 hour. Roast, basting often, for 2-1/2 hours or until meat thermometer inserted in thickest part of thigh registers 180F.

Meanwhile, add covered dish of stuffing to oven; cook for 45 minutes. Uncover and cook for 15 minutes longer. Lift turkey onto warmed platter; tent with foil and let stand for at least 15 minutes or for up to 30 minutes.

Skim off all but 2 T. fat from pan drippings; place pan over medium-high heat. Sprinkle flour over drippings; cook, stirring and scraping up any brown bits from bottom of pan. Gradually whisk in stock and remaining bourbon, salt and pepper; bring to simmer and cook for 2 minutes. Stir in giblets; heat through. Pour into warmed gravy boat.

Makes 10 to 12 servings

Source: The Canadian Living Test Kitchen

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