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Rania’s Recipes: Apple & Bread Stuffing, Cornbread & Sausage Stuffing

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(Photo Courtesy of Rania Harris)

(Photo Courtesy of Rania Harris)

Thanksgiving is only a couple weeks away, but Rania Harris is here to help you with another delicious recipe!

Apple and Bread Stuffing

  • 12 cups cubed Ciabatta bread
  • 1 stick unsalted butter
  • 2 ½ cups chopped onions
  • 2 cups chopped celery
  • 2 cups dry sherry
  • 2 Granny Smith apples ~ unpeeled ~ cored and diced large
  • 1 ½ tablespoons chopped fresh sage
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
  • ½ cup sliced blanched almonds
  • 1½ cups chicken stock ~ or more if needed (homemade is preferable)
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 3 large eggs – beaten to blend

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 9x13x2-inch glass baking dish.

Place bread cubes on a parchment lined baking pan and bake in the oven for about 10 minutes ~ to toast them slightly. I always use day old bread. Place the toasted cubes in a large bowl and proceed with the recipe.

Melt butter in heavy large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onions and celery to skillet; sauté until vegetables are soft and golden, about 10 minutes. Add sherry, apples, sage, parsley and rosemary; cook until fruit is tender and liquid is reduced to 1/3 cup, about 7 minutes.

Add this mixture, along with the almonds to bread cubes; stir to blend. Stuffing can be prepared 1 day ahead. Cover and refrigerate. Add stock to stuffing; season with salt and pepper. Mix in beaten eggs. If stuffing appears to be dry, add a bit more stock.

Transfer stuffing to prepared baking dish. Cover and bake for 30 minutes. Uncover and bake until top begins to crisp, about 25 minutes longer.

Serves: 10

Cornbread and Sausage Stuffing

  • For a 16- to 20-pound turkey
  • ½ cup dry white wine
  • ¼ cup chopped dried apricots
  • ¼ cup raisins
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil or butter
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 large stalk celery, chopped
  • 5 shallots, chopped
  • 1 pound spicy sausage, casing removed, broken into bite size pieces
  • 1 large clove garlic, minced
  • 3 sprigs rosemary ~ leaves finely chopped
  • 10 sage leaves ~ finely chopped
  • ¼ cup local honey
  • 1 pound chestnuts, roasted and shelled, or jarred ones with no liquid
  • 2 cups dried cherries
  • 10 cups stale cornbread – cut into 1-inch cubes
  • Sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper to taste
  • 3 to 4 cups chicken stock (homemade is preferable)

Directions:

Soak apricots and raisins in wine for 20 minutes.

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high. Cook onion, celery and shallot until soft. Add sausage and sauté until cooked through. Pour off all but a little of the fat. Stir in garlic and herbs. Cook 1 minute. Stir in honey and the wine/fruit mixture and cook over high heat for two minutes. Remove from heat.

Turn mixture in skillet into a bowl and add remaining ingredients. When adding in the chicken stock, add enough to make for a very moist mixture. Season to taste.

I prefer to roast my turkey un-stuffed and heat my stuffing in a greased casserole in a 350 degree oven until hot through. Be sure to cover the casserole with buttered foil to prevent the stuffing from sticking to the foil.

ROASTING DIRECTIONS FOR FRESH TURKEYS:

Set oven temperature at 350 degrees

WEIGHT: ROASTING TIME:

8 – 12 LBS. 2 – 2 ½ HOURS

12 – 16 LBS. 2 ½ – 3 ¼ HOURS

16 – 20 LBS. 3 ¼ – 3 ¼ HOURS

20 – 24 LBS. 3 ¾ – 4 ½ HOURS

Add 1/2 hour for stuffed turkeys

Roast turkey in uncovered pan at 350 degrees for time indicated on the roasting chart. When turkey is golden brown, place a tent of foil over the turkey loosely to avoid over-browning

We highly recommend the use of both oven thermometers and meat thermometers. Insert the meat thermometer into the breast not touching the bone – a reading of 174 – 176 degrees means the turkey is done

Due to possible variance in oven thermometers we strongly recommend that all ovens be checked at least once every 3 months. The average household may find an oven thermostat variance as high as 100 degrees.

Carving: after removing turkey from the oven, allow it to set for at least 30-40 minutes before carving. Not only will the meat slice much easier, but this time will permit the juices to be absorbed evenly, resulting in a tender, more tasty turkey.

Turkey tender: these timers are programmed to activate when the turkey reaches the proper internal temperature, 174 – 176 degrees. If it has not activated with 1/2 hour from scheduled roasting time, remove the turkey from the oven and check for doneness.

Stuffing heating directions: The USDA recommends cooking your stuffing outside of the turkey and making sure that it reaches a temperature of 165 °F even when cooked outside the bird. Place the stuffing (covered) in a 350 degree oven and heat for about 30 – 40 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 165 °F.

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