Mom's/Gramma's Thanksgiving Turkey & Dressing

READY IN: 6mins


  • 2
    loaves bread (large sliced loaves)
  • 12 -16
    ounces Jimmy Dean sausage
  • 2
    large onions, cut into quarters
  • 1
    turkey heart (from giblets)
  • 1
    turkey liver (from giblets)
  • 34
    tablespoon sage
  • 1
    tablespoon poultry seasoning
  • 34
    teaspoon salt
  • 12
    teaspoon pepper
  • 13
    cup dried parsley, crushed
  • 14
    cup margarine, melted


  • Purchase an 18-20 pound frozen turkey on the Monday, prior to Thursday (Thanksgiving Day). Keep in its sealed covering and place on a cookie sheet or a roasting pan and defrost in refrigerator. Purchase 2 large loaves of Packaged white bread; remove from wrapper. Place on a cookie sheet to dry thoroughly.
  • Thanksgiving Morning - Allow 1 hour for preparation time before cooking begins.
  • Remove turkey from sealed covering.
  • Loosen legs from wire clamp.
  • Remove neck and giblets (liver, gizzard & heart) from body cavity.
  • Thoroughly rinse turkey and cavity under running cold water, including body and neck. Set upright to drain.
  • Sprinkle salt in neck and breast cavity, not on skin - it would cause it to blister when cooking.
  • Place neck & gizzard in medium size pan, barely covering with cold water and simmer covered approximately 1 hour.
  • Moisten dried bread slices with cold water-pile on cake racks to absorb and drain.
  • 2 large packages/loaves dried bread slices.
  • 1 12 - 16 ounce package Jimmy Dean "Regular" Pork Sausage.
  • 2 large onions quartered.
  • Turkey Heart and Liver.
  • 2 eggs.
  • 3/4 Tablespoon Sage.
  • 1 Tablespoon Poultry Seasoning.
  • Salt and Pepper.
  • 1/3 cup dried parsley - crushed.
  • 1/2 stick margarine-melted.
  • Brown pork sausage in frying pan -breaking meat into small pieces -drain off fat -set aside.
  • Place in blender, or food processor:quartered onions, turkey hear and liver cut in halves, eggs, and seasonings. Blend to liquid consistency.
  • Melt margarine; set aside.
  • Squeeze excess water from bread with hands and bread into bite size pieces. Place in large mixing bowl.
  • Add drained pork sausage. Mix.
  • Add blended ingredients and melted butter. Mix thoroughly, but lightly. DO NOT PACK.
  • By handfuls, gently place stuffing into neck cavity. Do not pack - close with small poultry nails or skewers.
  • Fill body cavity - loosely - DO NOT PACK! Close cavity by replacing legs into wire clamp as originally positioned.
  • Tuck wings under back. Place bird, breast side up on a rack in a roasting pan - (No need to turn bird during roasting time).
  • Drizzle 1/2 stick melted margarine over bird.
  • Place roasting pan on lowest shelf in 300 - 325 degree oven, uncovered - do not add water. Roast 13 to 15 minutes per original unstuffed weight (usually 4 1/2 to 5 hours total).
  • Wrap remaining stuffing in foil, roll edges to form pouch and refrigerate.
  • After 1 - 1 1/2 hours into roasting time, juices will accumulate in pan - use for basting chest every 1/2 hour thereafter.
  • After 2 hours 2 hours roasting time, add 1 large onion, chopped, to bottom of pan - they will brown and make delicious gravy. If skin is darkening too quickly, cover with a tent of foil.
  • If sufficient juices aren't forming - add 1/2 cup of water when onions are browning to prevent them from burning. Add boiled neck neck and gizzard - save water used to boil them for gravy.
  • After approximately 3 1/2 hours of cooking -if skin is browned satisfactorily, cover roasting pan with its cover. Be cautious to tilt cover away from yourself to allow steam to escape before further basting. Place foil pouch of extra stuffing on wire shelf along side of roasting pan.
  • Roasting time is completed when leg moves freely at thigh joint when pushed - or internal temperature is 180 degrees, if roasting thermometer is used (inserted in thickest part of thigh, but not against bone) or internal stuffing registers 165 degrees.
  • Remove from oven - place turkey on cookie sheet. Cover with roasting pan cover - let sit for 20 minutes before carving to allow internal juices to flow.
  • GRAVY - prepare in roasting pan over medium heat.
  • Remove excess fat from pan drippings. Scrape browned residue from bottom and sides of pan-slowly add mixture of 1 cup flour and 3/4 cup water - use wire whisk and blend until thickened - add neck and gizzard water (or water from cooking white potatoes) until desired consistency is obtained - Add salt and pepper to taste - strain into medium size pan, cover and reheat before serving.
  • Remove dressing from neck and body cavity - place in large serving container - mix dressing from foil pouch - cover with foil to retain heat.
  • Carve turkey - serve - Sit up straight, place your napkin on your lap, pass the cranberries and ENJOY!