In our dreams our perfect Thanksgiving bite would be a fork-full of sensationally seasoned, moist turkey topped with carb-loaded stuffing and a generous dripping of creamy gravy. (Yes, we dream in smoked turkey and stuffing.) We've concocted a way to get that heavenly bite over and over again with our Pocket Stuffing Turkey.
Instead of putting the stuffing in the cavity of the bird and risking either under-cooked stuffing or the over-cooked bird, we slipped our stuffing between the skin and the meat of the turkey, or what we've now titled the turkey pocket. The stuffing absorbs the rich juices from the turkey and in turn keeps the breast meat plump and juicy. It's so crazy-good that we can't figure out what we haven't always pocket-stuffed our turkeys! And although we haven't duplicated that luscious gravy on top, we think the juices from the turkey will more than make up for it.
POCKET STUFFING (in every bite) TURKEY
PREP TIME: 30 minutes
COOK TIME: about 3 hours
RECOMMENDED PELLETS: Any
SERVES: 6 to 8
1 fresh 12 to 15 lb turkey
8 ounces italian or sage sausage
2 1/2 cups dry cornbread stuffing, prepared according to package directions (or your fav homemade recipe)
Pork and Poultry Shake
2-4 lemons, quartered
Start by preparing the stuffing. Follow the package (or your homemade) directions. Sautee the sausage and add into the stuffing. (You could also sautee the sausage at the same time as you are sauteeing the onions, etc. for your stuffing.)
After you finish making the stuffing allow it to cool to room temperature.
Remove the heart and giblets from the turkey. Insert your fingers gently between the skin and breast meat, separating the two while keeping the skin attached. You want to create large pockets for the stuffing on both sides of the breast without tearing the skin.
Spoon or use your hand to place the stuffing underneath the skin of the bird, creating a layer between the meat and the skin. Massage it so that the stuffing is distributed as evenly as possible.
Rub oil over the skin and season liberally with the Pork and Poultry Shake.
Throw a generous tablespoon of the seasoning inside the bird as well. Put the quartered lemons and fresh herbs inside the cavity of the bird. Place the turkey on a rack in a large roasting pan. (You'll make your life a whole lot easier if you choose a disposable pan.)
Start the Traeger on Smoke, lid open, for about 5 minutes or until the fire is established. Preheat to 350 degrees F.
Place the roasting pan on the Traeger and cook for about 3 hours or until the turkey skin is golden brown and the temperature in the thigh registers 165°F on an instant-read thermometer. To get an accurate temperature reading, insert a meat thermometer into the thickest part of the thigh, staying away from hitting the bone. If the turkey starts to get too brown, tent it with aluminum foil.
Let the turkey rest for about 1 hour before carving. Enjoy that bite of stuffing with each turkey breast morsel!
Pocket Stuffing Turkey Recipe.docx (12.61 kb)