Monday, November 16, 2015

Stuffed With Stuffing

Stuffing always takes a supporting role in any holiday dining. Yet, it complements any fowl through, while maintaining  its' own savory flavor. One of the best things about stuffing or filling is that it's easy to create. Novice home chefs can make one as good as experienced home chefs can,

Stuffing is one of the oldest dishes, being invented by the Romans. Look in one of the earliest cookbooks , De re Coquineria and find dressing recipes for chicken,rabbit, pork and even dormouse !(luckily for us stuffed rodents went out of culinary fashion) The French were and still are the biggest makers of stuffing,It was also big in Renaissance England where it was known as farci.The dish got a name change in Victorian England when it was renamed dressing.Jump 100 years to 1972 when  Stovetop Stuffing was invented and changed the way America ate the dish. It was primarily eaten just for Thanksgiving with some families also eating it  for Christmas. Stovetop Stuffing changed all that.It was an easy mix and stuffing could made during any season. Most home chefs usually go for a strictly bread ,however there is also chestnut,rice and sausage based ones too. Stuffing depends mainly on taste. The recipe is flexible, with different kinds of breads and even pretzels being used for texture and a variety of herbs and spices used to vary the flavor.

What is the best dressing? Most people love a bread only stuffing. Many stores just sells loaves that are primarily for the dish. These will have stuffing written on the label and the loaves will be unsliced.This makes it easier for it to tear into workable pieces..  You can also use any other kind of bread. Whole grain is good and imparts a sweet ,  nutty taste that works well with a wild bird like turkey. Stale rolls of any kind work as do braided breads. As for spicing, sage is the number one herb used. Usually a teaspoon or two of dried sage will flavor one recipe. You can also use poultry seasoning too and this can be made at home. It's just a mix of rosemary,thyme, more sage and nutmeg. Before mixing anything soak the bread in chicken broth so  its' "squishy" to manipulate . Eggs are also added as binders to hold everything together..Sauteed chopped celery and onions are also added to give the stuffing a flavor boost too. The mixture should be baked in a butter  greased casserole dish and baked for only forty five minutes.You can stuff the turkey with it but be warned, Many have wound up with salmonella this way, thanks to the bird may have salmonella laden juices that soak into the bread.Wait until both are cooked before you put it in the bird's can be easily microwaved  the day later.

Stuffing is a tasty side that usuallysteals the show. It's an easy dish to make this Thanksgiving. Novice home chefs  give it a try. It's a treat that's worth making!

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