Saturday, December 8, 2007

Greg's Mom's Sausage & Oyster Stuffing

Greg's Mom is an excellent cook who makes mouthwatering old-fashioned homestyle meals. She makes this turkey stuffing for Thanksgiving and Christmas, but she leaves out the oysters due to a fairly recently developed shellfish allergy. Greg includes the oysters, and they really do add a special richness to this dresing. He also cooks the stuffing (dressing) in a pan instead of inside the turkey. I appologize for the less-than-exact measurements, but this is one of those recipes where "feel" (or perhaps I should say "taste") is more important than precise amounts. Amazingly, neither Greg nor his mom measure ANYTHING when they make this delicious stuffing - but then again, they've both made it countless times. Go ahead and give it a try the next time you make turkey or otherwise need stuffing. The flavors are simply spectacular!
2 to 2 1/2 loaves white bread (you can also use whole wheat bread)
1 lb (approx.) ground turkey sausage (you can use regular sausage)
1 pint raw oysters, shucked & drained (optional)
1 cup chopped onion
1 cup chopped celery (Greg hates celery so he uses 1 cup chopped bell pepper)
1 can water chestnuts, chopped
1 can mushrooms, chopped
2 apples, cored and diced
2 cans chicken broth (or 2 1/2 cups water)
Celery seed
Rubbed sage
Poultry seasoning
Seasoned pepper

The day before you plan on cooking the stuffing, break the bread into bite sized pieces and place in 1 or two bowls to dry out, "churning" it up from the bottom several times until you're ready to assemble the stuffing.

One hour before stuffing the turkey (or cooking the stuffing, if cooked separately): Sautee the sausage until cooked through and browned, then drain off the grease. Add the onions, celery, water chestnuts, mushrooms and apples, and sautee until the onions and celery soften. Add the Seasonings to taste, and stir well. In a saucepan, bring the chicken broth or water to a bowl. Place the dried-out bread in a very large bowl (a soup pot also works) and pour in enough broth or water to moisten the bread (this should take the 2 cans of broth). Add the sausage mixture and oysters, and stir to combine. Stuff into the turkey and bake your turkey as planned. Or, if you want to bake the stuffing separately, spoon into a large baking pan and bake in a preheated oven at 350 to 375 degrees for about 1 hr or until the top is browned.

Zestfully yours,

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