Confessions of a stuffing junkie
I've always been a staunch supporter of stuffing for my Thanksgiving turkey. It's a proud Yankee New England tradition, and it's my favorite Thanksgiving dish.
Dressing — stuffing cooked "outside the bird" was for whiny Southerners who couldn't say the word "cornbread" without tossing in the phrase WITH NO SUGAR. Yeah, yeah yeah.
But I have to confess, I've had a complete change of heart. Last Thanksgiving I made a humongousoid 30 lb turkey, which I had the butcher spatchcock because otherwise it wouldn't fit into my oven. So, I couldn't stuff it, and hence resorted to making "dressing" for the first time.
I took my usual Sausage and Apple Stuffing, and threw it in a crockpot with a roasted turkey wing on top. The wing eked out delicious juices and the mixture, I SWEAR, tasted exactly like it was cooked inside the turkey. It was DELICIOUS.
Even though this year I am not making The Turkinator, just a normal turkey, I am still going to make the stuffi.... er dressing, in my crockpot.
Southerners, I owe you an apology.
Here is my stuffing/dressing recipe. You can read more and see pix here: http://patriciagay.wordpress.com/2013...
Sausage and Apple Stuffing, er Dressing
This recipe is for the crockpot (slow cooker), but can also be used for stuffing a turkey.
1 roll Jimmy Dean regular bulk pork sausage
1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter
2 to 3 ribs chopped celery
1 Granny Smith apple, peeled, cored and roughly chopped
1 14-ounce package Pepperidge Farm herb seasoned stuffing crumbs OR
1 to 2 loaves of day-old white bread (aka stuffing bread), torn into small pieces NOTE: Sometimes I like the crumbs, sometimes the bread… pick what you like
2 teaspoons Bell’s Seasoning - or to taste
salt and pepper to taste
2 eggs, lightly beaten
2 to 3 cups turkey or chicken stock or more if needed to make moist stuffing
2 turkey wings
1. Roast the turkey wings for about 20-30 minutes in a 350 degree oven, until they start getting brown, remove from oven, set aside.
2. Pour stuffing crumbs (or torn bread) into a large bowl.
3. Break sausage meat up into a large skillet/saucepan. Cook over medium heat until evenly brown. Pour sausage AND drippings into the crumbs and stir.
4. Melt the butter in the same skillet over medium heat. Add the celery and apple, and cook and stir until the celery is tender (about 5 minutes). Stir that mixture into the bread and sausage.
5. Add one to two cups of broth, stir, add the Bell’s seasoning, a large pinch of salt and a few grinds of pepper. Taste. How is the flavor? Adjust if it needs more.
6. Stir in the beaten eggs, (but first make sure the bread mixture is not hot or the eggs will scramble). Add more chicken broth (exact amount will vary, it may be one more cup, two more cups, or more). The stuffing should be moist, but not mushy.
7. Lightly butter bottom and sides of the interior of the crockpot. Lightly scoop (DO NOT PACK) the stuffing into the crockpot. Top with the turkey wings (break them apart if they are big, or just use one wing), cover and cook on high about 3 hours, stirring on occasion (Time varies according to your crockpot). The cook eats the turkey wing. Just for taste testing purposes of course.
Note: Ingredient amounts are approximate. I do not measure. I make approximately double the recipe for the Thanksgiving crowd.
You definitely can do this. Mark Bittmann recommended it in the times one year and and I did it because I could only fit a butterflied (spatchcocked) bird in my oven. The stuffing (dressing) came out delicious.
I just packed the stuffing into a roasting pan, put a rack on top, and then put the bird on that. I'm sure you can google the Bittmann recipe.
I figured it would be a few less calories at least!
I put so much stuff in my stuffing that it's just one of many flavors, not too critical. I didn't even remember buying apple sausage, so that was a nice surprise. My only other option was chipotle flavor, not sure how that would have worked out.
I stuff both the turkey (not the duck this year) and make a large pan of oyster-chestnut dressing. All ingredients in the dressing are essentially pre-cooked, so the oven session is to hotten it up and get a crisp on top.
The re-heated leftovers, oven not microwave, are arguably even better.