2 cups Rich Turkey Stock or low-sodium chicken broth
Salt and freshly ground pepper
3 ancho chiles, seeded
3 large garlic cloves, smashed
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1 fresh 18-pound turkey, at room temperature
5 cups Rich Turkey Stock or low-sodium broth
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
How to Make It
MAKE THE CORN BREAD STUFFING: Preheat the broiler and position a rack 8 inches from the heat. Broil the corn, turning, until lightly charred, about 7 minutes. Let cool slightly, then cut the kernels from the cobs.
In a food processor, chop the chorizo into 1/2-inch pieces. In a large skillet, cook the chorizo over moderately high heat, stirring occasionally, until the fat is rendered, about 5 minutes. Drain the chorizo and transfer to a paper towel-lined plate; discard the fat.
Wipe out the skillet and melt the 4 tablespoons of solid butter in it. Add the onion, celery, garlic, poblanos and thyme and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 10 minutes. Scrape into a large bowl. Add the chorizo, corn kernels, corn bread, melted butter and stock. Season with salt and pepper and stir well. Let cool.
MEANWHILE, PREPARE THE TURKEY: Preheat the oven to 450°. Put the anchos in a medium bowl and cover with hot water. Let soak until softened, about 30 minutes. Drain well. In a food processor, puree the anchos with the garlic and butter until smooth. Season with salt and pepper. Rub 2 tablespoons of the ancho paste in the main turkey cavity. Loosen the skin at the neck and carefully extend your hands all the way to the thigh and leg. Rub the remaining ancho paste under the skin.
Loosely fill the main turkey cavity with 5 cups of the stuffing and tie the legs together with kitchen string. Spoon 1 cup of the stuffing into the neck cavity and tuck the extra skin underneath or secure with toothpicks. Spoon the remaining stuffing into a buttered 3-quart baking dish and drizzle with 1 cup of the stock.
Set the turkey in a very large roasting pan and season it with salt and pepper. Roast the turkey for 30 minutes, then reduce the heat to 375°. Add 1 cup of the stock to the roasting pan and roast the turkey for 3 hours longer, or until an instant-read thermometer inserted in an inner thigh registers 180° and the stuffing registers 165°. Cover the turkey loosely with foil if the skin browns quickly. Transfer the turkey to a cutting board, cover with foil and let rest for 30 minutes.
Bake the stuffing in the baking dish for about 30 minutes, or until heated through and crisp on top.
Meanwhile, pour the roasting pan juices into a large glass measuring cup. Skim off the fat. In a small cup, whisk 1/2 cup of the stock with the flour and set aside. Set the roasting pan over 2 burners on high heat. Add the remaining 2 1/2 cups of stock and bring to a simmer. Using a wooden spoon, scrape up any browned bits from the bottom and sides of the pan. Add the reserved pan juices to the roasting pan, then strain through a fine sieve into a medium saucepan. Boil the juices over high heat until reduced to 3 cups, about 10 minutes. Whisk in the flour mixture and boil until thickened, about 5 minutes. Season the gravy with salt and pepper and transfer to a warmed gravy boat.
Carve the turkey and serve with the gravy and the corn bread stuffing from the turkey and the baking dish.
Make Ahead: The uncooked corn bread stuffing can be covered with plastic wrap and refrigerated overnight. Stuff the turkey just before roasting.
Wine Recommendation: The heat from the chiles and the chorizo calls for an equally spicy and fruity California Syrah, such as the 2000 Justin Paso Robles or the 2001 Lincourt.
This was quite a bit of work, especially because I decided to make homemade cornbread (I find most cornbread and mixes too sweet). I used jalapenho sausage and added some chipotle to the mix to spread on the turkey. I made gravy adding the usual veggies to the pan. Added some broth, strained and thickened with arrowroot. Both the stuffing and the turkey were a big hit. If I am ever persuaded to roast a whole turkey again, I will pick this recipe.
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