Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Holiday Recipes ~ Turkey Stuffing with Dried Cranberries

My Mom has been making the same stuffing recipe for Thanksgiving since I can remember. Over time it has changed a bit. She used to cook the neck, giblets, etc. and add that to the stuffing. The three of us girls were never fond of that "stuff" so we always request that she not make that addition.
Before Brian and I got married I wrote this recipe down, because I knew I wanted to use it when we had our Thanksgiving Feast. Over the years I have made some very simple changes. The first being I switched out the type of bread cubes I use. Around Thanksgiving Super Target usually carries dried bread cubes in the bakery section. It is just dried bread that has been cubed up into nice size chunks. If you can't find this, you could always make your own ,just plan ahead. I would also suggest using a basic french bread, not a chewy artisan style bread.
A couple of years ago, on a whim I decided to add some dried cranberries to the stuffing and that became a huge hit! So every since then I always include them.

A few tips that my Mom taught me:

1. Make your stuffing the day before Thanksgiving and store it in the fridge. This allows you some extra sleep, and one less dish to make on Thanksgiving.

2. Don't overstuff your turkey! Lightly stuff the front and back ends. You will have a lot of extra stuffing, but don't worry we are going to use it all.

3. Once your turkey is finished cooking remove the stuffing from the bird and place in a buttered casserole dish. Add the remaining stuffing that you didn't use and place it in the casserole dish with the other stuffing. Mix thoroughly. Place in a 325 degree oven for about 30 minutes our until it is warm and crisp on top. I find this tip results in the perfect texture for stuffing. It is not soggy or dry, but warm and lightly crisp.
Turkey Stuffing with Dried Cranberries
1 bag of bread cubes
1 1/2 cups of celery chopped
1 large onion chopped
1 stick of butter
1-2 cups of low-sodium chicken broth
1/2-1 cup of dried cranberries ( use as much or as little as you like, I like more)
1/2 tsp. Sage
1/2 tsp. Thyme
Salt and Pepper to taste
In a large skillet melt the butter and the celery and onion and cook until tender. Turn the heat down to low and add the seasonings stirring around. Add the bread cubes and cranberries mix well. Add 1-2 cups both and stir until the bread cubes are soft. Add warm water if needed. The stuffing is ready to used. Please see the tips above. I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as our family does!

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