1 fresh or frozen turkey, 10 to 12 lb. average
4 Tbsp. poultry seasoning
2 Tbsp. salt
2 Tbsp. black pepper
1 tsp. cayenne pepper
1/2 cup soften margarine

First, put the turkey in the sink under cold running water and wash it thoroughly, making sure to remove every single trace of debris from the internal cavity. Then, with paper towels, pat the bird dry inside and out and place it onto a sheet of waxed paper on the countertop. At this point, you also want to preheat your oven to 325 degrees.

Next, prepare the turkey, front and back, inside and out, with the poultry seasoning, salt, black pepper, and red pepper. And I don't mean just sprinkle it on rub those seasonings into the bird hard! Then, with the margarine, massage the bird liberally again both inside and out until it coats the entire turkey. And be sure you put some of the margarine up under the skin too!

Now place the turkey, breast-side up, into a pre-buttered, cast iron Dutch oven large enough to hold the bird plus whatever juices will be rendered out (and you will get juices). Oh, yeah and you want to cook the turkey unstuffed, except for one whole onion which you place inside the cavity.

When the thermostat indicates that the oven is right at 325 degrees, put the lid on the black pot and slide it into the oven on the center rack. Then set your timer for about 2 hours and don't even peek in the pot until the timer goes off. Depending upon when the weight of the bird, you can expect it to cook to perfection in about three to four hours (which figures about 20 minutes to the pound). Of course, to be sure you're correct, I suggest you use a meat thermometer and roast the turkey until the internal temperature tested in the turkey breast reaches 180 degrees.

Finally, when you're ready to eat, remove the bird from the pot, place it onto a serving platter, and carve it fresh for your family and dinner guests. But whatever you do, make sure you mix together a little cornstarch and water, stir it into the natural pot drippings while it's at a slow boil, and thicken it into the best tasting gravy you ever passed over your lips!

It's really the only reason you do a turkey this way!


Chef's Notes:

1. To make removal from the Dutch oven easier, I suggest you allow the turkey to cool and set briefly on the stovetop. This will also make the turkey a little easier to carve, because it comes out so tender and juicy it's gonna fall apart.

2. If you use a meat thermometer, place it into the breast for the thigh; but make sure it doesn't touch any bone or grizzle.

3. To keep turkey from sticking to the pot as it roasts, rub down the cold Dutch oven with margarine before placing the bird into it.

4. And just for the record, of you want the onion you stuffed inside the turkey for yourself alone, you had better claim it early in the roasting process. There's a tendency for the family to fight over it once it makes the table.

Cajun Brown Rice Boudin Stuffin'3/4 gallon water
2 lbs. boneless pork
2 lbs. pork bones
1 lb. pork liver
2 onions, finely chopped
1/2 bell pepper, finely chopped
3/4 Tbsp. salt
3/4 Tbsp. black pepper
3/4 Tbsp. red pepper
1/2 Tbsp. garlic powder
1/2 Tbsp. garlic powder
2 bay leaves
2 Tbsp. cornstarch + 1 cup cold water
1 bunch green onion tops, finely sliced
6 cups cooked brown rice

First, take a 16 quart stockpot and fill it with the 3/4 gallon water. Then bring the water to a rapid boil and drop in the boneless pork, the bones, the liver, the onions, bell pepper, salt red pepper, black pepper, bay leaves and garlic powder. When the water comes back to a full boil, reduce the heat to a 'slow bubble' and cook everything together covered for at least 2 hours (adding more water as it evaporates) or until the meats become fall-off-the-bone-tender.

When the pork and live are done, set them aside on a platter to cool and strain out all of the ingredients from the stock; but put the stock back into the pot and bring it back to a boil. Then take the cornstarch and dissolve it in one cup of cold water. And when the stock is once again boiling, stir in the cornstarch/water mixture to thicken it.

Meanwhile, pick all the meat from the bones and combine it with the boneless pork, the liver, and the seasoning vegetables you strained out of the stock. Then, with a large chef's knife, finely chop all the meats and the vegetables together. When they're uniformly consistent, spoon everything back into the cooking stock but immediately take the pot off the fire.

Finally, begin adding the stock to the 6 cups of cooked rice a little at a time until you end up with a stuffing that resembles a moist 'dirty rice' and is technically ready to be eaten as is. You don't want it to come out soupy, but if you've followed the recipe properly the rice should absorb just about all of the casserole dish, and place it into a warming oven until you're ready to serve.

When it's time to eat, serve the casserole directly from the oven and ladle it generously with the natural pan gravy from the pot-roasted turkey! You won't find it in any history book but in my heart I know the Pilgrims wished they would have fixed their stuffin' this way!

Chef's Notes:

This recipe will yield about 6 pounds of boudin stuffing and should serve a large family easily. Not only is it outstanding freshly made from the oven, but it can be made in advance and refrigerated or frozen for future use.I suggest you cover the casserole while it's in the warming oven to keep the rice from drying out.