This dish is best enjoyed with our Merlot
For the stuffing: Combine the wild rice, water, and 1/2 teaspoon of the salt in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer until the rice is tender and just bursting, about 30 minutes. (Times may very depending on the brand of rice used.) Drain and set aside.
Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion, apple, celery, garlic, thyme, nutmeg, remaining 1 teaspoon salt and pepper, to taste. Cook until the vegetables soften, about 5 minutes. Stir in sausage, breaking it up with a wooden spoon and cook until it loses most of its rosy colour, but not so much that it’s dry, about 5 minutes more. Stir in the cooked wild rice, pecans, and parsley into the vegetable mixture. (This can be made the day before.)
For the turkey: Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Remove the neck and gizzard from the turkey and discard. Rinse the bird thoroughly with cold water and pat dry. Using your fingers, gently loosen the skin from the breasts and drumsticks and slip the sage leaves underneath. Rub the entire surface with 1/4 cup of the melted butter. Lightly sprinkle the skin and cavity with salt and pepper. Loosely stuff the turkey with dressing and place any remaining stuffing in a baking dish to cook separately.
Truss the turkey and place on a rack in a large roasting pan. Roast for about 45 minutes, until brown, basting with the remaining butter every 10 minutes. Reduce the temperature to 350 F and continue roasting for another 1 1/4 hours or until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the thigh registers 180 degrees F. If the legs or breast brown too quickly, cover them with foil. Transfer the turkey to a cutting board and allow it to rest 20 to 30 minutes before carving.
To serve, cut down along each breast and remove it whole. Cut the breast into slices, the way you would a loaf of bread. Place on a large serving platter and arrange the thigh meat in chunks and the legs on top.
Note: To toast nuts, spread them out on a baking sheet and toast in a preheated 350 degree F oven until golden, about 7 minutes.
October 19, 2013