Chris' Recipes

Bon Appetite!

Corn Bread Stuffing

Written By: Chris - Dec• 11•13

Since we just got through another Holiday of traditional eats, I thought we could discuss stuffing.  It’s a long time favorite side dish to turkey dinners and is basically a Thanksgiving essential!  I am pretty sure that I grew up in a house where the stuffing was always inside the turkey, but many people bake their stuffing separately in a casserole dish, often called “dressing”.  Actually, I think my mom did it both ways because there were so many of us to feed that what was inside wasn’t enough.  People often wonder “to stuff the bird, or not”!

I haven’t put much thought into stuffing ours over the past few years because frankly, I just think it is a little gross.  Have you looked inside the carcass?  I have and believe that as a turkey cooks, its juices (that could actually contain salmonella) might absorb into the stuffing if it’s inside the bird!  I really can’t be so sure that the filling deep inside the cavity would actually reach the necessary temperatures to kill any potentially harmful bacteria’s, so I just don’t.

Anyways, whether or not you stuff, there are basically very few components to making it.  The main ingredients are dried bread, vegetables and spices.  You can change-up the breads; add meat, fruit or whatever makes you happy! I prefer cornbread in ours.

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Ingredients: 

1 lb. Ground Beef, 80/20
1 Onion, medium chopped
3 Stalks Celery, chopped fine
1 8X8 pan Corn Bread, cubed and dried
1 Package Herb Flavored Stuffing Mix
2 Cups Chicken Stock, homemade
1 Tablespoon Better than Bullion, Chicken
1/4 Cup Butter, melted
Salt & Pepper, to taste

I’ve had stuffing over the years by various hosts that has been soggy.  The result is completely understandable given that bread is porous and absorbs the moisture of the bird as it cooks inside.  What I find odd though, is that stuffing a turkey can actually dry out the meat!  I didn’t think it would, but my friend Heather stuffed her bird this year and though she swears by the flavors of her stuffing inside the bird, she was disappointed in the dryness of the meat.

heathers bird

I call my version of stuffing semi-homemade.  I started with a package of store-bought pre-seasoned package of cubed bread.  I also bought a wonderful pan of fresh corn bread that almost tasted like cake from the local Cub.  Cut up the cornbread into cubes and allow it to dry out over night on baking sheet.

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Cook the ground beef and chopped onions over medium-high heat until the meat is browned.  Drain access fat and add celery cooking an additional six to eight minutes, stirring occasionally, until soft.

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Gently toss celery mixture with all of the remaining ingredients, including the chopped herbs until bread cubes are evenly coated.

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If you’re into that sort of thing, stuff into your turkey; or you can do what I do and bake the stuffing separately.

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Place into a greased casserole or baking dish, cover with foil and bake at 325 degrees for 30 minutes.  Remove foil and bake uncovered for about 15 minutes longer to brown and crisp up the top.

Enjoy!
Cheers!
~Chris

 

 

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