Turkey with Chestnut Stuffing

Thanks to Western Wake Farmers’ Market volunteer Kevin Gordon for sharing this recipe! (From Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon, available at Wake County Libraries, local bookstores, and Amazon.com)
 
Ingredients:
1 16-20lb turkey
8 cups whole grain bread crumbs
2 tsp rubbed sage
2 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp sea salt
1 tsp pepper
4 medium onions, peeled and chopped
1 bunch celery, chopped
1/2 cup butter
2 cups chestnuts, coarsely chopped
large needle and thick thread
2 onions, peeled and sliced
1 cup unbleached flour
4-6 cups turkey or chicken stock
cooked giblets, finely chopped (optional)
 
Preparation:
Remove neck and giblets from turkey and use for making stock if desired. Saute onions and celery in butter in a large skillet until softened. Mix with bread crumbs, seasonings and chopped chestnuts. The stuffing may be made ahead of time, but you should wait until you are ready to cook to stuff the turkey.
 
Stuff the neck cavity loosely and sew skin flaps to the body of the turkey with a large needle and thick thread. Stuff the main cavity loosely and fasten with skewers or merely bring the legs through a slit cut just behind the tail. Strew sliced onions in a large roasting pan. Set a rack over the onions and set turkey on the rack. Rub skin with salt and pepper and bake at 350 degrees for about 5 hours, basting frequently.
 
Remove the turkey to a carving board. Sprinkle flour in the drippings and cook over a medium flame about 5 minutes, stirring constantly. Add stock and blend with a whisk. Bring to a boil and cook several minutes, stirring occasionally. Strain gravy into a saucepan and allow to simmer for 1/2 hour or so until it reduces and thickens. Stir in optional giblets. If gravy gets too thick, thin with a little water.

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