Stuffing, Dressing, po-tay-to, po-tah-to. In the end it is the dish I crave most when making a turkey. I will even make it with a roast chicken, just to up the opportunities to have it. And I make extra. Late night snacks, or lunch, smothered in leftover gravy, done! To me, the turkey is just the conduit to the stuffing and gravy.
There are a cornucopia of ways to make stuffing. And every one of them is the best, to whomever makes them. The ingredients are so varied, but through the years I have narrowed down my list of what must be included to what is found below. There are certain things that I want and don’t want in a stuffing. I want it to be savoury with sage truly being the star. I want there to be a slight tartness to it, hence the dried cherries or cranberries. I don’t want to taste sweetness in it, so no carrots etc. I don’t want it to be dry. OR to be a soggy mess. So I’m just going to say that this is my personal favourite.
It’s the alternate way of baking the stuffing that takes it to the next level. Yes, of course l will also spread it out and roasted it it in a single baking dish. Just fine. But since I started baking it off in a muffin tin, I’m even more giddy (yes, I can get giddy over stuffing) This way, everyone gets their own personal stuffing ‘muffin’ with a crunchy crust. It sits there like a king overlooking his kingdom on the plate. And accepts gravy so graciously. Of course there is the portion control thing covered. But who are we fooling, when we are eating a meal that involves stuffing, chances are the nutrition police aren’t allowed in the room. They can visit the next day as we are making our green smoothies to make up for the dinner we indulged in, the evening before.
SPICY ITALIAN SAUSAGE SOURDOUGH STUFFING
- 5 cups cubed stale bread (keep cubes between 1/4-1/2 inch) I like using a good sourdough bread
- 1 onion med-small dice
- 2 celery ribs med-small dice
- 2 large uncooked spicy Italian sausages casings removed
- 1 tsp dried rosemary
- 1 tsp dried thyme
- 1 tsp dried sage
- 1 cup chicken (or turkey) stock
- 1/2 cup dried cherries
- 1/2 cup chopped pecans or walnuts
- 1 tsp fresh chopped rosemary
- 1 tsp fresh chopped thyme
- 1 tbsp fresh chopped sage
- salt and pepper
- 2 eggs
Preheat oven to 350 F.
Place bread cubes into a large bowl.
Saute the sausage over med-high heat, crumbling up, and browning nicely. Remove and add to bread.
In same pan saute the onion and celery till softened and just turning golden. Add dried herbs and stir. Add to the bread and sausage.
Add cherries and nuts and herbs.
Add the chicken (or turkey) stock, quickly fold together.
Season with 1 tsp each salt and pepper. Taste and adjust.
When happy with taste, beat the two eggs and add to the mixture. Combine.
Spray (very well) a muffin tin (this will make 12 average sized muffins, so use pans to achieve this)
Scoop and mound the mixture into the prepared tin.
Bake for 35-40 minutes, or until tops are lightly browned and crunchy. There should be a slight springyness when you press on one.
Cool for a minute then remove and serve.
You will want to ensure you spray to muffin tin to allow for easy removal. Use a small offset spatula or knife to get them out. These can be reheated the next day for awesome leftovers. If you bake it in a dish and have leftovers, why not take the leftovers the next day and make 'waffles' out of them?! This can also be baked off in a 9x13" baking pan