Cathal Armstong's Thanksgiving Recipe

A Thanksgiving feast courtesy of Chef on a Shoestring
Wild, Farm-Raised Turkey and Stuffing

From Chef Cathal Armstrong, Restaurant Eve, 110 S. Pitt Street, Alexandria, VA 22314

Serves 8-10

For the turkey:
15 lb. turkey (purchased from a local farmers' market)
1 package of bacon (not smoked, must be pork)
Roll of aluminum foil

For the stuffing:
1 pint chicken broth
1/2 Lb. diced bacon
1 Large yellow onion, diced
1 Large Idaho potato, diced
1 Diced sourdough bread loaf
4 Tblsp. parsley, fresh and chopped
2 Tblsp. rosemary, fresh and chopped
2 Tblsp. thyme, fresh and chopped
3 Tblsp. sage, fresh and chopped
5 eggs
salt and pepper

Pan Gravy

  • See "Method" for creating Pan Gravy.

    In a bowl, combine the ingredients for the stuffing thoroughly. Add salt and pepper to taste. Stuff the turkey with the stuffing. Tie the legs together tightly. Cover this area ONLY with foil.

    Place the turkey on a baking rack set inside a baking sheet, or place turkey on a traditional turkey baking pan with a raised rack. This will steam the bird and keep it moist.

    Cover the breast of the turkey with strips of bacon, followed by a layer of foil to cover this area ONLY. Pour 1 pint of chicken stock into the baking sheet or pan. Place into the oven at 350°. See "Tips" for the cooking time. One hour from finish cooking time, remove the foil from stuffing section and the breast section along with the bacon. Turn up the temperature to 400°.

  • Pan Gravy - once the bird has been removed from the oven, add a small amount of chicken broth to the pan drippings. With a whisk, get the drippings and the liquid moving around. In a separate bowl make a roux (flour and butter mixed together) then add this to a saucepan followed by the chicken broth with pan drippings. Add chicken stock to adjust for consistency. Bring to a boil till it thickens to a brown gravy. Once the gravy has come to a thick consistency, remove from the heat and pass it through a fine strainer. Ready to serve.

    15 minutes of oven bake time per pound plus 15 minutes, 300° to begin
    Do not use a meat thermometer
    Try for fresh chicken broth
    Save the turkey bones to make soup, post-Thanksgiving - use this website to find local farmers markets

    Always drink wine while making turkey.