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Chef's Choice 60 Days of Holiday Edition: Stuffing

Nov, 20 2020

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Chef's Choice 60 Days of Holiday Edition: Stuffing

Holiday Stuffing and Dressing

It'€™s not just for the holidays

From the Chef:

Sure, I had stuffing every Thanksgiving. My mom, Flo, made the Stove Top boxed version with a little twist, while my gramma Vera made her oyster dressing. It had this beautifully crisp topping, deeply aromatic scent when you dipped into it and, tasted like nothing I had ever had before It was rich yet, light. Although my grammas dressing was better, every time I see a box of Stove Top Stuffing it makes me think of my mom and the wonderful holidays we shared.

So, what's the difference between stuffing and dressing, you ask. Well, they'€™re the same thing. The only difference is that stuffing literally goes into the cavity of the bird, while dressing is made in a casserole dish. I don'€™t stuff my birds anymore. Heck, I don'€™t even cook my bird whole anymore but, that is another subject, all together.

These days I like to prepare the dressing in a casserole dish. I love the crisp topping and the moist underside. Not only that, it'€™s a lot safer to cook your stuffing/dressing outside your bird? The USDA recommends cooking your stuffing to 165* But, when you do that, you overcook your bird.

I love Stove Top Stuffing. If you think about it, it's just a box of small, tasty croutons and a packet of seasoning...but it has endless possibilities.

This year let'€™s think outside the box! And, outside the bird too!

Enjoy!

 

Flo's Stove Top Stuffing

Ingredients

  • Stove Top Stuffing Mix (or similar brand) box
  • 2 cups chick (or vegetable) broth
  • 2 onions, finely chopped
  • 2 ribs celery, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter (Flo used margarine)
  • ½ teaspoon poultry seasoning (optional)

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Heat broth in a small pan and hold aside to use momentarily.
  • Saute the onion and celery in the butter until onion is translucent and smelling delicious.
  • Sprinkle with the poultry seasoning and set aside to cool.
  • Mix the dry stuffing with the celery and onion in a large mixing bowl.
  • Pour broth over the stuffing mix.
  • Place your dressing in a casserole dish and bake at 350* for 20-25 minutes or, until slightly crispy on top.

Chef's Notes:

Add Jimmy Dean's Sage Sausage to your stuffing. Saute the sausage, breaking it up into small pieces, and browned nicely. Add the sausage to the mixing bowl when you add the broth and continue with the recipe.

Vegetarian recipe: Saute two cups button mushrooms until almost all moisture in the pan has evaporated. Add onion and celery. Saute until vegetables are lightly browned. Add vegetable broth and continue with recipe directions.

   

Sourdough Bread Dressing with Sausage, Pecans and Dried Cherries

This recipe works with any type of bread. For me, the slightly sour and hearty flavor I get from the sourdough makes this dish sing. I like to bake a couple of country-style loaves from my Tartine Cookbook ahead of time and freeze the bread until I need it for this recipe.

Ingredients

  • 2 ½ cups turkey stock (Recipe follows)
  • 2 pounds sourdough bread, torn into 1/2 inch pieces.
  • 1 pound pork sausage, bulk.
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1  large onion, chopped fine
  • 3 celery ribs, chopped fine
  • Salt & pepper for sauteing
  • 2 tablespoon thyme, minced
  • 2 tablespoon sage, minced
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 cup dried cherries
  • 1 cup pecan halves, toasted and chopped fine

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 250*
  • Cut away the crust from the sourdough interior and then tear bread into 1/2 inch pieces.
  • Bake bread pieces in the oven until the edges are slightly crispy but inside is still moist-45-60 minutes, stirring bread every 10 minutes, or so.
  • Remove bread and let cool.
  • Raise the temperature in the oven to 375*
  • Saute sausage until cooked through and lightly browned.
  • Remove sausage from the pan with a slotted spoon.
  • Add butter, celery, and onion to the pan. Add salt and pepper to taste. Saute vegetables until soft.
  • Once vegetables are soft, add sage and thyme and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
  • Stir in 1 cup broth, scraping any small bits on the bottom of the pan. Bring to a simmer.
  • Lightly grease a 9 x 13 baking dish.
  • In a large bowl, combine bread pieces, vegetables, and broth. Set aside.
  • In another bowl, whisk the eggs and 1 ½ cups broth together. Add Cherries, pecans, sausage, 1 ½ teaspoons salt and ½ teaspoon black pepper.
  • Combine ingredients from both bowls together and gently mix until incorporated.
  • Pour mixture into prepared baking dish.
  • Tightly cover dish with foil.
  • Bake for 30 minutes.
  • Remove foil and finish baking for 15-25 minutes or until bread is lightly brown and crunchy on top.

Chef's Notes:

The dressing can be made the day before. Bake for 40 minutes, covered. Remove from oven and remove the foil to cool. Once cooled, cover with plastic and place in the refrigerator. To reheat, preheat oven to 350*. Place uncovered dressing in oven and heat through until interior reaches a temperature of 140* and top is lightly brown and crunchy. Omit sausage and add 2 pounds chopped sauteed mushrooms. Omit sausage and cherries and add 12oz. chopped & cooked bacon and leeks, sliced thin and sauteed in butter.    

Quick Turkey Stock

Makes +/- 5 cups

Thanksgiving comes in a flash and I'm always looking for ways to streamline my cooking. I've found this shortcut recipe to be just as good. Well, almost.

Ingredients:

  • 8 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 unpeeled carrots, cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 2 celery ribs, cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 1 large onion, large dice
  • 1 bunch Italian parsley, stems only
  • 3-4 sprigs fresh thyme (optional)
  • Turkey neck, heart & gizzard from your fresh turkey

 

Directions:

  • In a thick-bottom saucepan, combine all ingredients
  • Bring to boil
  • As soon as it boils, immediately turn down to lowest setting and simmer 1 ½ hours.
  • Strain into a bowl and allow to cool.
  • Transfer neck, heart, and gizzard to a plate. (If using these to add to the gravy later, pull meat from the neck and chop the heart and gizzard for your Giblet Gravy.)

 

(Original Recipe Credit: Bon Appetit)

 Chef's Notes:

Stock can be made 3 days in advance For a richer stock, saute the neck in vegetable oil in the saucepan. Remove any fat and oil from the pan. Deglaze the pan with the broth, scraping up any bits on the bottom of the pan. Add the rest of the ingredients to the saucepan and proceed with the recipe.

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