Turkey with Cornbread Dressing

by Millie Bentley

Greetings. Here are the recipes for gravy and dressing that I’ve used with our Thanksgiving turkeys. Along with it is a little something written by my son Geoff. I hope you like it!

We always had turkey and dressing for Thanksgiving as long as I could remember. Mom cooked the turkey in different ways over the years. The last I can remember is she used a large roasting pan with a lid, roasted the turkey with water on the bottom of the pan until almost done. Then she would put a lot of the raw dressing she had saved out from stuffing the turkey, pile it in the bottom of the pan around the turkey and finish it off for about an hour. It was really delicious and the turkey came out moist and brown.

Turkey with cornbread dressing

Prepare corn bread a day or two ahead of Thanksgiving using the following recipe:

4 tablespoons bacon grease or butter

1 cup of flour

1 cup of yellow corn meal

1 tablespoon baking powder

1 tablespoon sugar

1 teaspoon salt

1 egg

1 cup milk

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place bacon grease or butter in a nine or 10 inch cast iron skillet. Place skillet in pre-heated oven. Combine dry ingredients in a bowl and whisk to combine. Add milk and egg stir to combine. Remove skillet from oven and pour hot grease over batter. Stir to combine. Pour batter in skillet and bake in 400° oven for 20 minutes or until cornbread is brown on the top and done. Put a plate on top of pan and turn upside down to remove cornbread. Allow to cool.

Turkey gravy

Place giblets in sauce pan; add 4 cups of water and 2 teaspoons of salt. Place lid on top and simmer for about an hour. Remove giblets and feed them to your cat. Or chop them up and add them to your gravy. Pour off 2 cups liquid and save for dressing. Just before serving dinner, place pan with remaining 2 cups of giblet water over low heat. Mix together 4 tablespoons of flour and 4 tablespoons of cold water. Pour into giblet water, stirring until gravy is smooth and thickened. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve warm.

Turkey dressing

12 ounces Jimmy Dean sausage

One or two onions finely diced

One cup celery finely sliced

1 tablespoon butter or bacon grease

5 cups cornbread crumbled

2 cups giblet liquid

1 cup milk or water

1 teaspoon dry sage

Salt and pepper to taste

In a large skillet melt butter or bacon grease. Sauté sausage, onion and celery until vegetables are limp and sausage is no longer pink. Place sausage and vegetables in bowl with cornbread and sage. Mix well. Pour in giblet liquid and milk until dressing is correct consistency for stuffing turkey – not too dry, not too soggy. Season with salt and pepper. Stuff cavity and neck of turkey lightly. Pin neck and wings. Brush with melted butter and place on rack in roasting pan. Cover with foil and roast in preheated 350° oven for 3 1/2 hours. Remove foil and continue to roast for another hour until turkey is brown and done. If there is extra dressing, add more liquid and place in buttered baking dish. Bake in 350° oven for 1/2 hour. Serve warm.

Until next time, dear Readers, vaya con Dios!