I started making this about 5 or so years ago, when I decided that our "pack" should have a good T-day dinner together. So I volunteered to cook a 21lb bird for the three of us. That was my first and to date best turkey evar.
Here's what you'll need:
- Several slices of Bread. (Stale, I'll explain below)
- Baking Potatos (cut into squares and boiled til soft)
- A white onion
- A bulb of garlic
- Lots of butter. As in several sticks. And get real butter, not that fake crap.
- Olive Oil (optional)
- Garlic and Onion Powders (optional)
- Salt to taste
- The Turkey
- Latex/cooking gloves (Recommended)
And this is what has to be done:
Stuffing (I recommend preparing the turkey before you stuff it, so read below for turkey preps):
A day or so before you cook the turkey, figure out how much stuffing you're going to need. I don't have a definitive way to figure this out, I just 'eyeball it'. Overestimate though, it's better to have more stuffing than less, and you can line the extra stuffing on the bottom of the roasting tray and it's -just- as good. Anyway, as a loose guess, half of your stuffing will be bread and half will be potatos. So figure out how much stuffing you think you'll need and get the appropriate amount of bread ready. Typically I use 6 or 7 slices for a medium sized bird.
Step #1. The Day Before, Leave your slices of bread out overnight on the counter so it gets stale. Yes you want it stale. If you forget this step, no big deal, it doesn't -have- to be stale, it's just easier to work with that way.
Step #2. The next day - Peel, clean, and cut the potatos so they're pretty much in 1 inch³ cubes. Doesn't need to be exact. I usually use about 4 or 5 potatos for this. If you overestimate, it's okay, you can use the rest for homemade mashed potatos.
Step #3. Put the potatos in a pot of water and boil them. Once the water reaches a boil, time for 15 minutes. After that time has passed, check the consistancy with a fork. If it falls apart or it's very soft you know it's done. Drain and set aside to cool.
Step #4. While you're waiting for the potatos to cook, get your bread, the garlic, onion, butter, olive oil, salt, Garlic and Onion Powders. Slice the bread up into small cubes, just like the potatos. If you use a pizza roller, it's a lot easier. Also chop up the garlic and the onion. You can slice it, dice it, juliane it, or pulverize it. However you do it, it doesn't matter. If you don't like onions or strong garlic, either mash them or chop them up really small. I typically use about a half an onion, and a whole bulb of garlic.
Step #5. Get a pan or a wok, and coat the bottom with butter, and then coat it again with olive oil (optional, you can just use butter if you want. The oil brings out more of the flavor though). Put it on about medium to medium high heat. You don't want it too hot. Sprinkle in about a half a teaspoon of garlic and onion powder if you want to use them. You'll know when it's ready when the powders turn a golden brown. Once the butter is hot, put in the bread, onion and garlic and salt. If you need a lot of stuffing, you might have to do this a few times, so don't throw all your garlic and onion into the first group. You'll want the sauted onion and garlic flavor to get absorbed into the bread. Watch the mix carefully and stir it a lot. The bread absorbs the butter/oil very quickly so you might need to add more to prevent burning (And it tastes great). When the bread is golden brown and crispy, it's done. Don't burn it! By itself, up to this step is a great recipe for wonderful croutons.
Step #6. Get your "Crouton mix" and your potatos and mix them together. Now you really need to use your hands for this, so go get your gloves. You'll want to mash it all together so it's a nice pastey mix. Really squish it up good between your fingers. As an artist I find this a lot of fun. As an ornary bitch, I find it stress relieving. Either way, yum. Taste samples of it while you go, it's really wonderful just as it is. You don't really want to see any large lumps of any one ingredient (like the bread or the taters). When it's thoroughly mixed, you're done.
Step #7. Stuff the bird. Shove it in there good. Oh before you do, you hopefully took out the neck, the organs, and any other packets (like gravy) that might be in there. Ok stuff the bird for real after you remove that stuff. If you run out of room, just line the stuffing on the bottom of the roasting pan, near the ass of the bird.
Turkey Preps and cooking instructions in reply!