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Sunday, November 28, 2010

Combining Two Memories

This was our first Thanksgiving cooking at home. Because I am the primary cook in our household, it fell to me to try to create a Thanksgiving meal that recalled our fond memories of childhood, but still satisfied my need to make it unique. The argument begins over the stuffing...

We both love stuffing, but we have very different memories of what is the perfect stuffing. Ray's is very sweet, with apples, currants and roasted chestnuts. Mine is very simple, with celery, onions and sage. So, we combined the two, and miraculously, they worked together ! Here it is:

Chestnut,Sausage,Apple,Cranberry and Sage Stuffing

3 medium onions, diced
1 bunch celery, diced
1/2 cup butter
4 cups turkey or chicken stock
2 pounds mild turkey breakfast sausage, browned
One package fresh poultry herbs (sage, rosemary and thyme), chopped fine
1 1/3 pounds roasted chestnuts (weight before roasting), shelled
3 small Granny Smith apples, peeled and diced
6 ounces dried cranberries
12 cups dried, cubed wheat bread

Saute onions and celery in the butter until soft. Add the stock, and cook until bubbly. In a large pot or bowl, combine all the remaining ingredients. Pour the stock mixture over the bread mixture and combine well.

We like the stuffing in the bird, but this will increase your baking time a bit. Or, put the stuffing in an oven proof pot and bake for about a hour. This will give you the nice crunchy bits on the outside, and a nice moist stuffing on the inside.

Oh, and for the record, brining a turkey is awesome, but contrary to a lot of web advice, the Alton Brown method of roasting a turkey was not very effective for a stuffed bird.

More to come on leftovers, and "the morning after" breakfast.

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