Michael creates a fun Thanksgiving alternative to your classic turkey!
8 cups rye bread (small dice)
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup onion (peeled, finely diced)
1 cup celery (finely diced)
1 tablespoon thyme leaves
1 teaspoon celery seed
12 ounces breakfast sausage (removed from casing)
2 1/2 cups chicken stock
1/2 cup parsley (finely chopped)
ROASTED TURKEY BREAST:
2 turkey breasts (halved, boneless, skin-on, about 2 pounds each)
1 large onion (quartered)
2 carrots (peeled, cut in half)
2 ribs celery (cut in thirds)
1/2 cup water
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper (to taste)
For the Stuffing: Preheat oven to 300ºF. Place the rye bread on a sheet tray and bake until dried out and lightly toasted, about 25 minutes.
Preheat a saute pan over medium-high heat and add the butter and olive oil. Add the sausage, breaking it up as it cooks for about 5 minutes. Add the onions, celery, thyme, and celery seeds, stirring occasionally until tender and aromatic, about 5 minutes. Season with salt. Add the chicken stock. Season with salt and pepper. Bring to a simmer and remove from heat.
In a large bowl, add the dried bread cubes and pour the sausage mixture on top. Add the parsley and mix to combine.
For the Roasted Turkey Breast: Increase the oven temperature to 425ºF.
Season the turkey breasts with salt and pepper on both sides. Loosen the skin from the meat without detaching it completely. Add 1 1/2 cups of the stuffing in an even layer under the skin on each breast. Set the remaining stuffing aside. Lay out 5-6 long pieces of butchers twine on a cutting board. Place one stuffed turkey breast, skin side down, on the twine. Place the remaining turkey breast, skin side up, on top of the other one. The breasts should be stacked in opposite directions to ensure even cooking. Stretch any overhanging fat over the meat, covering as much as possible and then tie with the twine. Trim any hanging twine.
On a baking sheet, add the onions, carrots, and celery and top with the tied turkey, seam side up. Add 1/2 cup of water to the bottom of the pan, drizzle the turkey with olive oil and place in the oven. Roast uncovered until cooked through, for about 1 hour. Remove from oven to rest for 15 minutes before slicing and serving with the extra stuffing, roasted vegetables, and pan juices.
For the Remaining Stuffing: Grease a 12-cup muffin pan.
Using an ice cream scoop, fill each tin in the muffin pan with the stuffing. Place the muffin pan in the oven for 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and tent with foil to keep warm.
Tip: Spread the bread cubes out on a sheet tray and allow them to sit out, uncovered, overnight to dry out and become stale or cube bread ahead of time and store in the freezer until ready to use.