Monday, November 26, 2007

Thanksgiving stuffing

I had mixed thoughts about this stuffing. The texture was fantastic, it was sorta mooshy on the inside and bready on the outside, fantastic. The mushrooms were, however, overwhelming, and I'm a mushroom lover. I think I'd use a lower mushroom to bread ratio, and perhaps a milder mushroom next time. That said, everyone ELSE looooooved it, so maybe it's just me and creminis. Oh, and i left out the hazelnuts, too, cause Jamie would have boycotted it otherwise. I'm sure they'd be a tasty addition.

hazelnut, sage, and mushroom stuffing

8 cups 1/2-inch cubes of firm white bread such as a Pullman loaf (1 pound)
1 1/2 cups finely chopped shallots (about 8 medium; 10 ounces)
1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, divided
1 1/2 pounds cremini mushrooms, sliced 1/4 inch thick
1 1/2 cups finely chopped celery (from 3 ribs)
2 teaspoons chopped thyme
2 teaspoons finely chopped sage
1/2 cup dry white wine
2 cups hazelnuts (1/2 pound), toasted, any loose skins rubbed off in a kitchen towel, and coarsely chopped
1/2 cup finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
4 cups turkey stock, heated to liquefy if gelled, or reduced-sodium chicken broth
3 large eggs, lightly beaten

Preheat oven to 400°F with racks in upper and lower thirds. Generously butter baking dish. Arrange bread in 1 layer in 2 large shallow baking pans and toast, switching position of pans halfway through baking, until golden and dry, about 15 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl. (Leave oven on.)
Meanwhile, cook shallots in 1 stick butter in a 12-inch heavy skillet over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until softened and golden, about 6 minutes. Add mushrooms, celery, thyme, sage, and 1/2 teaspoon salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until liquid given off by mushrooms has evaporated and mushrooms are browned, 20 to 30 minutes.
Add wine and deglaze skillet by boiling, stirring and scraping up any brown bits, until wine is reduced by about half, about 2 minutes. Transfer to bread in bowl. Add hazelnuts and parsley and toss.
Whisk together stock, eggs, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper, then stir into bread mixture.
Transfer to baking dish and dot top of stuffing with remaining 1/2 stick butter. Bake, loosely covered with a buttered sheet of foil (buttered side down), in lower third of oven 30 minutes, then remove foil and bake until top is browned, about 15 minutes more.

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