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Friday, November 18, 2011

{Autumn Apple Stuffing}

There are a lot of people that are not a fan of stuffing. I was one of them. I think the main reason was the texture...soggy, soggy stuffing. So, I would say my number one suggestion for stuffing is regulating the moisture. For this recipe, I use apples to do that.


Although this is a pretty basic stuffing you can certainly take the base and play around to swap out different breads (corn bread perhaps) and add additional ingredients (maybe some dried cranberries) to create your favorite mix. All the while keeping in mind the moisture level is key!


Here is how I make mine...


Start with butter. I like to use a couple of tablespoons. Keep in mind, this is essentially a bread dish...butter and bread are best friends, so don't be shy with the butter.


Next, I like to add carrots to my stuffing. One carrot, peeled and roughly chopped...


one onion, chopped...



two stalks of celery, chopped...



and an apple peeled and chopped. Again, this helps regular the moisture and adds a sweetness to the stuffing. I like to use fuji apples or granny smith for a little more zest.



You can play around with the spices to vary the flavor of your stuffing. The most basic is poultry seasoning which is a blend of sage, thyme, marjoram and rosemary. You can also use fresh herbs - I like to add some fresh sage. I'm adding a couple of teaspoons. 


In addition to your spices and herbs, season well with salt and pepper.



At this point, I cook all of the ingredients together until they are tender, but not mush.



When your veg is ready, mix with your bread. I'm using a bagged mix of bread (14 oz) because I'm reserving my stashed away bread heels and other goodies that I keep in a gallon ziplock in the freezer for Thanksgiving. Make sure that the bread is completely dried out.

Now, to add the broth. I add between 2 to 2 1/2 cups of broth depending on the moisture level. Add in some broth and mix it together. Give it a minute to soak in and then check the moisture level. Your bread should no longer be dry, but should not be soggy and there should be no extra liquid at the bottom of the bowl.

When you reach the consistency that you like, spoon the mixture into your casserole dish and cover with foil.

Bake at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes to warm through.




Finally, the finished product.



I should address that this is actually "dressing" since it is not stuffed into the bird. I prefer cooking the stuffing dressing separately because of the moisture control of the method. I think it is much harder to control when it is in the bird. As for the turkey, I think that by using a brine and filling the bird with other ingredients like onion and herbs, it stays moist and flavorful sans stuffing.



{Enjoy!}

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