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Roasted Turkey with Cornbread Stuffing

I like cooking my stuffing inside the turkey since
this keeps it moist and adds a little extra turkey
flavor to it. I'll give you my cornbread stuffing
recipe but if you want something quicker you
can just buy a few packs of ready-made stuffing mix
and follow the directions on the package. Regardless
of how you prepare you turkey, be sure you take
care to make sure it is completely done, since we
don't want anybody getting sick. I defrost my
turkey in the refrigerator. In a pinch you can defrost
it in a sink full of water, but this won't be necessary
if you give yourself plenty of time.

As I said, my favorite stuffing is a cornbread
stuffing. I make the cornbread first and then use
that in the stuffing. If you make enough cornbread
you can have some with other meals too. For the
cornbread you will need:

1 cup all purpose flour
1 cup yellow cornmeal
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon sugar
3/4 cups shortening or bacon drippings
3 eggs (room temperature)
3/4 cup milk

While mixing the cornbread, preheat the over to 425.
Combine the flour, cornmeal, baking powder, salt and
sugar in a mixing bowl. In a separate bowl break the
eggs and beat them lightly. Stir in the shortening or
bacon drippings (I prefer the taste of bacon drippings),
then the eggs and finally the milk. Bake in a greased
pan. I use a 9X11 pan but have seen people use frying
pans too. They work great in the oven and add a little
extra flavor.

Pour your batter in the pan and bake for about 17
minutes. It's done when a tooth pick inserted in the
middle comes out fairly dry. Different people like
different drynesses of bread so you may want to
experiment a little here. It's hard to mess up

Now that we have our cornbread allow it too cool
and we will be ready to start making the stuffing.

The ingredients you will need are:

1 Defrosted turkey (Whatever size you want)
1 Pack turkey gibblets (The neck,gizzard,liver and
sometimes the heart come packed inside some turkeys)>
1 Pack chicken gizzards
1 Small can water chestnuts
1 Teaspoon salt
1 Teaspoon pepper
1 Small onion (chopped)
2 Stalks celery (chopped)
1 Pan cornbread
1 Short loaf whitebread
1/2 Pound mild pork sausage
2 Eggs
2 tablespoon sage
1 tablespoon poultry seasoning
1 tablespoon Lawry's Seasoned Salt
3 tablespoons margerine
1 cup milk
2 cups turkey broth

Take the gibblets and chicken gizzards (minus the
livers) boil them in a large saucepan. You will
add your celery and onion to this mixture during
the last 5 minutes. You are going to put these
gibblets in your gravy, and in your stuffing.
You are also going to use 2 cups of the broth in
your stuffing, and 1 cup of the broth in your
gravy... so you need to cook this first. Cover
the gibblets with plenty water, add a little salt
and pepper and boil everything except the livers
(if they are included in the package) over medium
high heat until done. The gizzards take a while
(they are done when a fork inserts easily).
Add the livers when everything else is
done and boil for another 3-5 minutes. It's ok
if the liver comes apart since you are going
to chop it up anyway. When the gibblets are
done scoop them out and place them in a bowl to
cool. Add your celery and onion to the broth.
Simmer for 5 minutes then allow them to cool.
Ideally you would have a little over 3 1/2 cups of
broth left in the pot.

You are also going to use the mild pork sausage
in the stuffing. Fry it in a frying pan until
it is brown. Allow it to cool then crumble it
up (set it aside).

In a bowl large enough to hold everything,
crumble your cornbread. Tear your white
bread into small pieces and add this to
the mixture. Stir in your pork sausage pieces.

Take your water chestnuts and chop then into
small pieces. Stir them into the mixture.

Take your turkey gibblets along with your
chicken livers and chop them into small
pieces. If the turkey neck was included,
you have to remove it from the bone of course.
Use 3/4 of your gibblets in the stuffing and
save 1/4 for your gravy.

Add 3/4 of your gibblets mixture, your cooked
onion and celery to the mixture. Stir by
hand mixing thoroughly. Add all of
the other ingredients. It doesn't matter
what order you add them as long as you mix
them all in thoroughly. Add the broth slowly
though so that it moistens the mixture evenly.

Wash you turkey thoroughly and if you see any
pin feathers that the processors missed remove
these. Pat the inside and outside of the
turkey dry. I use paper towels for this.
Sprinkle the inside of the turkey with a little
poultry seasoning, salt and pepper. Rub a
light layer of cooking oil on the outside of
the turkey and then rub some poultry seasoning,
salt and pepper into onto the outside of the

Stuff as much of your mixture as will fit
inside of your turkey. Don't pack it too
tight though. Stuff the neck cavity full
too and then pull the skin back over it.

Place your turkey in a large roasting pan
as per the instruction on the wrapper.
Some people use a small wire rack under
their turkey so that the excess grease
drains away. Others allow the turkey
and stuffing to absorb this extra
grease. That's your call - I don't
use the rack.

If you have more stuffing than will fit into
your turkey you have two options. You can
just place the extra in the pan with
the turkey, or you can cook it separate
in another dish. I put it in a pyrex baking
dish and cook it separately while roasting
the turkey. I have also just added the extra
stuffing into the pan and either end of the
turkey during the two hours or so of cooking.
This worked great too.

Cook the turkey for about 15 minutes
per pound at 350 degrees. That should be
what the wrapper instructions suggest.
As the turkey cooks keep an eye on it.
If any part is browning too quick or
appears to be cooking much faster than
the rest of the bird, you can cover that
part with a piece of foil to allow the
rest of the bird to catch up with it.
I usually find that the wings cook
faster than the rest of the bird for

Ohh... we forgot the gravy. Gravy is
a mixture of oil, meat, flour, spices,
and liquid.

This gravy uses:
1 stick butter
remaining 1/4 of gibblets
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
2 tablespoons flour
1 1/2 cups chicken broth

I begin any gravy with oil.
For my turkey gravy I use 1 stick of
butter or margerine. 1/2 cup of cooking
oil would work just as well. Melt your
butter over medium heat. Add your remaining
gibblets, and chicken gizzards, 1/4 teaspoon
of salt and 1/4 teaspoon of pepper. Stir
this mixture and slightly brown the gibblets.
Next add two heaping table spoons of flour.
Stir this mixture into the browned gibblets
and turn up the heat slightly. Next add the
1 1/2 cups of your turkey broth. Stir well
as the mixture boils and bubbles. You want to
stir until you have no lumps. The
gravy is basically ready. Now the only
question is how thick do you like your
gravy. For thinner gravy don't cook
it down much, or even add a little more
broth. For thicker gravy cook it down
more. For really thick gravy you can stir
in a teaspoon of corn starch.

Now we are ready to feast on oven-roasted
turkey, cornbread stuffing, and gibblet


Willie Crawford's Soul Food Cookbook

"Willie, Thank you so much! Your cookbook is wonderful!
I have over 300 cookbooks and yours is by far my favorite.
Thanks again.
Callie Gravitt - Winston Salem, North Carolina "

"Thank you Willie for the wonderful cookbook, you have done a fabulous job on it and thank you for signing it.

I have been in New York for a while now at the culinary institute in Hyde Park. So I haven't been active on your recipe exchange.
I am looking forward to using some of these recipes at the restaurant also...

Warmest regards,
Stephen Block "
Author: Recipes from a German Grandma

"Hi Willie;
Just wanted to write and let you know we are enjoying the cookbook
very much. We tried the macaroni and cheese last night and boy was it
good. So far my wife's favorite has been the fried green tomatoes.

I can't wait to try the baby back ribs...grin.

Thanks again for some great eating!

Gary Knuckles"