One of the most important guests at any Thanksgiving table is the turkey. In our ongoing Thanksgiving recipe coverage, Nick Martschenko, Executive Chef at South End, New Canaan, has kindly shared his recipe for Sage Infused Turkey Basted w/ Pomegranate Juice & Chestnut Sausage Stuffing. Sure, anyone can toss a turkey in the oven, but Chef Martschenko has given his bird the love and attention it deserves. Check out his incredible recipe which will likely end up an annual tradition.
- 14-16 pound organically raised Turkey
- 2 bunches of fresh sage
- 2 pomegranates seeded and push the seeds through a sieve, reserve juice
- 8 Tablespoons butter, melted
- Salt & Pepper
Stuffing / Dressing:
- 1 pound sweet Italian sausage (removed from its casings)
- 1 onion medium diced
- 6 stalks celery diced
- 1 pound domestic mushrooms small dice
- 5 cloves garlic minced
- 8 Tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 Cup chestnuts, roasted and cleaned or you can substituted canned
- 6 Cups dried bread, cubed, can use an assortment or buy the plain cubed croutons
- 2 Tablespoon dried sage
- 1 Cup chicken stock
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Stuffing / Dressing:
- Place the bread cubes in a medium mixing bowl.
- Heat a large skillet over a medium-high flame. Add crumbled sausage, brown,
- Add onion and celery and cook until softened,
- Add mushrooms, cook another 5 minutes,
- Add garlic, cook another 2-3 minutes,
- Add butter and stock bring to a boil, pull from heat and add chestnuts and sage.
- Pour this mixture over bread and mix until the bread begins to soften.
- Stuff this mixture into your bird (See note below)
- Rinse under cold water,
- Stick your finger between the skin and the meat and insert a few sage leaves. Season the cavity with salt and pepper. Fill the cavity with stuffing, I like to stuff the neck area as well,
- Place the bird in a roasting pan on a bed of large chopped carrot, celery and onion. Place the pan in a 400’F oven, let cook for 45 minutes, turn the oven down to 325’F continue cooking for another hour, at this point you will start basting your bird with the pomegranate juice, baste the bird every fifteen minutes, The bird will probably take at least another hour and a half but you want to check the internal temperature with a meat thermometer… the ideal temperature to pull the bird out is 135- 140’F. The bird will carry over another 15 degrees after you pull it from the oven.
Let the bird rest 15-20 minutes before carving.
- Remove the bird from the pan and place in a pan that will catch any juices that may run,
- Pull stuffing out and hold in a warm place,
- Meanwhile take the turkey roasting pan and place it over a medium to low flame.
- Add ¾ Cup flour and mix it in with a wooden spoon,
- Add 3 Cup chicken stock and bring this mixture to a boil, defat with a ladle if necessary,
- Turn down to a simmer and adjust consistency with more stock if necessary,
- Season with salt & pepper and fresh chopped sage,
- Strain and keep warm until ready to serve, add any juices that the turkey releases.
Note: If you are wary, place it in a buttered casserole dish and cover with foil. Put this dish in the oven (375’F) for about 1 hour before serving, uncover for the last 15 minutes to brown.
[Photo courtesy of DailyMeal.com]