Legend has it, that this was my great grandmother’s Turkey Stuffing recipe. It is also the only recipe we enjoy from the Irish side of our family. My dad has made this stuffing for Thanksgiving since the beginning of time. Or as long as I can remember, which is when he will tell you that I used to eat around the onions, mushrooms, and celery.
MY TASTES HAVE CHANGED SINCE I WAS 7, DAD.
And when he doesn’t make this stuffing, exactly as it should be, I complain. Which is the duty of a child when their parents stray from tradition. I take my duties as a child very seriously.
When the cooking of Thanksgiving for Chad’s family fell to me, I knew that this would be the stuffing I would make. All the other menu items were open plates, waiting to be filled with recipes I had yet to find. I’ve never even researched or looked at another stuffing recipe because to do so would be blasphemous. (Dad, I hope you are taking notes).
The only thing I couldn’t wrap my mind around was stuffing a dead bird. I already had to touch it and pull things out of its cavities (well, I made Chad do that, but still) there was no way I was putting a delicious bread and sausage stuffing INSIDE of that thing and then trusting myself not to kill everyone with salmonella or something worse.
Fortunately, the interwebs offered me another solution: the Crockpot. I’ve modified the recipe since I started using the crockpot and it turns out amazing all the time. But I mean, really, how can you mess up bread, butter, and sausage? Answer: You can’t.
- ~1 lb stuffing bread (or a bag of plain stuffing bread from the local grocery store)
- 1 lb Sausage*
- 1/2 c + 1 TBS butter
- 2 c mushrooms, washed and sliced
- 4 stalks celery, washed and diced
- 2 med onions, diced
- 3 eggs, lightly beaten
- 2-4 c chicken or turkey stock
- 1-2 c white wine
- 1/3 c pine nuts
- 4 Cloves of Garlic
- 2 TBS Thyme
- 2 TBS Sage
- 1 TBS Pepper
- 1 tsp Salt
*Note: The original recipe calls for Italian Sausage, but I don’t like biting into a tiny piece of fennel. Blech. Tradition? I’m the kid, I can change the tradition. Parents can’t. In case you were wondering.
In a pan over medium heat, brown sausage. Add to crockpot. Top with a handful or two of dried bread. Set crockpot to medium and cover.
Melt butter however you please. In a small mixing bowl lightly beat eggs, add thyme, sage, pepper, salt, 2 cups chicken stock, and melted butter.
In the same pan you browned the meat, add 1 TBS butter and cook onions, celery, mushrooms, and garlic until soft and fragrant. Cook in batches if necessary. Add each batch to crockpot. Cover with another handful or two of dried bread. Pour liquid concoction over the whole thing. Cover.
Stir mixture every 30 minutes to keep from sticking to the bottom and sides. Add more liquid (stock or white wine) if necessary. As mixture softens, add more dried bread until all bread is added.
Once you remove turkey from the oven, remove stuffing from the crock pot and put into a baking dish and top with pine nuts. Place dish in the oven on 300-400 (whatever is needed for other dishes is fine) for 30 minutes or until top is golden-brown.