My Best Stuffing for Thanksgiving Dinner

American Thanksgiving is in 12 days.

The stuffing recipe I make for my turkey brings back memories from my childhood Thanksgivings. It is from the McCall’s Cookbook that my dad executes every holiday that involves a turkey.

The McCall’s Cookbook is one of the more popular collectible cookbooks from the 60s. It is a thick, over 700-page cookbook in the same vein as Betty Crocker Cookbook. In general, it is loaded with recipes and how-tos. Most of the recipes are short and easy-to-follow. A Betty Crocker Cookbook definitely had an edge up in terms of cookbooks from the 60s era since McCall’s has no photos.

I’m still hoping that in the future to add my mom’s bright yellow copy to my cookbook collection. 😉

I presently use a beautiful bright pink printout of the stuffing recipe. One funny thing from the original recipe is that it calls for fine fresh-white breadcrumbs. Eeew! I can’t even imagine that. It would be the consistency of mashed potatoes with onion and celery pieces. My dad always used cubed bread.

 

My Best Stuffing for Thanksgiving Dinner

Adapted from the McCall’s Cookbook for Golden-Brown Turkey
12-15 lb. Turkey

 

Mise En Place

  • 2 onions, medium-sized, peeled
  • 2 cloves of garlic, peeled
  • 2 heads of celery, cleaned
  • 1 bunch of Italian parsley, washed
  • ¼ cup butter, melted
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • 1 tbsp. poultry seasoning
  • 5-6 leaves of fresh sage, finely chopped
  • ½ tsp. paprika
  • 1 tsp. white pepper
  • 2 eggs, slightly beaten
  • ½ cup honey
  • 2 loaves stuffing bread or your choice of day old bread, cubed*

My Best Stuffing is a combination the bite-size pieces of the ingredients for texture and finely chopped in food processor. I chop half of each vegetable into ½ inch pieces with my knife and the other half  I will place into a food processor to be very finely chopped.

Remove the root ends from the onions and dice 1 onion and the other onion cut into quarters for the food processor.

Remove the inside stalks and leaves from the head of celery. Set aside for the stock and gravy.

Cut 1 of the head celery stalk into ½ inch pieces, set aside. The remaining stalks cut so they will fit in a food processor.

 

Remove the stems from the parsley and reserve for the stock and gravy.

Place the bite-size pieces of celery and onion into a large microwavable bowl with melted butter.

Place the remaining onions, garlic cloves, fresh sage, celery and parsley into the food processor.

Pulse in the food processor until very finely chopped but not liquid.

Place in the microwaveable bowl with bite-size ingredients and butter; cook covered in the microwave for 5-7 minutes.

Note: At this point, the celery/onion mixture can be covered, refrigerated and stored several days in advance. On the day that you are stuffing the turkey, remove from fridge and bring to room temperature and then mix with dried out cubed bread.

Add the eggs, poultry seasoning, salt, pepper, paprika, and honey to the cooked celery/onion mixture. Mix well.

 

Place the dried out cubed bread into a large mixing bowl.

Toss lightly the celery/onion mixture with the dried cubed bread.

Bend wings tips of the turkey under the body.

Spoon stuffing into the neck cavity of the turkey; fasten close with poultry pins.

Spoon stuffing into the body cavity of the bird. Do not pack.

With twine, tie ends of legs together and truss the turkey and using pins secure the stuffing in the cavity.

 

Never place a warm stuffing into the bird. Once the turkey is stuffed it should be placed in the oven immediately to begin roasting.

Bake any leftover dressing in a well-greased covered casserole.

Thanksgiving Dinner

Thanksgiving Dinner

Thanksgiving DInner 2017

Thanksgiving Plate for 2017

* My local grocery store makes their own stuffing bread which is a flavourful bread baked with thyme, sage, marjoram, rosemary, black pepper, and nutmeg. A day or two ahead of making the stuffing, cube the 2 loaves of stuffing bread and spread out evenly on baking sheets. Leave on the counter to dry out overnight or bake the cubes in a low oven until lightly crisp and toasted.

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Weekday Wrap Up and A Kitchen Cheat Sheet

It has very busy at the 5 o’clock rush

The American Thanksgiving is just 20 days away and I will be posting our recent Thanksgiving dinner recipes as well as tips and tricks. Check out the first Thanksgiving post for My Best Mashed Potatoes for Thanksgiving Dinner

I have also been engaging with other food bloggers through Food Bloggers of Canada Facebook page.

One of the food blogs that I follow, Un Assaggio of food, wine, & marriage  today posted this awesome Kitchen Cheat Sheet.

I recommend that everyone print it out, laminate it and hanging it in your kitchen. It will be especially useful during the busy holiday season.

Have a great weekend…….looks like fall is here which means winter is around the corner. 😛

More daily dinner tonight pictures follow the5oclockrush on Instagram.

Weekday Wrap Up

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My Best Mashed Potatoes for Thanksgiving Dinner

Thanksgiving in Canada has been over for weeks. We are already gearing up for Christmas. Yikes!

Thanksgiving in the United States is 9 days away. I will be posting my tips and tricks that I used this past Thanksgiving.

First up, My Best Mashed Potatoes.

