Stuffed Roast Turkey

If you're using the cornbread stuffing, rub the bird with butter; for the Italian sausage stuffing, use oil. Serve with either Madeira Gravy or Pan Gravy with Herbs.

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    12 - 14  pound 
    fresh turkey (use giblets for Giblet Stock)
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    3   tablespoons 
    melted unsalted butter or olive oil
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    2   tablespoons 
    kosher salt
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    2   tablespoons 
    dried sage
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    1   tablespoon 
    freshly ground black pepper
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    1   teaspoon 
    ground nutmeg
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    18 - 19   cups 
    Cornbread Stuffing or Italian Bread Stuffing
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    1   cup 
    Giblet Stock

Heat the oven to 325 degrees F. Rinse and dry the turkey. Rub it inside and out with the butter or oil and then season with the salt, sage, pepper, and nutmeg. Loosely pack the central cavity and the hollow under the flap of skin at the top of the breast with 6 to 7 cups of the stuffing, tucking the flap under the bird. Spoon the remaining stuffing into a buttered or oiled baking dish, about 9x13 inches; cover and refrigerate.
Set the stuffed turkey in a large roasting pan, tucking the wings under the bird. (If your roasting pan has a rack, you can use it, but it's not essential.) Set the turkey in the oven to roast.
After 3 hours of roasting: Remove the extra stuffing from the fridge and douse it with about 1 cup of the giblet stock. Cover the dish with greased aluminum foil and bake with the turkey for 1 hour, uncovering the dish for the last 15 minutes to brown the top.
The turkey is done when a meat thermometer inserted into a thigh registers 165 degrees F and the juices from the thigh run clear, about 4 hours in all (18 to 20 minutes per pound for a stuffed bird). If the skin browns too much before the turkey is done, cover the bird loosely with foil. If the turkey fails to brown evenly or sufficiently, use a pastry brush to paint the skin with some of the brown juices in the roasting pan.
Remove the turkey from the oven, let it rest in the pan for 5 minutes, and then carefully transfer it to a platter. Tent loosely with foil and let it rest while you make the gravy.
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