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This Thanksgiving Turkey Dinner can be gluten free or for non-allergic folks made with regular ingredients. The stuffing is a recipe I modified from a stuffing my former mother-in-law gave me when I was just a young newly-wed. I think she was afraid that her son would not be fed right, so she taught me some things. Most of the other dishes I make are a result of what I learn from my Grandmother and mother with my own variations. I am sorry, but I am one of those cooks that doesn't measure, but cooks by taste, texture and what is in the refrigerator, so some of the measurements are estimates and need not be strictly adhered to.
Turkey: *Make sure the turkey you buy was
not treated with additives or injected with gravy making ingredients
or juices. Read all the ingredients before buying your turkey. Stay
away from "modified food starch, etc."
Stuffing: In a large skillet pan, melt the butter. Add celery, onion, parsley, and seasonings ... saute. When onions are clear add water chestnuts and apples. Simmer on low heat while you toast the bread. Cut the bread into cubes and place on a cookie sheet. Brown in oven at broil until crispy brown. Take bread and place in a large bowl, then pour mixture from pan over bread and stir until well mixed together. Save the left-over butter residue in the bottom of the saute pan. Set aside to cool a bit.
Turkey: Take your turkey and place on a turkey rack in a big roasting pan. Stuff dressing into the turkey cavity, both front and back (neck and you know what). Skew together to close opening. Mix together BBQ sauce, Italian dressing, honey, salt and pepper and some of the butter residue from your stuffing saute. Should be a liquid paste consistency. Rub all over the turkey. This is a great way to seal in the moisture and flavor of the turkey and it comes out a lovely rich brown color.
Place in oven at 325 degrees for about 20 minutes per pound or until your meat thermometer registers 180 degrees. Put about a cup of water in the bottom of the pan so that the drippings from your turkey don't burn up, (you may have to add water occasionally to the bottom of the roasting pan. Baste you turkey occasionally with the drippings from the bottom of the pan or with butter and seasonings.
Gravy: After you remove the turkey from the oven, pour all the drippings into a sauce pan. Add some gluten-free broth if you do not have enough drippings. Mix corn starch with water and stir well until all the corn starch is dissolved. Bring drippings to a gentle boil and stir in corn starch mixture. Mix in well and remove from heat (you do not want to over cook your gravy). Gravy should thicken. You may need to add more corn starch. Let the burner cool down and then gently simmer the gravy. Add salt and pepper to taste. Note: Some turkey's you buy now have a gravy mix with them. I use this for my non-allergic friends. Do not make this for those who are allergic to gluten because this mixture has wheat flour in it. Also be careful about adding salt as these tend to be pretty salty already.
Mashed potatoes: Place in large pot and boil potatoes in water. Make sure water covers all the potato. Boiling at a medium heat will take longer, but you are less likely to have a mess from the water boiling over. This should take any where from 45 minutes to 1 hour depending on how much potatoes you cook. Potatoes are done when you can easily stick a knife through them. I leave the peels on the red potatoes, but you can either remove them before or after you cook them. Drain water from the potatoes and place in a mixer bowl. Add butter, salt, pepper and a little bit of milk (room temperature, not cold) and beat until smooth, adding milk for smoothness.
Sweet potato: These can be cooked many ways. My mother likes them baked with brown sugar. My husband just likes them baked plain (wrap in foil, throw in oven last hour of the turkey cooking), and I don't like them at all.
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