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Thanksgiving Recipes: How to Cook Stuffing

Don't just make the same old stuffing, add smoked bacon like Townline BBQ would.

What would a turkey be on Thanksgiving without its faithful side companions? Often more popular than the turkey itself, stuffing, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce and other favorites are staples of the food coma-inducing meal.

We've already covered a few other side dishes; in this story, we'll look at stuffing.

Cornbread stuffing with pecans and smoked bacon
East Hampton, N.Y., Chef Joe Realmuto's recipe for some hearty stuffing was inspired by Townline BBQ. Serves 12—or enough to stuff a 12- to 15-pound turkey.

Ingredients

  • 12 cups 1-inch chunks stale, cornbread
  • 6 slices stale, white bread, cut into 1/2-inch cubes 
  • 2 cups chopped toasted pecans
  • 1/2 cup chopped parsley
  • 1 pound smoked bacon, cut 1/2 inch across
  • 2 sticks melted butter
  • 2 large spanish onions, 1/4 inch dice
  • 4 large celery ribs, 1/4 inch dice
  • 1 tablespoon dry sage
  • 1/2 teaspoons dried thyme
  • 6 cups chicken stock
  • 3 extra-large eggs, well beaten 
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper

Directions

  1. Make the cornbread 2 days prior to making cornbread, cut and let to dry along with the white bread to allow it get hard.
  2. Toast the pecans, spread on a baking sheet, put in a  350 degree oven for 10 to 12 minutes, stirring well.
  3. Place the two breads, pecans, and parsley in a very large mixing bowl and set aside.
  4. In a heavy skillet brown the bacon over moderate heat, stirring often, for 12 to 14 minutes until all the drippings render out. Drain the bacon on paper towel.
  5. Heat 1/2 cup of the melted butter in the same skillet for about 1 minute over moderately high heat. Add the onions and celery and cook, stirring often, for 10 to 12 minutes until lightly browned. Add the dried sage and thyme, and cook and stir for 1 to 2 minutes more.
  6. Put the vegetables into the mixing bowl along with the reserved bacon and remaining melted butter and toss well. Add 3 cups of the chicken broth, the eggs, salt, and pepper, and toss well again.
  7. Transfer the dressing to greased baking pan, spreading to the edges, then drizzle the remaining 3 cups chicken broth evenly an top.
  8. Cover with heavy-duty foil and bake for 25 minutes. Stir the dressing well, cover again with foil, and bake for an additional 20 minutes more or until steaming. Serve hot with roast turkey.

Irish Sausage Stuffing

Ingredients

  • 3 medium white onions
  • 3 celery stalks, cut into four pieces
  • 1 loaf stale white bread
  • 1 tablespoon poultry seasoning (Bell's is good)
  • 1 tablespoon celery salt
  • 8 large potatoes, peeled, boiled, drained and cooled
  • 2 pounds ground sausage, cooked, drained and cooled

Directions

Brown the ground sausage thoroughly. Drain and cool.

Peel and quarter the potatoes. Boil until a fork can separate them. Drain and cool.

Dip the stale bread quickly into a bowl of water and then squeeze out all the water.

Alternating the ingredients, begin running everything through the grinder. Grind only once.

In a large bowl, add the celery salt and poultry seasoning along with a couple of dashes of ground black pepper. Mix thoroughly with your hands.

Please note that all cooked ingredients must be cooled before grinding. DO NOT STUFF RAW POULTRY WITH WARM INGREDIENTS.

Need more Thanksgiving dinner recipes? Click here for a list of our favorites.

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