Day Ahead Christmas Turkey With Stuffing and Gravy

"You can roast the turkey on Christmas Eve without spoiling the pleasure of serving it hot on Christmas day. The turkey is roasted up to within one hour of completion, the stuffing is removed and refrigerated. Then the turkey is stored, covered with wet towels, in refrigerator or a very cool place. The final roasting begins one hour before serving time. Make the gravy the day before, after the turkey has been partially roasted and refrigerated."
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  • FOR THE TURKEY: Rub turkey inside and out with cheesecloth dipped in lemon juice.
  • Stuff as directed in stuffing recipe, and brush with melted butter. Place on rack in large roasting pan. Cover with 2 sheets of foil arranged to form a loose tent over bird. Roast in 325°F oven, calculating 25 minutes per pound. To cook in advance, deduct 1 hour from cooking time and remove from oven.
  • Remove stuffing and unmould from cheesecloth into casserole. Let cool and chill.
  • Leave foil on turkey; transfer to large platter. (Save pan drippings to make gravy.) Soak two large towels in cold water; wring and wrap around turkey and platter. Store in refrigerator overnight, keeping towels moist.
  • Next day, finish roasting the turkey, with foil in place in 325°F oven for 1 hour or until legs move easily. Makes 14 generous servings.

  • Break up sausage or squeeze meat from casing into large greased skillet; cook over medium heat, stirring, until all traces of pink disappear.
  • Stir in sage and savory. Drain and place in large mixing bowl.
  • Melt butter in another skillet and sauté onions, celery and parsley until golden. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  • Chop apricots if using, and stir into vegetables along with wheat germ.
  • Add vegetable mixture and bread cubes to sausage meat; stir well; Moisten with enough hot water to make a dry or moist dressing as desired.
  • Line turkey cavity with double thickness of cheesecloth. Using ice cream scoop, spoon stuffing into cheesecloth lining, allowing room for stuffing to expand during roasting. (Extra stuffing may be baked separately in small covered baking dish.).
  • When turkey comes out of oven, remove cheesecloth with stuffing. Turn stuffing out into casserole discarding cheesecloth. Cover and refrigerate. Next day, reheat stuffing, covered, in 325°F oven until hot in centre. Makes enough for one 22 lb. turkey.
  • FOR THE GRAVY: Pour drippings from roasting pan into large saucepan; let stand until fat rises to surface. Skim off fat.
  • Heat drippings; sprinkle flour over and stir together. Add turkey stock and cook, stirring, over medium heat until bubbly and slightly thickened. Remove from heat and add salt and pepper to taste. Strain through coarse sieve and refrigerate.
  • Wash roasting pan and line with foil in preparation for final hour of roasting turkey next day. Any additional pan drippings may be added to prepared gravy.
  • Heat gravy gently before serving and pour into gravy boat.
  • *Homemade turkey stock may be made by cooking turkey neck and gizzard in enough seasoned water to cover until tender. Strain and use for gravy.
  • Canadian Living The Merry Christmas Cookbook.

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