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One More Thanksgiving Side Dish – Stuffing with Mushrooms and Bacon

When I made the simple roast turkey the other day, I also wanted to make a very simple stuffing to go along with it. I wanted something that didn’t use a lot of ingredients and would use what I most often have on hand in the house so I could be sure to whip it up with ease. Luckily, in the same New York Times article that I found the turkey recipe I also came across this stuffing recipe and it was perfect for what I had on hand. Not a lot of fuss, ingredients or anything else. The only change I made to it myself to make things easier is that the recipes calls for leeks, which I did not have on hand. I substituted an onion instead, and I think the results were just fine.

Stuffing with Mushrooms and Bacon

3 tablespoons melted butter, plus more as needed for greasing the pan

1 1/2 pounds sliced white bread or corn bread

1/2 pound bacon

2 large leeks or onions, trimmed and sliced (3 cups)

1 1/2 pounds mushrooms (mixed variety or use what you have), cut into bite-size pieces

1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt

3/4 teaspoon black pepper

2 tablespoons chopped sage

1/2 cup dry white wine

1 1/4 cups chicken stock, plus more if needed

1/4 cup apple cider, if using white bread

3 tablespoons chopped parsley

Heat the oven to 250 degrees. Butter a 9 x 13-inch baking pan. Trim the crusts from the white bread and cut it into 1-inch cubes; if you are using corn bread, coarsely crumble it. Spread the bread pieces out on one or 2 large baking sheets. Toast in the oven, tossing occasionally, until the bread crumbs are very dry, about 30 minutes for white bread, about 1 hour for the corn bread. Transfer the crumbs to a large bowl to cool. Increase the oven temperature to 375 degrees.

In a large skillet over medium-high heat, cook the bacon strips until they are crisp. Transfer the bacon to a paper towel-lined plate to drain, leaving the fat in the pan. Add the leeks (or onions) to the bacon fat and cook, stirring occasionally, until they are soft, about 5 to 10 minutes. Add the mushrooms, 1 teaspoon of kosher salt and 1.2 teaspoon of black pepper. Cook, tossing frequently, until the mushrooms are tender and most of their juices have evaporated, about 10 to 15 minutes. Stir in the sage and cook for 1 minute. Add the wine and cook until it evaporates, about 2 minutes. Spoon the mushroom mixture over the dried bread. Stir in the chicken stock. If you are using white bread, stir in the cider. Add the parsley, 1/2 teaspoon of kosher salt and 1/4 teaspoon of pepper. The mixture should be moist and very soft. If you like your stuffing extremely moist, add enough stock to make it seem slightly soggy but not wet (Think that it should look like pudding). Crumble the bacon and stir it into the mixture.

Transfer the bread mixture to the prepared baking pan. Drizzle 3 tablespoons of melted butter over the stuffing. Bake until the stuffing is golden, about 35 to 45 minutes and serve.

I did make one other change to this stuffing. I did add in one diced apple to give it a little extra crunch and flavor. Michelle said it seemed like just what the dish needed and she really enjoyed it with the apple in it, but make your own call if you like that kind of stuffing. The great thing about this dish is that it was easy to do. If you make the bread crumbs ahead of time (the day before), you can throw this together and put it in the oven while your turkey is resting and it should be done in plenty of time. I think this stuffing would go well with your regular weeknight roast chicken as well if you wanted to make your weeknight meal a little fancier or just feel like having some stuffing.

That’s all I have for today. Check back next time for more recipes. I will be making a post tomorrow, most likely with links to some other websites that have Thanksgiving meal hints and recipes. I will have a post in the coming days as well as you try to make use of some of your leftovers. I think I have some easy ideas of things you can do. Until next time, enjoy the rest of your day (if you are on the East Coast, you are getting pelted with rain, like we are) and enjoy your meal!

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Posted by on November 27, 2013 in Cooking, Holidays, Side Dishes, Turkey

 

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What’s a Turkey Without Stuffing? Apple, Sage and Sausage Stuffing

One of my favorite parts of the Thanksgiving meal has always been the stuffing. Even the famous Stove Stop stuffing has its place, but if you have a little bit of time and want something that tastes a whole lot better, then take the effort to make the stuffing yourself. it is not as tough as you think it may be to make one and you can even do it a day ahead of time and just warm it up in the oven to save yourself some time. There are a lot of recipes out there for stuffing and have a few favorites of my own, but I tried a new one this weekend when I made roast turkey for Michelle’s birthday. Like the turkey, this one also came from Saveur Magazine and is for a very simple apple, sage and sausage stuffing.

Apple, Sage and Sausage Stuffing

8 tablespoons butter

3 ribs celery, chopped

1 onion, chopped

4 pork sausages, casings removed

3 apples, peeled and chopped

1 loaf white bread, crust cut off, cut into 1/2-inch cubes and toasted (about 8 cups)

2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh sage

2 cups chicken stock

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Heat the oven to 375 degrees. Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the celery and the onion, Cook until the vegetables are soft, about 15 minutes. Add the sausage and cook, using a wooden spoon to break the sausage into small pieces, until browned, about 5 minutes. Add the apples and continue cooking until the apples are soft, about 5 to 7 minutes more. Stir in the bread crumbs and the sage; add the chicken stock and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Stuff the stuffing into the turkey cavity, if you wish and roast the turkey according to plans or instructions. Take the remaining stuffing and place it in a baking dish and bake until it is golden on top, about 20 to 25 minutes.

I personally did not put any stuffing in the turkey. I have never been a big fan of stuffing that way and it makes the turkey have to cook even longer and the turkey does not always roast evenly with the stuffing inside it. If you are going to stuff the bird, you want to make sure that any stuffing you use is cooked already. If you want to make this stuffing ahead of time, instead of putting it right into the oven after mixing everything in, place the stuffing in a baking dish, cover it with foil and refrigerate it until the next day. Then, when you take the turkey out to rest, you can place it in a 375 degree oven for 30 minutes to cook and heat up. You’ll want to take the aluminum foil off the dish so the bread crumbs crisp up nicely. You may also need to add a little bit of moisture back into the stuffing because the bread will have absorbed a lot of it. I did not add any in and the stuffing tasted just fine, but it depends on how you like it. I loved the mix of the apples and sausage with the bread and the sage added just the right touch to the dish. I think it would be really good if you used a challah bread with this stuffing as well.

That’s all I have for today. Keep checking back for some more recipes that will be great for Thanksgiving. There’s lots more to come. Until next time, enjoy the rest of your day and enjoy your meal!

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Posted by on November 12, 2013 in Cooking, Dinner, Holidays, Sausage, Side Dishes, Turkey

 

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