Roast Turkey with Pecan Corn-Bread Stuffing Roast Turkey with Pecan Corn-Bread Stuffing

Author: Canadian Living

Give your holiday bird a southern twist with this pecan stuffing. The turkey and gravy are further flavoured with a little bourbon or Tennessee whisky, a surprising but excellent flavour enhancer for poultry. Even without the bourbon, the stuffing is delicious.

  • Portion size 12 servings


  • 1 turkey (about 15 lb/6.75 kg)
  • 2 1/2 cups pecan halves
  • 1/3 cup butter
  • 2 stalks celery chopped
  • 1 large onion chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 jalapeño pepper seeded and minced
  • 1/2 cup bourbon
  • 1/2 cup rye whisky
  • 1/2 cup Tennessee whisky
  • 4 teaspoons chopped fresh sage
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 teaspoons pepper
  • Corn Bread
  • 1/2 cup chopped celery leaf
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 egg lightly beaten
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3 cups Giblet Stock for Gravy
  • 3 cups chicken stock


Remove neck and giblets from cavity of turkey; reserve for Giblet Stock for Gravy. Finely chop liver and reserve for stuffing. Pull out any loose fat from cavity.

On baking sheet, toast pecans in 425°F (220°C) oven for 4 minutes; let cool.

In skillet, melt 2 tbsp (25 mL) of the butter over medium-high heat; cook celery, onion, garlic and jalapeño pepper until lightly browned, about 7 minutes.

Stir in 2 tbsp (25 mL) of the bourbon, reserved chopped liver, sage, thyme and 1/4 tsp (1 mL) each of the salt and pepper; fry for 2 minutes. Transfer to large bowl; let cool. Crumble corn bread into bowl. Add pecans and celery leaves; mix well. (Make-ahead: Cover and refrigerate for up to 1 day.) Mix in egg.

Pat turkey dry inside and out. Holding breast side down, sprinkle body cavity with 2 tbsp (25 mL) and neck cavity with 2 tsp (10 mL) of the remaining bourbon. Stuff both cavities loosely with some of the stuffing; skewer cavities shut. Tie legs together and tuck wings under back.

Place turkey, breast side up, on greased rack in roasting pan. Place remaining stuffing in greased 11- x 7-inch (2 L) glass baking dish; cover with foil and refrigerate.

Melt remaining butter and stir in 2 tbsp (25 mL) of the remaining bourbon; brush over turkey. Sprinkle with 1/2 tsp (2 mL) of the remaining salt and 1/4 tsp (1 mL) of the remaining pepper.

Roast in 325°F (160°C) oven for 1 hour. Roast, basting often, for 2-1/2 hours or until meat thermometer inserted in thickest part of thigh registers 180°F (82°C).

Meanwhile, add covered dish of stuffing to oven; cook for 45 minutes. Uncover and cook for 15 minutes longer. Lift turkey onto warmed platter; tent with foil and let stand for at least 15 minutes or for up to 30 minutes.

Skim off all but 2 tbsp (25 mL) fat from pan drippings; place pan over medium-high heat. Sprinkle flour over drippings; cook, stirring and scraping up any brown bits from bottom of pan. Gradually whisk in stock and remaining bourbon, salt and pepper; bring to simmer and cook for 2 minutes. Stir in giblets; heat through. Pour into warmed gravy boat. 

Nutritional facts <b>Per each of 12 servings:</b> about

  • Sodium 681 mg
  • Protein 93 g
  • Calories 878.0
  • Total fat 41 g
  • Cholesterol 336 mg
  • Saturated fat 12 g
  • Total carbohydrate 30 g


  • Iron 53.0
  • Fibre 0.0
  • Folate 46.0
  • Sodium 0.0
  • Sugars 0.0
  • Calcium 14.0
  • Protein 0.0
  • Calories 0.0
  • Total fat 0.0
  • Vitamin A 42.0
  • Vitamin C 8.0
  • Potassium 0.0
  • Cholesterol 0.0
  • Saturated fat 0.0
  • Total carbohydrate 0.0
Share X

Roast Turkey with Pecan Corn-Bread Stuffing