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Thanksgiving Survival Guide | CULINARY SOS

Getting High on Turkey

November 18, 1998|ROSE DOSTI

DEAR SOS: I had the wonderful opportunity to host my parents for Thanksgiving dinner at Windows on the World restaurant, 107 stories up in the sky, on top of the World Trade Center. The view was surpassed only by the turkey and corn bread dressing--agreed by all to be the best we've ever had. Do you think the kitchen there would share?

NANCY DAVIDSON

Los Angeles

DEAR NANCY: Michael Lomonaco, the chef-director of Windows on the World, sent the recipes for both the turkey and stuffing. Chef Lomonaco recommends cooking the stuffing separately to ensure that the turkey is "fully cooked without overcooking, and the stuffing is cooked in a safe manner." The recipe calls for the farm-raised wild turkey often found at many food markets, but a good supermarket turkey works well too. Ancho chile powder is available at most Latin grocery stores and many supermarkets.

If you have an oven large enough to accommodate the simultaneous cooking of a turkey and a casserole dish of stuffing, add the stuffing to the oven about one hour after the turkey goes into the oven and both should be ready to remove about the same time. If your oven will accommodate only a turkey and nothing else, cook the stuffing before you roast the bird, then reheat the stuffing 15 to 20 minutes in a 350-degree oven while the meat rests and the gravy is made.

Roasted Wild Turkey With Corn Bread-Bacon Stuffing

Turkey Total Preparation Time: 2 to 2 1/2 hours * Turkey Active Work Time: 20 minutes * Stuffing Total Preparation Time: 3 hours 16 minutes (some ingredients have to soak at least 3 hours; it takes 16 minutes to whip it up, 35 minutes to cook and 15 minutes to rest, so total would be 4 hours and 6 minutes, I think. Would you be that specific? kg) * Stuffing Active Work Time: 16 minutes

CORN BREAD STUFFING

3 cups homemade or store-bought crumbled corn bread

1 cup cubed sourdough bread

1/2 cup buttermilk

1/4 cup molasses

1 cup chicken stock

3 eggs, beaten

1/2 pound smoked slab bacon, cut into 1/2-inch cubes

1 cup chopped green onions

2 fresh jalapeno peppers, seeded and finely chopped

3 tablespoons ancho chile powder

1/2 cup chopped pecans

Salt, freshly ground black pepper

Combine corn bread, sourdough bread, buttermilk, molasses, chicken stock and beaten eggs in bowl and soak 3 to 8 hours in refrigerator.

Place cubed bacon in heated skillet and cook until bacon is browned. Pour off and reserve rendered fat.

Add green onions and jalapeno peppers to bacon and cook 5 minutes. Remove from heat and cool.

Add soaked bread along with chile powder and chopped pecans to green onion-jalapeno mixture. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Spoon into casserole and drizzle top with several tablespoons of reserved bacon drippings.

* Bake at 350 degrees until top is browned and crisp, 30 to 35 minutes. Remove from oven and cool 15 minutes before serving.

TURKEY

1 (12- to 14-pound) turkey

Salt, freshly ground black pepper

2 to 3 bay leaves

1 head garlic, not peeled, split in half

1 onion, diced

1 cup hot water plus more as needed

3 tablespoons melted salted butter

Season turkey inside and out with salt and pepper to taste. Place bay leaves, garlic and onion inside cavity. Set turkey, breast side down, on rack in roasting pan. Pour water into pan and roast at 425 degrees 30 minutes.

Turn turkey breast side up, brush with melted butter, reduce heat to 350 degrees and roast until juices run clear when thigh joint is pierced with a fork and when meat thermometer inserted in the thickest part of thigh registers 165 degrees, 1 to 1 1/2 hours, adding more water to pan as needed.

Remove turkey from oven and allow to stand 20 minutes before carving. Serve with Corn Bread Stuffing.

6 to 8 servings. Each of 8 servings, with stuffing, about: 1,105 calories; 990 mg sodium; 420 mg cholesterol; 61 grams fat; 34 grams carbohydrates; 99 grams protein; 1.22 grams fiber.

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