My Best Mashed Potatoes for Thanksgiving Dinner

Serves 6 to 8
Thanksgiving Dinner 2014

Thanksgiving Dinner 2014

Mise En Place

Unpeeled and Unsliced Potatoes

Unpeeled and Unsliced Potatoes

  • 2 medium Yukon Gold potatoes per person, unpeeled, unsliced well-scrubbed*
  • ¼ cup salted butter**
  • 2 ½ cups half-and-half cream
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground white pepper
  • 1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • Chives (optional)
  • Additional pat of butter (optional)

Place your unpeeled, unsliced and well-scrubbed potatoes in a large pot and add cold water to an inch above the potatoes. Season the cold water with 1 tablespoon of salt. Cover and bring to a gentle boil. Using a sharp knife, check doneness, the knife should easily go through the potato at the 30-minute mark, larger potatoes will take about 45 minutes.

While the potatoes are cooking, place the butter, the half-and-half, the salt and the ground white pepper in a microwavable measuring cup. Heat the mixture in the microwave for 3-5 minutes until butter is completely melted or warm through.

The reason I add salt to the butter/cream mixture so it dissolves and can be evenly distributed into the mashed potatoes. Heating the butter/cream mixture is an old restaurant trick to prevent a ‘gluey’ mess of mashed potatoes, hot liquids to hot. Just like making gravy for avoiding a lumpy gravy. 😉

Reserve 1-2 cups of potato water for gravy. Drain the potatoes.

I don’t peel or slice my potatoes before cooking them. Unpeeled and unsliced potatoes will absorb less water while being boiled. Taking the peels off after cooking is quicker and easier. This is another trick to avoid a gluey, watery mash and helps to absorb the dairy. And why do that extra step! 😉

UPDATE: I started off with an inexpensive ricer from IKEA, which is no longer available. This is the version available now Potato press – IKEA  I’m presently using this version Potato ricer white – KUHN RIKON SWITZERLAND which I found at a great price at WINNERS/Homesense in Canada (TJMAXX/Homegoods in US)

Rice the potatoes while they are still hot into a stainless steel mixing bowl. I recommend using a potato ricer, or food mill, place the unpeeled potato into the ricer and use those biceps and push the potato through. Then open up the ricer and presto there is the potato skin only. Remove skin and place another potato in the ricer. Sometimes larger potatoes will have to be sliced to fit in the ricer.

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Add the freshly grated nutmeg to the butter and cream mixture. Add the hot butter, and half-and-half mixture to the hot potatoes gently stirring with a spatula to incorporate. The potatoes will seem soupy at first but will gradually absorb the liquid and turn into a creamy mixture.

Taste your potatoes and add up to another teaspoon of salt if needed.

Make a Bain-marie with a pot and the stainless steel bowl. Place the pot on the back of the stove over gently simmering water to keep warm while making gravy and craving turkey.

Mashed Potatoes in Stainless Steel Bowl for Bain-Marie

Mashed Potatoes in Stainless Steel Bowl for Bain-Marie

Keep warm in the bain-marie until dinner. I serve my Thanksgiving dinner from the kitchen to cut down on dishes later. But you can certainly spoon the mashed potatoes into your serving dish and top with optional finely chopped chives and additional gloss of butter.

* As with the size of turkey to roast, I calculate the number of potatoes to cook by how much each person will eat and how much leftovers I would like. I count on each person eating approx. 1 lb. of turkey and 2 potatoes each.

** I only purchase salted butter, and knowing this I cut down the additional salt I add to my dishes or recipes. If you are using unsalted butter, please taste and adjust accordingly. Really you should always be tasting as you cook.

Thanksgiving Dinner

Thanksgiving Dinner

Thanksgiving Dinner 2017

My Thanksgiving Dinner Plate for 2017

Additional Tips:

Mashed potatoes are part of Thanksgiving dinner you can make in advance of serving. The best way to reheat mashed potatoes that have been refrigerated is to place them in a low oven, covered, for 20 to 30 minutes. Mashed potatoes that have reheated are drier and the cream and butter components might separate. Heat up some more half-and-half or milk to bring them back to their creaminess.

Using a stand mixer or hand-held beaters is an alternative method to achieve mashed potatoes. I personally wouldn’t recommend these methods. I find that this over-mixes the potatoes. And you have taken all these measures to avoid gluey potatoes. So just be very careful!

If you like a little tanginess in your mashed potatoes substitute some or all of the half-and-half with cream cheese, sour cream and yogurt.

Catch of the Day! Pickerel and Silver Bass

We were lucky enough to enjoy this Pickerel and some Silver Bass for dinner from when my DH and DD went fishing on Lake Erie.

Look Mom! Dinner tonight is Pickerel caught on Lake Erie.

Silver Bass, is a fish that my DH and fishing buddy usually throw back when they are out on the lake. My DH decided to keep a few to give the fish a try. After doing some research, many fishermen do keep the Silver Bass and recommend soak the fish in milk for at least an hour or overnight.

Always check out my Instagram @the5oclockrush  to see my daily dinners photos.

Catch of the Day! Pickerel and Silver Bass

Pan Fried Pickerel with Green Beans on a bed of Cream Polenta

Pan Fried Pickerel with Green Beans on a Bed of Creamy Polenta

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Weekday Wrap Up 5

Here are the latest pictures from the 5 o’clock rush kitchen for this week’s Weekday Wrap Up.

For more pictures follow the5oclockrush on Instagram

Chef Kim

Weekday Wrap Up 5