Do I have to stuff the turkey? ?

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raising turkeys
Image by james_gordon_losangeles
Saint Hovannas Monastey, or Hovhannavank (Armenian: Surb Hovhannes Vank) is an Armenian Apostolic Church monastery located in the village of Ohanavan in the Aragatsotn Province of Armenia. It is situated atop a steep gorge carved by the Kasagh river. The monastery’s title originates from the combination of the name Hovhan (Armenian for Jonah) and the word vank, which in Armenian means monastery. The monastery was dedicated to John the Baptist, whom Armenians venerate as their patron-saint. The monastery stands on the edge of the Qasakh River Canyon, and its territory is adjacent to the village of Ohanavan.

History and architecture
The oldest part of the monastery is the single nave basilica of St. Karapet (i.e. Holy Forerunner, John the Baptist) that was founded at the beginning of the fourth century by St. Gregory the Enlightener, who baptized Armenia into the world’s first Christian nation. The wooden roof of the early church was replaced in 554 AD with a thatch cover, and the basilica itself underwent profound renovation between 1652 and 1734.

The centerpiece of the monastery is the Cathedral built between 1216 and 1221 through the donation of Prince Vache Vachutian. The Cathedral has a cruciform floor plan, with two story sacristies in each of the four extensions of the church. The dome has an umbrella-shaped roof, which is unique to Armenian churches. Cathedral’s important decorations include carved scenes from the Parable of the Wise and Foolish Virgins (Matthew 25:1-13).

Portal leading into the main church from the gavit.In 1250, Vache Vachutian’s son, Kurt Vachutian, built a narthex (gavit) next to the western wall of the Cathedral. The narthex is supported by four base pillars and features a central rotunda (added in 1274) that rests on twelve columns. Between the 12th and 17th centuries, Hovhannavank was known as an important educational and theological center of Eastern Armenia that had a scriptorium where manuscripts were written and illuminated. The monastery was described in details in 1686 by the historian Zakaria Kanakertsi who spent his entire life at Hovhannavank.

The monastery walls are covered with rich lapidary inscriptions. One large engraved text high on the northern wall of one of the monastery’s auxiliary structures reads:

…By the grace of merciful God, during the reign of Queen Tamar, daughter of the great Gevorg, in the year 642 (1200 AD) of the race of Torgom, we—brothers Zakaria and Ivane—sons of Sargis the Great, son of Avag Zakarian, when the light of God’s grace rose and entered Armenia and raised us from weakness in the battle against the enemies of Christ and destroyed their power and quenched their violence, with the country of Ararat delivered from the heavy yoke of their servitude, wished to make offering and gave the tribute of the grace to the Holy Forerunner of Hovhannavank …
Another key inscription was left by Konstandin I, Katholicos of Armenia.

Hovhannavank’s Cathedral belongs to the category of “Gandzasar-style” ecclesiastical edifices that were built approximately at the same time in different parts of Armenia, and were endowed with similar compositional and decorative characteristics (another example—Cathedral of the Haritchavank Monastery). Those include umbrella-shaped dome, cruciform floor plan, narthex (often with stalactite-ornamented ceiling), and high-relief of a large cross on one of church’s walls. In 1918, the dome and the southern wall were destroyed by a powerful earthquake; both were reconstructed in the 1990s.

Question by Randi S: Do I have to stuff the turkey? ?
Found this great recipe for homemade stuffing but it calls for stuffing the bird and I usually don’t. I would like to make the stuffing on the side only because I need to make a lot of it and it won’t fit in the bird. Is there a way I can mix the ingredients and place it in the oven by itself? What temperature and for how long? Thanks in advance!

What do you think? Answer below!

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8 Responses to Do I have to stuff the turkey? ?

  1. Im going to agree with the others – stuffing inside – I just learned this from the Food Network Thanksgiving special – when the stuffing is inside the turkey, the raw juices from the turkey get into the stuffing. You will have to cook the turkey longer, potentially causing it to be drier, to raise the temperature to a safe eating point.

    I would go for cooking it on the side – and you can cook it in the oven, in safe dish. Cover with tin foil if you want it to be mushier or without a lid if you want it crunchy on the top. You can actually cook it ahead of time and then just reheat it on Thanksgiving.

    Remember that stuffing can be like pasta or potatoes…make some alterations…
    -Cook sausage, break into pieces, add it to the stuffing with some sage and walnuts
    -Add different veggies either raw or sauteed – carrots, celery, onions, zuccinni, etc. A nice touch would be cooked (broken into pieces and sugar added prior to putting with the stuffing) cranberries
    -Cut up peeled apples and add it to the stuffing. For some extra sweetness, sprinkle in some cinnaminon, nutmeg, and/or brown sugar with it.

    Make what you and yours would like the best and make it one of your family’s “tradition”!!

    Good luck!

    April 9, 2014 at 5:42 pm

  2. Certainly not! Stuffing the bird is totally optional. Just assemble your dressing ingredients and place in a greased casserole dish, and bake. Usually 350ºF for about 45-55 min is good for it to firm up, get a nice crust, but not dry out.

    Sugar Pie
    April 9, 2014 at 6:34 pm

  3. No, you don’t have to stuff it. It’s fine to make it on the side, I usually bake mine at 350 for 30 mins.

    April 9, 2014 at 7:25 pm

  4. You can, but if the stuffing recipe calls for water as the liquid, it won’t have the flavor you are used to if it’s cooks inside the bird. You could use chicken broth in place of the water but the best is chicken STOCK. It has way more flavor. It should be readily available in a decent sized market. Swanson has come out with a Chicken Stock recently, and it’s really good.

    Bonnie R
    April 9, 2014 at 8:02 pm

  5. no you do not have to!!!! mix the ingredient on the side and it will come out right!!!

    April 9, 2014 at 8:59 pm

  6. Your biggest concern with ace stuff you Turkey is not getting the Turkey cook properly. Temperature meat around the thigh should be 175° stuffing hundred 170° personally I do not like stuffing turkey it tends to dry the Turkey out. Liked the stuffing separate pretty and nice crunchy top and having a nice moise Turkey Here is a chart on times for the weight of bird with stuffing at 325°
    6 to 8 pounds 3 to 3-1/2 hours
    8 to 12 pounds 3-1/2 to 4-1/2 hours
    12 to 16 pounds 4-1/2 to 5-1/2 hours
    16 to 20 pounds 5-1/2 to 6 hours
    20 to 24 pounds 6 to 6-1/2 hours

    Thanksgiving Roast Stuffed Turkey Recipe

    April 9, 2014 at 9:01 pm

  7. you can cook the stuffing on the side, use chicken/turkey broth for your recipe for the flavor. basically your just heating it all up together… so an easy 350 for 20 minutes should do.

    April 9, 2014 at 9:37 pm

  8. its about 45 min at 350 covered and im with you…i dont like it in the bird..its gross to do so, i add pan drippings however if it turns out dry

    April 9, 2014 at 10:03 pm

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