1/2 tablespoon olive oil, plus oil to brush on aluminum foil.
1 cup sweet Italian sausage meat, removed from casing and crumbled
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 rib celery, finely chopped
1 1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary leaves, or 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1 1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme leave, or 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
3/4 cup bourbon
1/4 cup peacan halves, coarsely, chopped
1 egg, beaten
6 slices stale Italian bread, crumbled, about 6 cups
4 1/2 to 5 1/2 cups turkey or chicken stock
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 turkey, 7 to 8 pounds, giblets and neck removed, rinsed and patted dry
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1. Preheat oven to 450 degreesF. Brush a piece of aluminum foil with oil and place it on a rack in a roasting pan.
2. Heat 1/2 tablespoon oil in a large heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Add sausage and cook until browned and no pink remains, 5 to 6 minutes, stirring and breaking it up as it cooks. Pour off all but 2 tablespoons of fat. Add onion, celery, rosemary, and thyme, and cook until onion is soft. Add 1/4 cup of bourbon and bring to a boil. Remove from heat and let cool.
3. Combine sausage mixture with pecans and egg. Add bread, 1/2 cup of the stock, salt and pepper, and gently toss to blend. Stuffing should be a little dry. Set aside to cool.
4. Stuff turkey loosely with stuffing, trus, and set it breast side down on foil-covered fack in roasting pan. Add 2 to 3 cups of the stock and 1/4 cup bourbon to bottom of pan and place in oven. After 10 minutes turn heat down to 325 degreesF and roast for 20 minutes more, basting with pan juices every 10 minutes.
5. Turn turkey on one side and roast 30 minutes. Turn to other side and roast 30 minutes more. Then turkey breast side up and roast 15 minutes longer. continue to baste every 10 minutes. Turkey is done when meat is soft to the touch, leg moves easily in the joint, and an instant-read thermometer measures 180 degreesF to 185 degreesF when inserted into deepest part of thigh. Remove turkey from pan and set aside, breast side down.
6. Pour pan juices into a bowl or fat separator and skim off as much fat as possible. Reserve about 2 tablespoons of fat. Add enough of the remaining stock to pan juices to make 1 1/2 cups liquid. On top of stove, add fat to roasting pan and sprinkle on flour. Stir over medium heat until flour begins to brown. Whisk in pan juices and remaining 1/4 cup bourbon, and bring to a boil for 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.