Contributed by: NAPSA
Serving Up A Terrific Turkey In Three Easy Steps (NAPSA) - A beautiful turkey has long served as the centerpiece for memorable holiday meals and the ceremonial placing of a beautifully prepared turkey on the table is a much anticipated moment.
Jacques Pepin, author of "Julia and Jacques Cooking at Home," recommends counting a pound of turkey per person, if you want to have seconds and leftovers. If you don't want to have leftovers, a half pound will do.
A small bird, 10 to 13 pounds is easy to handle and will roast faster. You might want to buy two smaller turkeys for a large crowd.
As to the stuffing, here's a delicious recipe from Pepin's book, which can be made ahead of cooking turkey. You should, however, store it separately. Never stuff a turkey until you are ready to roast it.
Put the cornbread cubes in a large mixing bowl.
Heat a 10-inch frying or saute pan with a teaspoon or two of canola oil. Crumble or chop the sausage meat into small pieces. Fry over medium heat until cooked but not brown. Remove the meat with a slotted spoon to a bowl.
Add the butter and the rest of the oil to any fat in the pan and set over medium-high heat. Add the chopped vegetables, the sage, salt and pepper and toss together. Saute rapidly until soft, about 8 minutes. Return the sausage pieces to the pan, pour in the chicken stock and cook together for a minute or so.
Scrape the cooked seasonings over the cornbread. Toss together, thoroughly crumbling the bread cubes until the stuffing is evenly moist and loose. Taste to adjust the seasonings. Now that the bird has been cooked and stuffed to perfection, it's time to carve. Chefs Choice(r) offers the following carving tips.
Carving The Bird
Step 1. Be sure to use a good, sharp knife.
"Sharp knives are not only safer, they will help you smoothly cut thin, even slices without shredding the meat," says Pepin. The Chef'sChoice(r) EdgeSelect(r) 120 sharpener uses 100 percent diamond-coated disks and a revolutionary polishing stage to create a professional knife edge in seconds. The precision guides eliminate all guesswork and that means predictable, razor-sharp edges every time it's used. For help finding a sharpener that's right for you, call (800) 342-3255.
Step 2. After the turkey is cooked (meat thermometer should read 180 F when inserted in the thickest part of the turkey) cool the bird for 15 minutes. Remove and set aside the turkey legs and the last joint of each wing. Make a long, deep (to the bone) horizontal "base cut" into the breast just above the wing.
Step 3. Slice down vertically through the breast until you meet the original base cut. This will release lovely even slices for a truly memorable holiday meal.
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