With just a little more than two weeks till Thanksgiving, we’re all probably (at least in our heads) planning for the big meal. Thanks to our friendly pandemic, however, there are bound to be shortages among the items we’re used to buying year in and year out. I would advise buying early whenever possible as the shortages will only get worse as Thanksgiving approaches. Last year’s feast was curtailed in most homes by Covid 19 as families stayed home and guests were not encouraged to travel. I know, at least at our house, the mood was pretty somber and lonely.
Hopefully, this year we can attain some semblance of normalcy. For me, that’s cooking the turkey outdoors on the Weber grill. While I like the pleasant turkey aroma wafting throughout the house, cooking outside frees up a lot of room in the double oven for the sweet potato casserole, sausage stuffing and assorted desserts! Cooking a turkey on the grill is simple and often faster than in the oven. My grill has multiple burners so after preheating the grill with all burners on high, I turn the outside burners down low and the inside burners off entirely. This creates somewhat of a convection oven affect where the heat swirls around the turkey cooking it quickly and evenly.
When using the grill to cook large cuts of meat, such as a turkey, it’s a good idea to put a drip pan directly under the bird to collect the drippings for gravy. On cuts that require several hours, it’s also important to add water or broth to the drip pan to keep the drippings from drying out and welding to the pan rendering them unusable.
For several generations in the Costa Family, we’ve been stuffing our turkey with sausage stuffing as I mentioned above. It’s truly delicious and I can sit and eat it right out of the dish – cold or hot!
|8 cups dried bread cubes||1 lb Costa’s Country Style sausage|
|2 cups diced celery||1 cup diced onion|
|½ cup butter||1 tbs mixed dried herbs (your call)|
|1 tsp fresh ground black pepper||6-8 oz dried cherries or Craisins|
|14oz chicken broth||1 Granny Smith apple, diced|
Put the bread cubes in a large mixing bowl. Brown the sausage, breaking it up into small pieces, drain and set aside.
Chop the celery (including the leaves) and onion. Sauté them in butter or margarine. Remove when onions become translucent and add to the breadcrumbs. Add all the other ingredients and pour the chicken broth over the crumbs to facilitate mixing. Add the apples and dried fruit last and mix thoroughly. Bake at 350°F for 30-45 minutes. If you’re stuffing the turkey itself, a stuffed bird takes longer to cook than an empty one!