Monday, November 18, 2013

Traditional Turkey Stuffing by Jannine Gallant

Let's face it, Thanksgiving is about one thing, and one thing only. Eating! Okay, it's also about family getting together and spending a little time remembering what we're thankful for, but this is squeezed in around the main event--eating. Seems like I spend the majority of my day in the kitchen. Lucky for me I'm thankful I like to cook! So, when considering blog topics, I decided I should post a traditional recipe. Easy peasy--right? Wrong. Not one single dish our family makes at Thanksgiving is written down except the pumpkin pie, and I'll admit I use the recipe off the Libby pumpkin label! Oh, and the cranberry sauce, perfected to my taste over years of tweaks. But I posted that one last year. So, here goes, my attempt to write down our family's stuffing recipe. My grandma used to make it. My mom makes it. I make it. It always comes out the same despite the fact there's no recipe and no one ever measures anything. I do promise it's simple, traditional and delicious!

Traditional Turkey Stuffing

1 lg. loaf of crushed wheat bread
1 can low sodium chicken broth (approx.)
1 turkey neck - sounds disgusting but keep reading
1 lg. onion
2 sticks of celery
1 apple
2 Tblsp. butter or margarine
1 Tblsp. parsley flakes
2 tsp. rubbed sage
1 tsp. marjoram
1 tsp. thyme
1/2 tsp. celery seed
salt and pepper to taste (at least a 1/2 tsp. of each, probably more)
poultry seasoning (optional)

Prep stage: 1) Cut up the bread into cubes--four strips down and four strips across make the right size. Spread them out on cookie sheets and toast under the broiler, turning cubes when they start to brown. Keep a close eye on them so they don't burn--always my downfall! Cool then place in a large bowl. 2) Meanwhile, use the neck from your turkey, add a can of chicken broth and simmer for about a half hour. Discard neck and reserve broth. 3) Chop onion, celery, and apple. Saute in butter until soft, about 20 minutes. These three steps can be done simultaneously if you can multi-task. (The reason I frequently lose a batch of bread cubes!)

Assemble: Add sauteed vegies to bread cubes. Add herbs and seasonings through salt and pepper. Keep in mind the above measurements are approximate but a good starting point. Add enough broth to moisten the bread but not make it soggy, a little at a time. Stir and adjust. You may not need all the broth. You may need to add a little from a second can. When you have the right consistency, taste. At this point, I've been known to cheat and sprinkle in a little poultry seasoning if I think it still needs something. Mix well. Spoon stuffing into your bird. It should fill a large turkey. If you have extra, bake it separately for about an hour with a little butter on top, covered.

That's it. Enjoy! I wish you and yours a happy and tasty Thanksgiving. And just in case you can sneak in a little reading time around all that cooking, check out my books on my website. Happy Holidays!


Vonnie Davis ~ Romance Author said...

I love turkey stuffing, but have never made it with chopped apples. I might try adding them this year after reading your recipe. Sounds kinds crunchy, yummy. Have a great holiday, hon.

Jannine Gallant said...

Actually, they soften with the celery and onion, but they give the stuffing a touch of sweetness that's really yummy. You have a great Turkey Day, too, Vonnie.

Margo Hoornstra said...

A little late getting here today, sorry. Sounds very tasty. Can I try making it with store bought bread cubes? Just asking.

Jannine Gallant said...

Margo, I don't see why not. Saves you the step of burning a batch like I do!

Alicia Dean said...

Sounds delicious. I always just make Stove Top stuffing because we love it, and all the other things I make take so long. I cut corners where I can. :) I also enjoy cooking (and eating) and having the family over. Since my mom went into a nursing home, holidays are held at my house, and I love it.

Jannine Gallant said...

We'll be at my mom's for Thanksgiving this year, but she doesn't mind when I take over her kitchen! LOL Enjoy your holiday, Ally.

Barbara Edwards said...

we don't throw away the cooked neck. My kids would fight over who got to eat the meat off of it.
sounds delicious.

Jannine Gallant said...

That's too funny, Barbara. I've picked the meat off the neck and cut it up to put it in the stuffing, but it's a pain for little gain in quality, so I don't bother anymore.

Leah St. James said...

Great recipe, Jannine! Sounds really yummy. I make the same stuffing my husband's grandma made, and I'm afraid there might be a revolt if I deviated. But I might try adding a second version to the mix!

Jannine Gallant said...

Start out small, Leah, and throw in an apple. That's about the only really unique part. Don't want your family to revolt! LOL