Roast Turkey with Cornbread Dressing

Roast Turkey with Cornbread Dressing
Roast Turkey with Cornbread DressingHelen Rosner

LouElla Hill, a Memphis, Tennessee, cook who was famous for her Thanksgiving feasts, liked to roast her turkeys in ordinary brown paper grocery bags to keep them moist. Today's recycled paper might contain toxins that can leach into food, so we recommend using roasting bags specifically designed for cooking instead.

What You Will Need

Roast Turkey with Cornbread Dressing
Use a roasting bag to lock in the flavor and moistness of the fresh turkey.
Yield: serves 8-10

FOR THE TURKEY:

  • 1 10-lb. fresh turkey
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 12 tsp. paprika
  • 1 medium yellow onion, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 1 stick celery, roughly chopped
  • 1 carrot, scrubbed and roughly chopped
  • 6 tbsp. butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup Chicken Stock or turkey stock

FOR THE DRESSING:

  • 4 tbsp. butter
  • 4 celery ribs, finely diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and finely diced
  • 2 medium yellow onions, peeled and finely diced
  • 2 carrots, peeled and finely diced
  • 7 cups crumbled Cornbread
  • 1 cup fresh white bread crumbs
  • 1 tbsp. chopped fresh sage leaves (or 1 tsp. dried)
  • 1 tbsp. chopped fresh thyme (or 1 tsp. dried)
  • 1 tsp. poultry seasoning
  • 2–2 12 cups Chicken Stock or turkey stock
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Instructions

  1. For the turkey: Preheat oven to 375°. Rinse turkey well, pat dry with a clean cloth, and sprinkle inside and out with salt, pepper, and paprika. Place onions, celery, and carrots inside cavity. Tuck wings under back and tie legs together with kitchen string. Rub 4 tbsp. of the butter all over turkey. Put a paper bag in a roasting pan; rub inside of bag thoroughly with remaining 2 tbsp. butter. Place turkey breast side up in bag, with cavity facing out. Pour stock into cavity, fold bag closed, and cook 2 12 hours. Leave turkey in bag at least 30 minutes before carving. Reserve pan juices for gravy.
  2. For the dressing: Meanwhile, heat butter in a large skillet over low heat. Add celery, garlic, onions, and carrots. Cover and cook until tender, about 20 minutes. Set aside.
  3. Combine cornbread, bread crumbs, sage, thyme, and poultry seasoning in a large bowl. Add vegetables and 1 cup stock; mix well. Stir in remaining stock to taste, then season with salt and pepper. Transfer dressing to 9" × 13" baking dish, put in the oven when turkey is in its last 30 minutes of roasting, and bake until golden brown.

Watch How to Carve a Turkey