Recipe Day: Fruity Apple Stuffing

Some people call it dressing.  Our family calls it stuffing, which makes sense as that is exactly what you do with it, stuff it in the bird.  Whatever you call it, it is hands down my favorite item on the holiday table. This recipe is a tweaked version of the one that was made by my mom, and her mother before–and who knows how many generations before that.  My hubby likes to add some things to make it a bit more interesting, and voila–fruity stuffing was born.

We prefer to cook our stuffing in the bird, and have been doing so for years with no problem.  Food safety experts have recommended cooking stuffing outside of the bird since it can be difficult to ensure that the stuffing reaches the proper temperature of 165 degrees.  If you prefer to cook outside of the turkey, just pop it in the when you pull the turkey out to rest.  You should also add about 1/2 cup broth to the mixture so that it doesn’t dry out if you prefer a moister stuffing.  Cover tightly and bake for about 40 minutes at 350. This recipe would generously fill a 9 1/2 x 11 dish.

Fruity Apple Stuffing

  • 1 loaf sliced potato bread (such as Martin’s), cut into cubes
  • small loaf artisan type bread of your choosing, cut into cubes–my husband likes wheat with walnuts.  A chewy type bread contrasts nicely with the soft potato bread
  • 4 ribs celery, chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped onion
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1 loaf sliced potato bread (such as Martin’s), cut into cubes
  • small loaf artisan type bread of your choosing, cut into cubes–my husband likes wheat with walnuts.  A chewy type bread contrasts nicely with the soft potato bread
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/2 golden raisins
  • 3 granny smith apples, peeled and cut into cubes
  • 3 minced garlic cloves
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp. Poultry Seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon sage
  • 1 teaspoon rosemary
  • 1 teaspoon thyme
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper

I usually brown my turkey (slathered with a little butter) first at 425 while I am putting together the stuffing (this usually takes about 20 minutes).  Then I pull it out of the oven, reduce the temperature to 325 degrees, stuff it, cover with foil and let it cook for about 18 minutes per pound longer (thigh meat should be 165 degrees).

Melt butter in a large saute pan over medium heat.  Add onions and celery and cook until soft, about 7 minutes. You will need a very large bowl to hold and mix all the remaining ingredients.  Place bread cubes, cranberries, raisins, pecans, apples, garlic and spices into bowl and combine until evenly mixed. Beat together eggs and chicken broth and pour over bread mixture, mixing well.  Next add onions and celery. The mixture will be soft, but should still be relatively firm and not mushy.  If it seems very wet, you can add more bread to soak up some of the moisture.

Next place the stuffing mixture into the turkey (make sure that you remove all of the giblets and parts from within the cavity first).   It is very important not to pack overly tightly into the cavity.  You should also leave at least an inch or so space between the stuffing and the interior of the bird.  The stuffing will expand when cooking and this helps to circulate the hot air around it.  If I have extra stuffing, I just put it in a casserole dish, put it in the fridge and cook it after I take the turkey out to rest.

Once the turkey is cooked, I remove the stuffing immediately and cover until ready for serving.  Gobble Gobble!

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