New spin on your turkey dinner

By Rodney Bowers
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This maple brine, combined with a dream stuffing, will elevate your turkey game to the next level. 

SERVES
1
 TO
4
TOTAL TIME

Ingredients

For the maple turkey brine:

  • 4 liters water
  • 1/2 cup non-iodized salt
  • 1/2 cup raw sugar
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 4 garlic cloves, smashed
  • 1/2 bunch thyme
  • 4 bay leaves

For the dream stuffing:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 900 grams sweet Italian sausage, casings removed, divided
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • 2 medium onions, finely chopped in a food processor
  • 3 large celery ribs, finely chopped in a food processor
  • 1 large carrot, finely chopped in a food processor
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped in a food processor
  • 1 day old ciabatta loaf, cut into 2.5 centimeter cubes (approximately 8 cups)
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 3/4 cup turkey stock
  • 1 cup of 35% whipping cream
  • 1 cup Grano Padano cheese
  • 1/2 cup flat leaf parsley, coarsely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper

Directions

For Rodney's maple turkey brine:

  1. Bring one liter of water to a boil in a large pot.
  2. Whisk in the salt and sugar.
  3. Take off of heat, and add the rest of the ingredients.
  4. Brine is ready to use when cooled.

To brine the turkey:

  1. Place the whole turkey in a large enough pot to accommodate and cover with brine mixture. You might have to weigh the bird down with plates.

Option 2:

  1. Butcher the bird into two large pieces; removing the legs and back from the breast.
  2. Place pieces into two large zip top bags and fill with brine.
  3. Place bags on a tray in the fridge and let stand.
  4. Cook the turkey at 375°F - 60 minutes for the legs, and 90 minutes for the back and breast. *A general rule is two hours per pound.

For the dream stuffing:

  1. In a large sauté pan, melt the butter over medium heat.
  2. Add onions, celery and garlic, salt and pepper. Cook for five to seven minutes or until very tender. Set aside.
  3. Meanwhile, add the bread and raw sausage and mix together.
  4. Add the cooked vegetables to sausage and bread mixture, then combine.
  5. In a separate bowl, whisk together eggs, cream, stock, cheese, and parsley.
  6. Stir egg and cream mixture into sausage and bread mix. Mix well.
  7. Bake covered in a casserole dish at 350°F for 45 minutes.

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