Roasted turkey and corn bread dressing are to Mississippi holidays what Brett Favre is to the Green Bay Packers.
Stick of butter
Salt and pepper
Tony Chachere's Original Creole Seasoning
5 celery stalks
1/4 cup wine
1. Thaw per directions on bird or on fsis.usda.gov/Fact-Sheets/Lets-Talk-Turkey/index.asp.
2. Wash with water and dry.
3. Slip meat hook off drumsticks of thawed, unstuffed turkey. Remove giblets.
4. Rub bird with a stick of soft butter. Sprinkle generously with salt, pepper and Tony Chachere's seasoning.
5. Tuck several celery stalks and an onion and apple—each quartered—into the cavity.
6. Slip meat hook back over the drumsticks.
7. Roast breast up in 1/4 cup of wine, in a covered roaster or under an aluminum foil tent, at 325 degrees, until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees. Follow minutes per pound guidelines on your bird's cooking directions.
8. Remove cover/foil for the last 45 minutes of cooking.
9. When done, set on a cutting board for at least 20 minutes before carving.
10. Cut the meat hook to loosen the drumsticks. Pull them away from the breast, cutting between the thigh and the body through the thigh joint. Remove entire leg. Stab fork into the wing joint and slice the breast directly above it horizontally to the bone. Then slice the breast meat vertically to horizontal cut. Slices should come off easily.
Easy Cornbread Dressing
Cake of cornbread from 2 boxes of pre-packaged cornbread mix, crumbled
Several slices of loaf bread and several leftover rolls/biscuits, crumbled
1 package of Pepperidge Farm dry stuffing mix
2 onions, chopped
5 celery stalks, chopped
1 stick of butter
1 can of cream of chicken soup
1 large can of evaporated milk
2 cans of chicken broth, approximately
2 tablespoons Tony Chachere's seasoning
2 tablespoons lemon pepper seasoning
1 tablespoon dried sage
1 teaspoon thyme
1 teaspoon oregano
(This stuffing is easy to make in advance. Mix a day ahead, refrigerate and bake on the day of your holiday celebration. Or freeze unbaked for a month.)
Sauté onions and celery with stick of butter until limp. Mix all ingredients except one can of broth. Use extra broth as needed to create consistency of cooked oatmeal, not runny or too dry. Bake in a buttered casserole dish at 375-400 degrees for an hour. Splash with giblet gravy.
Cook turkey giblets in water with salt, pepper, chopped onion and celery until vegetables are tender. Drain. Chop giblets. Add them and 2 chopped hard-boiled eggs to canned chicken gravy.