From the Kirkwood Kitchen: Thanksgiving Recipe Series

By Sarah Sexton | Publish Date November 03, 2020

Happy November! Fall is in full swing here in Birmingham with the leaves and weather finally changing and quickly dropping. A lot of times, poor Thanksgiving is the holiday that gets often overlooked or over shadowed with all of the Christmas lovers beginning their holiday decorating and celebrating on November 1. But I think Thanksgiving deserves a little love and attention so we are going to spotlight a few of everyone’s favorite Turkey Day meal staples from our own Kirkwood Kitchen!

Now it wouldn’t quite be a Thanksgiving feast without the turkey and it’s dressing would it? Today we are sharing our Juicy Herb Roasted Turkey with tips on how to keep it from drying out or over crisping the skin! We will also share our southern cornbread dressing that is oh so moist and delicious with this turkey!

Check out the Recipes below!

Herb Roasted Turkey

  • Ingredients:
  • 10-14lb Turkey fully thawed or fresh
  • 2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2 tsp. lemon zest
  • 1 Tbsp. fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 Tbsp. chopped fresh rosemary
  • Kosher Salt
  • Ground Black Pepper
  • 1 medium purple onion, cut into quarters
  • 1 head of garlic
  • ½ bunch chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 large cheese cloth
  • 5 cups of broth (bone, chicken, etc)

Let turkey rest at room temperature for 1 hour. Transfer oven rack 1 level below center of oven and preheat to 425 degrees near end of resting. Remove neck and giblets from turkey and remove any pin feathers that maybe left behind. Pat outside of turkey with clean paper towels and dry inside as well. Tuck wings under turkey, season cavity well with salt and pepper.

In a mixing bowl stir together 1 stick butter, lemon zest, thyme and rosemary. Using the back of a wooden spoon and starting at the back end of the turkey, carefully separate the skin from the meat leaving skin intact between breasts, front area and sides. Be careful not to tear skin or butter will melt out as it bakes.

Transfer turkey to a large roasting pan with a roasting rack. Rub hands over turkey skin to smooth around. Brush 1/2 stick of melted butter all over the turkey, except underside. Season well with salt and pepper. Stuff onion, garlic, and parsley into cavity of turkey. Tie legs together with kitchen twine. Cover turkey with cheesecloth soaked in 1/2 stick of melted butter. Pour broth into the bottom of the roasting pan.

Throughout the roasting, pour/baste drippings from bottom over the turkey 2-3 times to keep it nice and juicy. Bake in oven at 425 for 45 minutes then reduce oven temperature to 350 and bake for about 2 hours or until thickest portion of thigh registers 160 degrees on a probe thermometer. Remove turkey from the oven and lightly tent with foil while turkey rests for 30 minutes then carve and enjoy!

Southern Cornbread Dressing

  • Ingredients
  • For the Cornbread:
  • 1 cup self-rising cornmeal
  • ½ cup self-rising flour
  • ¾ cup buttermilk
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 Tbsp. vegetable oil
  • For the Dressing:
  • 8 Tbsp. butter
  • 3 medium onions, chopped
  • 4 stalks celery, chopped
  • 1 ½ tsp. dried sage
  • 1 tsp. poultry seasoning
  • ¾ tsp. salt
  • ½ tsp. black pepper
  • 2 to 2 ½ cups chicken stock or broth
  • 1 10 ½ oz can Cream of Chicken Soup


For the Cornbread:

Mix all ingredients together in a mixing bowl and bake in a 350 degree oven until tooth pick inserted comes out clean. Cool on rack until ready to assemble dressing.

For the Dressing:

In a sauce pan Sautee onions and celery in 1 tbsp of butter until tender about 5 minutes. In a mixing bowl crumble cornbread and add sautéed onions and celery, dried sage, poultry seasoning, salt, pepper, cream of chicken soup and 1 cup chicken stock. Stir together adding more chicken stock as needed until desired consistency. Bake at 350 degrees until set in the center. Let cool and enjoy!


The Residents

Our residents come from different backgrounds and bring their unique qualities, talents, and life experiences to complete the Kirkwood community. Here are just a few reflections from some individuals who call Kirkwood their home.

My time at Kirkwood was spectacular; they taught me how to walk again. The staff was outstanding, and the care was beyond reproach. When I arrived, I had a long way to go. I was very sick. The first night, they had to lift me as I could not move by myself. When I left, they were chasing me down the hallway. They taught me how to perform the activities of daily living again. It was the best care I could have prayed for, and on top of that, the food was spectacular.

Eli Gold Past Resident

I fell in love with the cottage and the view from my back porch. I am excited to have a yard for Ginger, my poodle, to play in and my own garage, all within an established retirement community!

Charlotte Hamilton Current Resident

My husband and I looked at a number of places when deciding to move to a retirement community. For the most part, we found communities that said, ‘We’re going to take care of you.’ But Kirkwood was different. It wasn’t just about taking care of us. It was also about having fun, having friends, and living life to the fullest. The attitude at Kirkwood was positive and the atmosphere was comforting. We simply couldn’t resist. Without a doubt, the location was ideal. The Cahaba Room that overlooks the river, the mountains, the trails – there were just so many things about life. The community was lively. It was alive.

Alice Brooks Current Resident

We realized we were approaching an age where we might need more assistance than what just downsizing could provide. Knowing we have my sons nearby and the levels of care should we need it is comforting, and the beautiful hillside, river, and the woods makes it that much more appealing. We don’t know of any other community that has the woods, the various levels of care, and so many different amenities.

Phyllis and John Guschke Current Residents

We were moving my parents down from the Cleveland area to be near us. I looked at almost every retirement place in the Birmingham area. The second I turned into Kirkwood’s drive and drove up the hill, I knew that I’d found the perfect place for my parents to live in Alabama. In the six years that my parents have been at Kirkwood, I have always felt nothing but love and helpfulness from every staff member. Everyone is always helpful with a pleasant attitude. You can truly see and feel the family atmosphere. I’m happy that my parents can call Kirkwood their home.

Brenda Sheehan Kirkwood family member

When we learned that Cedar Ridge was being developed, that seemed to fit our needs very well. It is the ideal place for the next phase of our retirement.

Carol and Arthur Stephens Current Residents

One thing that we feel is very important here at Kirkwood by the River is the relationship that we have between the staff and the residents. They are dedicated to making our life here as safe and secure and pleasurable as possible. That goes a long way.

Fred Rogers Current Resident

The community's cottage living surrounded by a wooded, natural environment with access to future healthcare services is what attracted us to Kirkwood!

Rick and Jane Ricketts Current Residents