Stuff that Turkey!
November 20, 2004 5:35 PM   Subscribe

StuffingFilter: When it comes to Thanksgiving, I've seen huge variety in stuffing recipies. So spill it -- what's the best stuffing recipe you've got?

Sorry for the double-dip, but the time is nigh for Turkey day recipe requests. Please feel free to pile on non-stuffing recipes if you've got 'em...
posted by daver to Food & Drink (17 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
I'm not giving any amounts because people like their stuffing or dressing in different ways. I will say that I am dramatically anti-stuffing. It creeps me out. My family is also vehemently anti-celery. It adds nothing but a creepy taste. Here's my mom's dressing recipe though:

seasoned stuffing cubes
tart apples
chicken broth

Saute onions in butter until translucent. Peel and thinly cube apples and toss them in. Cook until soft. Add raisins. Mix hot items with bread cubes and put in a metal baking dish. Heat chicken broth and start dumping over bread. Soak bread until soft but not overly mushy. Cover with foil and bake for aprox 45 mins at 350 degrees.

posted by Kimberly at 6:15 PM on November 20, 2004

For 5 or 6 years now, I've used a variation on the stuffing recipe from the terrific New Basics Cookbook. I found the recipe online here, though I strongly recommend the purchase of this great book.

When I do this, I usually omit the hazelnuts (someone at the table doesn't like 'em), sometimes substitute dried cranberries for the dried cherries, and add a mess of cooked wild rice, which, in my opinion, makes it even mo' delicious.

It's pretty easy to make this in three batches: one inside the bird, one in a separate dish (you'll have some left over), and one veggie version in a third dish.
posted by Dr. Wu at 6:25 PM on November 20, 2004

Cornbread and sausage stuffing. I hardly ever cook from recipes myself, but this is more or less what I do, except that I use shallots instead of onion, use marjoram and tarragon instead of thyme, and don't use any celery, bell pepper, or chives.
posted by Sidhedevil at 6:34 PM on November 20, 2004

For a succulent turkey, I highly recommend using a very simple brining recipe from Alice Waters (of Chez Panisse fame). Along with a comparatively dull stuffing containing bits and pieces of the bird's innards for flavor, I usually serve turkey with Texas-style mashed potatoes...Throw some sweet potatoes in with your mash and add (to taste) Shiner beer, loads of butter, and heavy cream, and you've got yourself a decadent, artery-and-liver loving treat!
posted by ch3ch2oh at 6:39 PM on November 20, 2004

i like a straightforward celery stuffing:

1/2 - 3/4 loaf of bread - torn into small pieces
1-2 onions - diced
5 stalks celery - diced
1/2 cup currants
1 tbsp dried sage
1 tbsp dried oregano
1 tbsp dried basil
salt, pepper and celery salt to taste

stale, crusty bread works best, though croutons are too hard for stuffing in my opinion. also dried herbs are much better than fresh.

it's not particularly decadent by itself, but since it should be smothered in nice gravy and cranberry sauce, it shouldn't have an overpowering taste on its own.
posted by too many notes at 7:41 PM on November 20, 2004

If by "stuffing" you mean what you shove into the bird's gut to bake, the stuffing I use is pretty simple: All the stuff that was floating around in the vat when I was brining the turkey. That consists chiefly of garlic, sage and rosemary, with various powdery crap thrown in.

Instead, if you mean "squishy bread," my answer is even simpler: Mrs. Cubbison's and a pot of boiling water with a lump of butter in it.
posted by majick at 8:19 PM on November 20, 2004

Since you also asked for non-stuffing recipes, daver, cranberry sauce is easy to make. Follow the water/sugar ratio on the package of fresh cranberries and the cooking instructions, but add about 4-5 square centimetres of lime zest. Lemon zest is ok, but lime makes it special.

Alternately, cut the sugar in half. It won't jell. Serve over good French Vanilla ice cream.

