November 25, 2010

Brined Sage Turkey with Mushroom Stuffing

What You Need

1/2 cup butter, divided
1 lb.  fresh mushrooms, sliced
3 stalks celery, chopped
1   large onion, chopped
3 cups hot water
2 pkg.  (6 oz. each) STOVE TOP Stuffing Mix for Chicken
1/2 cup fresh sage, divided
1   brined turkey (14 lb.)
1/4 cup KRAFT Zesty Italian Dressing

Make It

HEAT oven to 325ºF.
MELT 2 Tbsp. butter in medium skillet on medium heat. Add vegetables; cook and stir 10 min. or until onions and celery are crisp-tender.
ADD hot water and remaining butter to stuffing mixes in large bowl; stir just until moistened. Chop 1/4 cup sage. Add to stuffing with vegetables; mix lightly.
FREE turkey legs from tucked position. (Do not cut band of skin.) Using rubber spatula or hand, loosen skin over breast, starting at body cavity opening by legs. Place remaining sage leaves on meat under skin. Spoon stuffing into neck and body cavities, being careful to not pack stuffing into turkey too tightly. Return legs to tucked position; turn wings back to hold neck skin in place. Place turkey, breast-side up, on rack in roasting pan. Brush with dressing. Cover loosely with foil to prevent over-browning.
BAKE turkey 3 hours 45 min. to 4 hours or until done (165ºF), uncovering after 3 hours. Let stand 15 to 20 min. before carving.

Meat Carving Tips

When carving meat, a damp towel underneath the cutting board helps to secure the board to the counter or tabletop and also catches any meat juices that flow during carving.
How to Check Meat and Poultry Doneness
The easiest way to ensure that cooked meat or poultry is done is to check the internal temperature. Using an accurate food thermometer will take away the guesswork. Simply insert the thermometer into the thickest part of the meat or poultry, avoiding any bones if present. For whole poultry, insert the thermometer into the thickest part of one of the thighs, again taking care to avoid any bones. 

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