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The Best Stuffing for Turkey Day

thanksgiving stuffing made by the unprocess with bacon, leeks, mushrooms, and tarragon

Photo courtesy of the lovely Dorothy Reinhold at Shockingly Delicious.

If you’re at all like me, right now your house is filled with stacks of cookbooks and magazines earmarked with your favorite Thanksgiving dishes.  You’re in the midst of coordinating out-of-town guests and making cute little table settings and other decorations for the big day.  Thanksgiving is one of my favorite days of the year because I get to eat one of my favorite foods on the planet. . . stuffing.  I love stuffing.  I love it more than cranberry sauce, candied yams, mashed potatoes, or even turkey.  Stuffing is my ultimate favorite.

So, you should have imagined my delight when I RSVP’d to the Food Bloggers Los Angeles‘ most recent event.  Andrew Wilder of Eating Rules, was hosting a Thanksgiving Supper at his house the first weekend of November.  Despite the 85-degree day, and waking up at 5:30 am to toast bread in the oven, I was a little squealy pig at the thought that I’ll get to eat stuffing TWO times this year!  Hip hip hooray.

So today, I bring you one of my favorite stuffing recipes with just enough time to modify your menu if you had planned to do the normal Stove Top varietal.  Hey, Stove Top is great stuff.  Can’t go wrong with dried bread, celery, warm, savory turkey broth, high fructose corn syrup, hydrolyzed soy protein, MSG, partially hydrogenated soybean oil.  Wait, say what?  Stove Top is what we’ve come to know and love as a great American standby.  But, over time, it has been stuffed with preservatives, corn derivatives, and flavor enhancers.  My stuffing has none of that.

Leeks, bacon, shitake mushrooms, and tarragon are the main flavors in this dish and they are not to be missed.  For the bread, I chose a loaf from a local bakery that has a booth at the Calabasas Farmer’s Market.  And for the bacon, I selected Applegate Farms Organic Sunday bacon.  I researched the company thoroughly and was happy about their turkey and chicken farming and impressed by their transparency.  However, I was unable to find some hard facts or a film about how they treat their hogs.  I’m going to follow up with some emails to find out more and keep you posted.  The main questions I like answered when I’m eating meat are: what was it fed? what were it’s living conditions prior to slaughter?  what are your slaughtering practices?  If there are any other questions you’d like me to ask Applegate, please let me know and I’d be happy to include them in my email.

But, for now stuffing, stuffing, stuffing.  I hope this beloved dish makes its way into your Turkey Day hearts.  Gobble Gobble!

the unprocess stuffing in the foreground A great event with my stuffing in the foreground.  If you want to get the recipes for all of the delicious dishes that surround, go to Dorothy’s page here, that provides links to all of these different LA Food Bloggers.

post signature for the unprocess reading with gratitude, tina

Bacon, Leek, Mushroom, and Tarragon-Scented Stuffing

Serves 10-12
Allergy Egg, Wheat
Meal type Side Dish
Misc Child Friendly, Gourmet, Serve Hot
Occasion Thanksgiving

Ingredients

  • 24 oz hearty, whole wheat bread (cut into small, half inch cubes)
  • 16oz organic smoked bacon (cut into half inch pieces)
  • 7 Cups leeks (chopped, white and light green parts only)
  • 16oz button mushrooms (coarsely chopped)
  • 12oz shitake mushrooms (stemmed and the caps coarsely chopped)
  • 4 Cups celery (coarsely chopped)
  • 4 Tablespoons tarragon (coarsely chopped, plus more for garnish)
  • 2 large organic eggs (beaten to blend)
  • 1 cup organic chicken broth (as needed)

Directions

Step 1
Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Spread the bread cubes over two baking trays and bake until bread is dry, about 15-20 minutes. Allow them to cool and transfer to a large mixing bowl.
Step 2
In a large pot, saute bacon pieces over medium-high heat until crisp. Transfer bacon pieces to a paper towel lined plate and reserve the drippings in the pot.
Step 3
Wit heat still on medium-high, saute the button mushrooms and leeks until soft and deliciously fragrant (about 5 minutes). Add the shitake mushrooms and saute for another 5 minutes. Add celery and saute another five minutes so that celery is still crisp but all other veggies are soft.
Step 4
In the large mixing bowl with dried bread cubes, add the bacon, sauteed vegetable mixture, and tarragon. Add the eggs and stir together until well mixed. Salt and pepper to taste. Transfer the stuffing mixture to a large, well-buttered baking tray (16 x 10 x 2). Add about a half cup to a cup of organic chicken broth until it is well moistened.
Step 5
Place aluminum foil on the top and place in the oven (still at 350 degrees) and bake for 35 minutes. Then, take out, take off the aluminum foil cover, and allow it to bake for another 20 minutes or so. Serve while still warm.

One Response

  1. Oh yeah….that was some gooooooood stuffing! I am contemplating what stuffing to make for my Thanksgiving, and this recipe is tempting me because I know how good it is!

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