Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Culinary Q & A: I bought a box of Stove Top, but how do I make stuffing?

Call it stuffing, dressing or Stove Top, there is no correct name or recipe. Here is what I'll be serving:

joannE.’s Sausage & Apricot Stuffing

16 ounces (2lbs by weight) Bread Cubes, unseasoned

4 Tbs Butter

1Lb Venison Sausage, removed from casings (sweet Italian also works well)

2 Medium Yellow Onions, medium diced

3 Stalks of Celery, medium diced

2 Cloves of Garlic Minced

1 Cup Dried Apricots, quartered

¼ Cup White Wine

¼ Cup Fresh Parsley, Chopped

10 Sage Leaves, Chopped

5 Springs of Fresh Thyme

2-3 Cups Chicken Stock

*Short on fresh herbs? Substitute fresh parsley, thyme and sage for 3 Tbs dried poultry seasoning

Pre-heat oven to 375º. Grease a 9x11 inch baking pan.

Place bread cubes onto an ungreased cookie sheet in a single layer. Toast bread in the oven for 10-15 until gold brown, rotating sheet halfway through cooking. Remove and set aside. Reduce oven to 350º.

In a large frying pan or saucepan melt butter over medium high heat and brown sausage. Add celery and onions and cook for 8-10 minutes, until celery has softened. Stir in garlic and apricots and cook for an additional 2 minutes. Pour in wine and let reduce until almost dry. Stir in fresh herbs and add toasted bread cubes. Fold in enough chicken stock so that the bread crumbs are moist but not too soggy they fall apart. Season with salt & pepper.

Place stuffing in the prepared baking dish and cover with foil. Bake in the 350º oven for 15 minutes. Remove foil and bake for an addition 7-8 minutes. Keep an eye for how dry your stuffing is getting, you are only heating it through, all the ingredients are fully cooked before going into the oven.