12.01.2010

Thanksgiving: The Stuffing

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The stuffing is my favorite part. And I make a good one. For years I thought I was making a recipe I saw on the Food Network while visiting my parents. I've been making it from memory. This year, I thought I'd look it up. Turns out, this recipe does not exist. Turns out, I made it up, and have been lying to myself. I felt tricked. All this time I thought I was adding bacon because some expert on TV did it too. But, I should have known. You don't need an expert to tell you to add bacon to a recipe to make it better. That is common sense. 

So yes, my recipe has bacon. Not a lot, but enough to flavor things up. Onions cooked in bacon fat taste so good. My other secret ingredient is artichoke bottoms. Strange, right? I thought so, but delicious. And there is a stuffing recipe on the Food Network that uses them. It appears, I must have seen several recipes that one day and mixed them up. That's what happens when folks who don't have cable TV watch several hours of it. They get confused and mixed up. Fortunately, this mix-up was delicious.
 
Bacon, Sausage and Artichoke Stuffing
Serves 10-14

1 1/2 loaves of french bread, make sure it's a bit stale and hard, cubed
celery, lots of it, like 5 stalks, chopped
1 small white onion, chopped fine
1 jar of artichoke bottoms, chopped
3 hot Italian sausage links
4-5 slices of bacon, chopped
Parmesan cheese, grated
chicken stock
thyme
rosemary
sage
salt and pepper
butter

1) Cook the bacon, and set aside. Cook onions in bacon fat for 5 or so minutes. 
2) Add sausage and celery and cook through. About 5 minutes.
3) Combine all the ingredients together.
4) Season with salt, pepper and herbs to taste. Add stock. Don't add too much stock, you want the bread to be moist, not soaking. You want it to get nice and crunchy when you bake it.
5) Butter your casserole dish and fill it with the stuffing (I had to use two dishes). Sprinkle with Parmesan. 
6) Bake at 350 degrees for about 40 minutes.

Before baking this, I also add some turkey juices on top for additional flavor. 

I really love this stuffing. And am glad I mixed up some recipes and came up with it. 

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