Cara's Cucina: Thanksgiving

Stuff(ing) I Love:

1 large onion - chopped2 garlic cloves - smashed1 package baby bella mushrooms - chopped2.5 tbs. butter plus more for coating baking dish1 granny smith apple1 pink lady or other red baking apple3 ribs of celery - diced1 pkg. dried cherries1 c. red or blush wine1 lb. sweet (or hot) Italian sausage1 loaf of stuffing or other bread, cubed and toasted6 or 7 cooked and peeled chestnuts - choppedchicken brothsaltpepperparsleyparmegiano cheese

*Place a large saucepan over medium-high heat and melt butter. *Add in garlic and onions, saute for 5 minutes, then add in mushrooms and parsley, cook until fragrant. *Add apples, cherries and celery. While the veggies warm through, brown sausage in a separate pan breaking up with a wooden spoon. *Add sausage to vegetable mix, then use red wine to de-glaze sausage pan - add wine with scraped up brown bits to veggies and stir to combine. *Add in chestnuts*Put bread into pot by the handful while stirring until all liquid is absorbed - if more moisture is needing add in warmed chicken broth by the ladle full until all components are well moistened. *Salt and pepper to taste*If you are stuffing your turkey, you can stop here and put stuffing in an air-tight container until ready to stuff the bird! Stuffing can be made a day ahead. *If you are NOT stuffing your turkey, butter a large baking dish, add stuffing to dish, top with parmegiano cheese and bake at 350 degrees for 30-45 minutes.

Turkey with Citrus Herbed Butter

6lb turkey breast1 stick of butter - softened (don't let it melt!) 1 garlic clove, smashed and chopped1 tbs chopped fresh sage1 tbs chopped fresh rosemaryZest of 1 lemon - juice of same lemon4-5 c. chicken stock or brothSalt and Pepper *Combine butter, garlic, sage, rosemary and lemon zest in a bowl and combine well with a fork. *Place herbed butter on a piece of plastic wrap and form into a log. Refrigerate for at least an hour or overnight. *Wash turkey WELL *Place in roasting pan and dry with well with paper towels - All of this can be done the day before.

*Allow butter to soften on counter for about 15 minutes before seasoning turkey*Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees*Salt and pepper turkey*Place pieces of softened butter under skin of turkey ALL over, use remaining butter to massage outside of turkey. (It's ok if there is a little extra butter, you'll use it to baste the turkey.) *Using cheesecloth as a container, stuff the turkey. Trim and tie ends of cheesecloth and tuck into bird. *Pour chicken broth and lemon juice in the bottom of the roasting pan. *Cook turkey, about 20 minutes per pound, basting and adding extra butter every 30 minutes.

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