Because of the holiday, I'm posting my recipe early this week. It's actually too late, but I don't let little things like reality worry me.
This is my thanksgiving turkey stuffing. The origins of this stuffing date back to my discovery of the "black turkey" recipe. I tried it one year, and the stuffing was really good, but the whole thing was just insanely overdone - everything about it was overcomplicated, and there were so many spices muddled up in the stuffing that I just didn't believe that there was any way that you could taste all of them. So over the next few years, I experimented, and eventually came up with this recipe, which makes the best stuffing I've ever tasted. I actually prefer to cook this outside of the bird - it develops a nice crust baked on its own. But to give it that "roasted in the turkey flavor", I usually take a basting bulb, and give it a few good squirts of turkey drippings while it's cooking.
- 3 loaves of bread, preferably a bit stale.
- 3 lbs sweet yellow onions, sliced thin.
- 6 cloves garlic, minced.
- 2 lbs portabello mushrooms, diced into 1/2 inch cubes
- 1 lb miscellaneous mushrooms, sliced.
- 1/2 head fennel, sliced thin.
- 2 stalks celery, diced.
- 3 carrots, diced.
- 2 lbs sweet italian sausage. (I use turkey sausage, but real pork sausage would probably be even better.)
- Salt and pepper.
- 1 tsp each marjoram and thyme.
- 1/2 tsp dry mustard.
- Olive oil.
- 4 cups chicken stock.
- 1/2 cup brandy.
- Heat about 4 tablespoons olive oil on medium high heat. Add all of the onions, and cook them until they're well carmelized. This will probably take between a half hour and 45 minutes. If the onions start to stick to the bottom of the pan, add some water to get them to unstick.
- Reduce the heat to medium, add a bit more oil, then add the garlic, fennel, carrots, and celery,
and cook until the vegetables are soft.
- Add the mushrooms, and let them cook through.
- Add the spices, and salt and pepper to taste.
- Add the brandy and about 2 cups of the chicken stock, and stir. When it comes to a boil, turn off the heat.
- Throw the bread into a food processor, and grind it into coarse crumbs. Pour the crumbs over the cooked stuffing base. Press the crumbs down until some of the liquid from the base comes
through the crumbs. Add enough stock to make the bread moist. Then let it sit for 15 minutes
- Stir the bread crumbs into the stuffing base. Cover it, and set it aside to cool. It needs
to be cooled to room temperature, which will take at least an hour.
- Get the sausage, and remove it from its casings. Fold the meat into the stuffing mixture until
it's well blended. Add more stock if you need to to keep everything moist.
- Take a large roasting pan, and oil it liberally with olive oil. Then put the stuffing into
it, pressing it in so that it's packed tightly. Brush to top lightly with olive oil.
- Bake in a 350 degree oven until the inside of the stuffing reaches 170 degrees. Baste
with turkey drippings once or twice while it's baking. Depending on the depth of your roasting
pan, this will take between one and two hours.