Turkey, pumpkin pie, cranberry sauce and what else… That one other thing that is synonymous with Thanksgiving. Stuffing is always in the top favorite sides for Thanksgiving. But why does everybody resort to buying those horrible little boxes full of sawdust and dried shreds of onion peel? It’s only a few ingredients that you most likely already have on hand for the holidays anyway. Why not make the real thing?
Stuffing has a long history that dates back to the Roman empire. Recipes appear in, a collection found within a kitchen anthology called Apicius. This chronicles thousands of Roman dishes. Back then, stuffing usually consisted of different meats like rabbit, pork, chicken and dormouse.
The French have made perhaps the most prolific or visible use of stuffing throughout the ages, but the dish is positively global. There are so many recipes and variations on recipes it would be impossible to estimate a number.
It’s called stuffing because it was stuffed into the bird’s cavity and cooked along with the bird. Then you scooped it out and served it next to it! Now we’re a little more aware of bacterial issues and temperature danger zones. We learned to cook the stuffing outside of the bird. Using turkey stock allows it to still taste like the turkey, but allows us to not contract any level of salmonella.
6 Slices Whole Grain Bread
6 Slices Rye Bread
6 Slices White Bread (You could use all wheat if you don’t like rye)
1 Cup Diced Onion
1 Cup Diced Celery
2 T Fresh Sage
1 T Fresh Thyme
1 t Fresh Rosemary
2 C Turkey Stock
1 Stick Butter
Salt and Pepper To Taste
Take all of your bread and large dice it. Spread it all out on a sheet tray and leave it out, uncovered, overnight. This allows it to get stale and dried out.
Small dice the celery and onion. Saute the veg in half a stick of butter on medium low heat.
While your veg is cooking, remove your fresh herbs from the stems and fine chop them.
Once your veg has started to turn translucent, but not taken any color, add your salt and pepper and your herbs. Toss one more time to mix.
Add your veg mixture to the stale bread and mix to combine.
Add your stock a little at a time while mixing. Make sure everything is evenly coated or you’ll have soggy spots that turn to mush…technical terms…
Transfer your stuffing mixture to a baking dish. Melt the other half stick of butter and drizzle it over the top.
Bake in a dead air oven at 400 degrees for about a half hour, or until the top is nice and crispy and golden brown.
All the tasty bits of that stuffing without the risk of food borne illness. Plus…a full layer of crispy goodies.
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