For you gourmets who insist on doing things differently on Thanksgiving.
No, that’s not directed at anybody, this is merely meant to be educational as I ran across an interesting recipe for that omnipresent element of a good American Thanksgiving dinner: stuffing.
For my non-American readers (presuming I have any) who have no idea what I’m talking about with Thanksgiving, please see here, here and here. Stuffing is a bread-based dish that’s usually used to stuff the Thanksgiving turkey with before it goes into the oven. It can also be baked separately, which is good news for vegetarians.
Now that you’re back (or knew what I was talking about without referring to the links), I present Sgt. Mom’s Rye Stuffing:
Tear apart or cut into cubes one loaf rye bread. (Half a loaf, if your turkey is on the small, say 12lb size. You want a lot, put in a lot. You want a little, only put in a little.) Dry until crisp in a warm area, or an oven set to the lowest temperature available.
Heat to simmering 2-4 cups unsalted vegetable or chicken broth.
Rinse inside and out, and pat dry with paper towels one turkey. Remove the bag with giblets and set aside. Do not forget these, you will use them for the gravy base.
In a large frying pan, brown 1/2 to 1 lb bulk sausage. When done, drain off fat, and set sausage to drain on paper towels. Add 1/4 to 1/2 cup butter to frying pan, and sautee until translucent:
1 onion, chopped finely
2-3 stalks celery, sliced finely
handful of celery leaves, also chopped
2 to 4 Tbsp. fresh parsley, chopped
sage to taste, either fresh and sliced, or dried and crumbled
pepper to taste
8-ox box of mushrooms, cleaned and sliced
Empty the dried bread into the largest bowl you have, add the cooked sausage, the sauteed vegetables, and moisten with the broth. You can add chopped cooked chestnuts at this point. The stuffing should not be soggy. Stuff the turkey according to custom. Whatever stuffing does not fit in the bird can be baked in a covered casserole for the last hour or so. Generally it’s 15-20 minutes per pound for a smaller bird, 13-15 minutes per pound for larger, or so sayeth “Joy Of Cooking”.
While the bird bakes, take the giblets and the neck and simmer them in a heavy saucepan in the leftover broth and enough water to make about 3 cups of liquid. Finely chop the giblets and neck meat when thuroughly cooked, and mix a little water with flour to thicken it all, and there’s your gravy.
With luck, there will be no leftovers.
Moment of Zen