1 turkey, about 21 pounds
2 single oranges, cut in half
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 freshly ground black pepper
4 single sticks of butter, room temp
GRAND MARNIER APRICOT STFFNG:
1 cup diced dried apricots
1 1/2 cup grand marnier
1 turkey liver and heart
2 single sticks unsalted butter
2 cup coarsely chopped celery
1 lg yellow onion, chopped
1 lb bulk pork sausage
1 lb herb stuffing mix
1 cup slivered almonds
2 cup chicken stock
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1 salt, to taste
1 black pepper, to taste
FOR TURKEY: Make the stuffing.
Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.
Rinse the turkey inside and out and pat dry. Squeeze the juice of the oranges all over the turkey and in teh neck and body cavities. Spoon the stuffing loosley into the cavities. Set aside any extra stuffing. Sew up the cavities or close with small trussing skewers.
Place the turkey on a roasting rack in a roasting pan. Sprinkle all over with thyme, and salt and pepper to taste. Spread the butter all over the turkey. Turn breast-side up in the pan and cover the pan with aluminum foil.
Place the turkey in the oven and reduce the heat to 325 degrees F. Roast for 3 hours. Remove the foil and roast, basting occasionally, until the juices run clear when the meaty part of a thigh is pierced with a sharp skewer., about 2 more hours. Bake the leftover stuffing in a baking dish at 325 degrees F for 30 minutes.
Let the turkey stand, covered with foil, for 15 minutes before carving.
==================================================================== GRAND MARNIER APRICOT STUFFING: Place the apricots and 1 cup of the Grand Marnier in a small saucepan. Heat to boiling. Remove from heat and set aside. Simmer the turkey liver and heart in water to cover in a small saucepan for 5 minutes; set aside to cool.
Melt 1/2 cup of the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the celery and onion and saute for 10 minutes. Transfer to a large mixing bowl.
Cook the pork sausage in the same skillet, crumbling with a fork, until it is no longer pink. Remove from the heat and add to the celery mixture.
Add the stuffing mix, apricots with liquid, and almonds. Finely dice the turkey livers and heart and add to the stuffing mixture. Stir to combine.
Heat the remaining 1/2 cup of butter and the stock in a small saucepan just until the butter melts. Pour over the stuffing mixture and add the remaining 1/2 cup of Grand Marnier. Stir well to moisten the stuffing. Season with the thyme and salt and pepper to taste.
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