Tuesday, November 16, 2004

Herbed Thanksgiving Stuffing

Somehow I had registered the idea that I had to do my Thanksgiving shopping this weekend but NOT the fact that meant I had to actually cook the Thanksgiving feast next week. It hadn't "clicked" somehow until Rose was talking about it last night. Thank heavens because that send me plunging into my files to make sure I had this recipe and didn't have to check the book out of the library to get it. Then, naturally, I had to share it with my blogging pals.

I realize it's a big claim to say this is the best stuffing ever. However, you have to realize that I'm always searching for the "best ever" way to make something I like and then I quit looking. I'm always going for taste and then simplicity. I have found my favorite biscuits, pumpkin pie, etc. this way. Not only does this stuffing taste like my ideal but it is made in the slow cooker. That's right, the slow cooker. Any Thanksgiving cooks know that oven space is at a premium for this meal and this solves many problems. You can gauge turkey time on an unstuffed bird, you have more room available for other things in the oven, it will stay warm in the slow cooker for a considerable time waiting for everything else to get done ... well, you get the picture. Without further ado, here is the recipe for Herbed Thanksgiving Stuffing. Enjoy!

From Rick Rodger's The Slow Cooker Ready and Waiting Cookbook.

Step 1:
8 tablespoons butter
1 large onion, chopped
3 medium celery ribs, chopped
Saute until softened.

Step 2?
1/2 cup chopped parsley
1-1/2 teaspoons rosemary
1-1/2 teaspoons thyme
1-1/2 teaspoons marjoram
1-1/2 teaspoons sage
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1-1/2 teaspoons salt
Remove onion mixture from heat and stir in above ingredients.

Step 3:
12 packed cups 1" cubes of stale Italian or French bread (about 1 pound)
2 cups turkey or chicken stock
Mix in bread cubes and toss with stock to moisten. Pack lightly into buttered slow cooker. Cover and cook on high for 1 hour. Reduce heat to low and slow-cook until heated through, 3-4 hours. The cooker will keep the dressing at serving temperature for up to 3 hours. I tend to like a moist stuffing and probably would use a bit more stock than above which makes a drier stuffing ... although it's darn good for sopping up gravy that way!

Variations:
Sausage Stuffing - Cook 1 pound bulk pork sausage. Drain. Stir into stuffing during the last hour of cooking.

Mushroom Stuffing: Saute 1-1/2 pounds sliced mushrooms in 4 tablespoons butter until mushrooms have given off liquid and are beginning to brown. Stir into stuffing during last hour of cooking.

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