That was my best kitchen screw up and save ever.
posted by QIbHom at 9:03 PM on November 20, 2004

My family's stuffing recipe is pretty unusual, in as much as it contains no vegetables whatsoever:

Mix together 1 pan of cornbread (8-inch square) and 3-4 cups dry bread crumbs with seasoning. (Use either packaged crumbs or your own bread mixed with herbs such as basil, tarragon, sage and/or paprika.) Stir in 1/2 cup melted butter and 3-4 cups boiling water. Beat and add 1 egg. Stir in 1 cup (total) raisins, currants, and/or dried cranberries, and 1 cup broken-up pecans. (My family likes to use walnuts as well, the charlatans.) Add more water if it's dry. Stuff into turkey or bake it alone for 1 hour at 350oF.

Damn good stuffing...
posted by Johnny Assay at 9:48 PM on November 20, 2004 [1 favorite]

My favorite stuffing is a bread stuffing with sauteed leeks, Italian sausage and dried cranberries. Of course my family only wants the same out-of-the-box + mushrooms one we've been eating for the last 30 years. You can't mess with tradition, I guess. My dad always added maple syrup, pecans and a bit of orange rind to the cranberry sauce, it makes a delicious and surprisingly mellow sauce.
posted by cali at 12:17 AM on November 21, 2004

My father did no indoor cooking except turkey dressing. His recipe adapted for a 12 pound bird would be:
4 Cups dry bread cubes - cut your own or buy ready made.
2 Cups chopped apple (I peel them)
1 Cup chopped celery
1 generous Cup raisins (love raisins!)
I use onion powder (not onion salt) instead of chopped onion, and salt and pepper.He moistened with milk and/or stock made from boiling the giblets. I use milk but chicken stock or broth is good.

Since I like turkey, I do not use overwhelming spices such as sage. I have occasionally included any or all of various other chopped stuff - cooked breakfast-type sausage, cooked bacon, dried cranberries and dried apricots.
posted by Cranberry at 1:07 AM on November 21, 2004

Italian-American Style Stuffing:

cut up bits of crusty Italian bread (one or two loaves)
onion, celery, garlic sauteed in butter (or a combination of butter & olive oil)
Italian sausage, removed from casing, cooked and crumbled
hard boiled eggs, cut up
moisten it all with some red wine (not too moist!)

You can also add the cooked giblets and other bits to the stuffing, or save it for the gravy.

I also like cranberry relish, where you grind the raw cranberries with a whole orange (including the peel) and lots of sugar. Like this.
posted by vitpil at 7:47 AM on November 21, 2004

Chestnut Stuffing.
posted by stp123 at 8:27 AM on November 21, 2004


That's all I ask.
posted by Guy Smiley at 8:46 AM on November 21, 2004

I just blogged my Thanksgiving menu with links to the recipes (that I've published) for the items therein. (It's a vegetarian meal, for those who dig that kind of thing.)
posted by Dreama at 12:04 PM on November 21, 2004

Dreama, wow, what a pretty site. I was fretting over what sort of gravy to serve this year and just printed off your recipe.

I'm sure I'll spend more time exploring your recipes in the future. I'm glad you linked them!
posted by melissa may at 3:53 PM on November 21, 2004

Perhaps this questions was inspired by the New York Times article...but how to make stuffing is a big deal.

here is the article

The NYT are also hosting a share your stuffing recipe forum.
posted by geryon at 9:53 PM on November 21, 2004

By the way, for all of those who put the stuffing inside the turkey, according to Alton Brown, it's a bad idea.
Here is a quote from his Romancing the Bird: The Good Eats Thanksgiving Episode.

"Stuffing, by and large, is evil. It adds mass which increases the cooking time and that leads to dry meat. It's also a haven for bacteria like salmonella and it's good buddy campylobacter. Neither of which make very good side dishes."

He suggests that one ought to make stuffing separately, and fill the cavity with sage, rosemary and other herbs to perfume the meat, without adding a lot of mass.
posted by geryon at 10:03 PM on November 21, 2004

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