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Video: Turkey stuffing done right

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    >>> options.

    >>> this morning in "today's kitchen," hot chefs amanda hesser and meryl stubs. there seems to be countless turkey recipes to choose from, but we have two that might make your thanksgiving extra special. amanda and meryl are co-founders of the web side food52. good morning, ladies.

    >> good morning.

    >> hey.

    >> stuffing, do you know anybody who doesn't like stuffing?

    >> no.

    >> can't think of a single person.

    >> and if they don't, i don't trust them. these are special stuffings here.

    >> yep.

    >> let's start here first, amanda . now, what is this stuffing that we're going to make?

    >> so, this is a vegetarian stuffing. it's made with holla and traditional vegetables like onions, celery, mushrooms, rosemary and thyme.

    >> why holla bread?

    >> what's great about holla --

    >> can we all say it together now? holla!

    >> this recipe comes from mrs. wheel barrow, an expert on our site. and her husband's vegetarian. i'm going to put this here because we're going to put you to work. challah is great because it's buttery and fluffy and wonderful.

    >> very much like myself.

    >> exactly. so, you're going to mix for us. what we do first is saute the vegetables.

    >> is this stale challah?

    >> it's stale, and that's the trick. with stuffing, you want your bread to be stale or toasted, because then it object soshs the liquid and doesn't fall apart.

    >> and challah's great because it has a lot of butter in it, it's very rich.

    >> we're going to season this a bit.

    >> okay.

    >> then we're going to add a vegetable broth, which is over here.

    >> all right.

    >> yep. and some -- and then the secret ingredient , which is, of course, more butter.

    >> of course!

    >> a whole stick of butter.

    >> yes! that's all right.

    >> there we go. excellent.

    >> this is when it gets really fun.

    >> so, what you want to do with this is we use an iron pan and you press it into the pan, cover it and bake it. and the other trick with stuffing is you want to bake it half covered, and then at the end, uncover it so it gets a crisp top and stays nice in the center.

    >> and what are we making here, sweet potatoes ?

    >> sweet potato and mushroom stuffing. so, the bread's a little different. and you start with these great, homemade garlic croutons. they have sage and rosemary and garlic and olive oil in them. you bake them first.

    >> this recipe comes from melissa v., who is from fort lauderdale , an attorney.

    >> her husband owns a wine store .

    >> oh, nice. so, you've cubed smup sweet potatoes ?

    >> yep, and first goes in the chorizo, which is a smokey sausage, flavored with paprika. and you can get it spicy or mild. so, that's -- here.

    >> some onions?

    >> some onions.

    >> sauteed onions.

    >> right.

    >> and some shiitake mushrooms . i don't want to burn you. which is nice and brown.

    >> and then --

    >> of course --

    >> just half.

    >> just half? why only half?

    >> because you brush the bread with the remaining.

    >> or you could use all of this and melt some more butter.

    >> exactly.

    >> the thing about stuffing, when you think about it, it's just bread, which is like a comforting food to everyone, that you season with your favorite flavors.

    >> and what's this we're putting in here?

    >> chicken stock mixed with an egg.

    >> put it all together.

    >> so you're going to bake it. let's head back this way. can you, in fact, do this in the turkey?

    >> you can, but what we like about both of these recipes is by baking them in the oven, when you uncover them, you get a kris crispy top, which you don't get in the bird.

    >> or you could do some in the bird and some in the oven and mix them together. amanda , meryl , thank you so much.

    >> thank you.

TODAY recipes
updated 11/13/2009 10:20:44 AM ET 2009-11-13T15:20:44

Recipe: Challah, mushroom and celery stuffing

Ingredients
  • large loaf of challah or brioche
  • celery, diced
  • onion, diced
  • cremini mushroom, diced
  • 8-10 sprigs thyme, chopped
  • rosemary, chopped
  • chopped flat leaf parsley
  • vegetable stock, preferably homemade
  • butter
  • melted butter
  • salt
  • black pepper, freshly ground
Preparation

1. Cut the challah into 1-inch cubes. Leave the cubes out on a parchment lined sheet pan on the counter to get stale, at least overnight, and preferably 2 days.

2. Melt 3 oz. of butter in a large heavy saute pan. Saute the onions until wilted, add the herbs, celery and mushrooms and cook until just slightly cooked through.

3. In a large bowl, combine bread cubes, vegetables, melted butter and vegetable stock, and salt and pepper. Test for seasoning and adjust.

4. Press stuffing into a large buttered baking dish. Cover with buttered parchment, and then foil. At this point, the stuffing can be held for several hours, but should be at room temperature before baking.

5. Bake at 350 for 45-55 minutes, the last 10-15 minutes without the foil and parchment to crisp the surface.

Serving Size

Serves 12

Recipe: Ciabatta stuffing with chorizo, sweet potato and mushrooms

Ingredients
  • Ciabatta bread, cubed into 1-inch pieces
  • sage leaves, divided into 4 and 10, chopped
  • rosemary
  • medium red onion, diced
  • sweet potato, small dice (about 1 large potato)
  • shitake mushrooms (or your favorite mix), sliced
  • dried chorizo, small dice
  • 2 - 2.5 cups chicken or turkey stock (or broth)
  • egg
  • melted fat - butter, schmaltz, or turkey drippings
  • salt and pepper
Preparation

1. Preheat the over to 375 degrees.

2. Toss the bread cubes with 4 sage leaves, rosemary, garlic, olive oil, salt and pepper. Spread on baking sheet and bake until golden and toasty. Remove from oven and put in large bowl or container. (They are great for a little snack as you continue with the recipe.)

3. In a large pan, saute the chorizo in a little olive oil until golden. The chorizo is already cooked but it's nice to render the fat and get it a little crispy. Remove chorizo with a slotted soup to the bowl with the bread.

4. Next, saute the mushrooms in the chorizo fat (adding a little olive oil if necessary) and add salt and pepper to taste. Remove to bowl with bread.

5. Next, add some olive oil as the mushrooms most definitely sucked up all the fat. Saute the onion until soft and golden and add salt and pepper to taste. Add to the bowl with the bread.

6. Lastly, saute the sweet potato (adding oil as necessary) and salt and pepper to taste. You don't need to cook the potato through as it will cook in the oven but it's good to get a little color on it.

7. Whisk 2 cups of stock or broth with the egg and salt and pepper. Pour into the bowl of bread, etc., add the remaining sage, 2 tablespoons of the fat, and toss thoroughly until evenly moistened. You may need to add up to an additional 1/2 cup of stock but don't overdo it. You have been seasoning all along but you may want to taste for seasoning and adjust the salt and pepper.

8. Pour into a baking dish — a 9x13 or an oval gratin pan. Cover and refrigerate for at least an hour. This allows the bread to really absorb the stock and makes for a moist interior and crunchy top.

9. Bake covered for 30 minutes. Remove foil, brush top with remaining 2 tablespoons of fat, and bake for 15 more minutes. You may want to broil the top for the last few minutes so the top gets nice and crispy but be sure to watch it carefully.

Serving Size

Serves 6 to 8

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