Turkey and Dressing Casserole
- 1 whole bone-in, skin-on turkey breast, 5 to 7 pounds
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
- Salt and pepper
- 1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- One 8-inch pan prepared cornbread (about 1 pound), crumbled
- 10 slices white bread, torn into small pieces
- 1/4 cup dried cranberries
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 4 celery stalks, diced
- 2 carrots, chopped
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 1 cup orange juice
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.
Rub the turkey breast with the butter and sprinkle with salt, pepper, rosemary and thyme. Place the turkey skin-side-up in a large roasting pan and cover with a tight-fitting lid or aluminum foil. Bake until an internal thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the breast registers 165 degrees F, 1 1/2 to 2 hours or about 15 minutes per pound. Let rest for 10 minutes.
Cut the breast into thick slices and set aside. Pour the pan juices into a measuring cup and skim off the fat (use the fat for gravy). You'll need 2 to 3 cups of liquid for the dressing; supplement with chicken stock as needed.
In a very large bowl, mix together the crumbled cornbread, torn white bread and the cranberries. Heat the olive oil in a medium saucepan. Add the celery, carrots and onion and cook until tender, about 7 minutes. Add 1/4 cup of the turkey pan juices and continue cooking until the vegetables are translucent, about 6 minutes. Add the cooked vegetables to the bread mixture. Pour in the orange juice and 1 cup of the pan juices and mix well, using a sturdy spoon or your hands. Continue adding pan juices (or chicken stock) until the mixture is very moist, almost soupy. Put the dressing in a 9-by-13-by-2-inch casserole dish. Lay the turkey slices on top of the dressing, using almost all of the meat (reserve the rest for gravy or leftovers). Cover the casserole and refrigerate overnight.
The next day, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Remove the casserole from the refrigerator and let it stand at room temperature while the oven is heating. Bake until heated through, about 45 minutes. The dressing should be moist. If it appears to have dried out too much overnight, pour another cup of turkey juice over it.
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