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Top-ranked recipe named "Anita's Holiday Turkey, Dressing and Gravy Preparation"
Thaw turkey out in Refrigerator the day before you are ready to cook. 24-48 hours.
Chop celery and onion in a large bowl. Enlist all the helpers you can find. (smile)
Put the turkey in the cooker along with all the vegetables and seasonings.
Fill the turkey cooker half full of water -- (this keeps the turkey moist
and also makes the broth needed for the gravy and dressing). I was appalled the first time I saw my husband's grandmother cook her turkey this way because my own mother had always cooked in the oven -- and to be honest, it was always questionable as to whether it would be moist or dry. I've always had a juicy turkey cooking in the Hamilton Beach cooker with the water every time.
Cook on 250 (slow-low) all night long -- I usually put on about midnight
and it is ready to de-bone and make dressing etc. around 10:00 a.m. the next morning. I use a large Hamilton-Beach Cooker - I'm not sure of the quart capacity but it is the largest they make and it holds a 21 pound turkey and still allows room to cover. You can accomplish the same results by using a very large, deep, heavy-duty foil pan and covering the turkey with foil while cooking.
Melt 3-4 tablespoons Crisco in a large pot or skillet.
Add same amount of flour and cook until the flour is very brown -- but
don't burn...stir constantly. My mother always used to say that the secret to good gravy was getting it as brown as you could without burning. When very brown, add broth from turkey -- approximately 12 cups -- may need to add canned broth if not enough broth from turkey. (a little water is also okay)
Add salt and pepper to taste.
Cook on high heat until thickened. Reduce to warm after thickened.
ANITA'S SOUTHERN CORNBREAD DRESSING
6 boxes corn bread mix (any brand, NOT sweet) -- follow box directions
12 cups turkey broth -- (12 to 14)
1 large aluminum foil pan
1 tablespoon sage
1 tablespoon garlic salt
small jar poultry seasoning or 4 tablespoons
1 stick butter
salt and pepper to taste
Mix and Bake corn bread ahead of time -- according to the package
directions. I usually make this the night before, after I put the turkey in to start slow cooking. Refrigerate cornbread until ready to use the next day.
Crumble the cornbread into the large aluminum foil pan
Get your broth from the Turkey -- including lots of cooked celery and
onions and pour into the cornbread mixture until very wet and sloppy.
Add all seasonings and mix altogether very well.
Melt butter and pour on top.
Cook on 350 for about 35 minutes to one hour; depending on how moist you want to keep it.