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Roast Wild Turkey with Blue-Corn-Bread
and Chorizo Stuffing



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A Flock of Wild Turkeys Crosses a Snowy Field, Bryce Canyon National Park, Utah
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Roast Wild Turkey with Blue-Corn-Bread
and Chorizo Stuffing

Food and Wine Holiday Cookbook
Editorial Director: Judith Hill, 1996,
American Express Publishing Corp.


“You’ll probably need to order a wild turkey in advance from your butcher.
It will have less meat than a farm-raised bird, but more flavor. Of course,
you can make this recipe with a regular supermarket turkey, too.”

Wine Recommendation: A pitcher of beer would be perfect with this dish
from a palate perspective, but might not fit into the atmosphere of a holiday celebration. Try a fruity, slightly chilled red wine such as a grenache or
gamay from California.

Serves 8 to 10

One 10- to 12-pound turkey with neck and giblets,
at room temperature
Salt and fresh-ground black pepper
Blur-Corn-Bread and Chorizo Stuffing
(recipe follows)
1/4 pound plus 2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons flour
3 cups turkey stock, or canned
low-sodium chicken broth

  1. Heat the oven to 450 degrees F. Reserve the turkey neck and giblets for the stock. Season the turkey inside and out with salt and pepper.
2. Put the turkey breast-side down on a work surface. Loosely fill the neck cavity with some of the stuffing. Pull the neck skin over the cavity and
fasten the skin to the back of the turkey with metal skewers or wooden
toothpicks. Turn the turkey breast-side up.
3. Loosely fill the main cavity of the bird with stuffing and close the cavity with skewers or toothpicks. Twist the wings behind the bird and tie the
legs together.
4. In a medium saucepan, melt the 1/2 pound of butter. Soak a 2-foot-long double layer of cheesecloth or a clean kitchen towel in the melted butter.
Put the turkey, breast-side up, on a rack in a roasting pan and cover the breast with the butter-soaked cloth. Let the remaining 2 tablespoons
butter soften.

5. Put the turkey in the oven. Immediately reduce the heat to 325 degrees [F.]  Roast the bird, basting every 30 minutes with the pan juices,
until an instant-read thermometer stuck into the inner thigh registers
135 degrees [F.], about 2 hours. Remove the buttered cloth from
the turkey breast. Continue roasting the turkey, basting every 20
minutes, until an instant-read thermometer stuck into the inner thigh
registers 180 degrees [F.], about 1 hour longer. The juices will run
clear when the thigh of the turkey is pierced with a fork. Transfer
the turkey to a carving board and leave it to rest in a warm spot for
about 15 minutes.
6. Meanwhile, mash together the 2 tablespoons softened butter and the
flour to make a smooth paste. Pour the pan juices into a bowl and
skim off the fat. Return the pan juices to the roasting pan and set
the pan over moderate heat. Add the stock to the pan. Bring to a
boil, scraping the bottom of the pan to dislodge any brown bits.
Gradually whisk in the butter paste and boil, whisking, until thick-
ened. Reduce the heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Season with salt
and pepper.
7. Remove the string from the bird. Carve the turkey and serve with
the stuffing and gravy.

Blue-Corn-Bread and Chorizo Stuffing

“Here, Southwestern flavors – blue corn, chorizo,
chiles, and chayote – dominate an unusual stuffing.”

Makes about 6 cups

5 tablespoons butter
1 pound chorizo sausage, casing removed and
sausage chopped
1 small onion, chopped
1/4 cup diced celery
1/4 cup diced carrot
3 serrano chiles or 2 jalapeños, seeds and
ribs removed, minced
6 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup peeled and diced chayote (optional)
1/4 cup bourbon
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme, or
1/4 teaspoon dried
1 teaspoon chopped fresh sage, or
1/4 teaspoon dried
2 teaspoons chopped cilantro
Serrano-Chile Blue-Corn Bread,
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup turkey stock, or canned
low-sodium chicken broth
Fresh-ground black pepper

1. In a large frying pan, melt 1 tablespoon of the butter over moderately
high heat. Add the chorizo and cook, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Remove the chorizo and wipe out the
frying pan.
2. In the same pan, melt the remaining 4 tablespoons butter over moderate heat. Add the onion, celery, carrot, chiles, garlic, and chayote. Cook,
stirring frequently, until the vegetables soften, about 8 minutes. Add the bourbon and cook until the liquid reduces to approximately 2 table-
spoons, about 5 minutes.
3. Remove from the heat and stir in the thyme, sage, cilantro, chorizo, crumbled corn bread, and salt. Add the stock and toss. Season with
pepper to taste.

Stephan Pyles

Make It Ahead – The time to stuff your bird is right before it goes into the oven. Stuffing it in advance is risky because that gives bacteria time to reproduce. You can, however, prepare the bird and the stuffing in advance
and refrigerate them separately. Stuff the bird while the oven is heating.

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