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 momā€™s bright yellow copy to my cookbook collection. šŸ˜‰

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
  • Ā¼ cup butter, melted
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • 1 tbsp. poultry seasoning
  • 5-6 leaves of fresh sage, finely chopped
  • Ā½ tsp. paprika
  • 1 tsp. white pepper
  • 2 eggs, slightly beaten
  • Ā½ 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 Ā½ 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 Ā½ 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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Let’s Cook Chicken in Milk! Really?

As I spent the weekend browsing through the food blogs and Instagram accounts that I follow, I came across the mention of Jamie Oliver’s infamous recipe for “Chicken in Milk” as the best chicken dish they had ever tasted.

Chicken cooked in Milk!? Really?

When you look at the components of the recipe it is quite a peculiar combination. Lemons, cinnamon, sage and milk.

OK Lets do this….

Chicken in Milk Recipe

Prep: approx. 15 min
Cook:Ā 1 hr 40 min

Adapted fromĀ Chicken in Milk | Chicken Recipes | Jamie Oliver Recipes
Chicken in Milk served with mashed potatoes and sautƩed spinach

Chicken in Milk served with mashed potatoes and sautƩed spinach

Ingredients

Assembling the ingredients

Assembling the ingredients

  • 1 (3 pound/ 1.5 kilogram) whole chicken
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup of Ā butter or 4 tbsp of EV olive oil
  • 1/2 of chopped Sweet Vidalia onion
  • 1-2 cinnamon sticks
  • 1 good handful fresh sage, leaves picked
  • zest of 2 lemons
  • 10+ garlic cloves, peeled
  • 2 1/2 cups of skim milk

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F, and find a snug-fitting covered pot for the chicken. (I used myĀ Oval French Oven | Le Creuset CanadaĀ )

Season the chickenĀ very generously all over with salt and pepper, and fry it in the butter/olive oil, turning it to get an even colour all over, until golden.

The tasty goodness at the bottom of the pan can be used to lightly saute the onions.

Add the remaining ingredients and placeĀ your chicken back in the pot, and cook covered in the preheated oven for 1 hour.

Braised Chicken

Braised Chicken

Baste with the cooking juice when you remember. Cook under covered for the last 40 minutes of cooking.

The lemon zest will sort of split the milk, leaving little curds bathed in chicken juices, and not homogenized; this appearance is less appealing. Remove the cinnamon sticks, and used an immersion hand blender to make sauceĀ infused with lemon and balanced with an aromatic flavour from the cinnamon and sage.

To serve, pull the meat off the bones and divide it on to your plates. Spoon over plenty of the lemony sauce over the chicken.

Serve with wilted spinach and some mashed potatoes. And a crusty baguette would be great to sop up the delicious sauce.

 

 

 

Chicken in Milk with sauteed Spinach, grilled Asparagus, smashed potatoes in a Lemony Corn Sauce

Chicken in Milk with sauteed Spinach, grilled Asparagus, smashed potatoes in a Lemony Corn Sauce

Tip: Make sure that you season theĀ chickenĀ very generously. Any extra time that you take to brown the chicken on ALL sides will embark more flavour in the end product. Try to achieve a deep golden colour on the skin.

The next time I make this I will also add the juice of 1 lemon for an added kick. šŸ˜‰