Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Heidi's Stuffing

I love this stuffing.
Oh my goodness. It's 1:09 on Thanksgiving morning, 2012, and I'm up blogging as my sister-in-law and I wait for an apple pie to bake. So many fun (and not so fun) food-related memories this year. I'll have to let things settle and then perhaps write about some more. Suffice it to say, I'm even more neurotic about food than I'd previously believed. Yikes.
At any rate, my WHOLE family has been coming out to enjoy Thanksgiving out here in Iowa for the past three years. It's become quite the tradition, and the holiday my kids most look forward to. Yeah, I know. They love it even more than Christmas because they get to have their cousins come for a five-day sleep over. It doesn't get much better than that for a 10 and 11 year old.
I love the food. I love that my sister-in-law Heidi makes this dressing/stuffing every year. Tomorrow I don't even know if I'm going to bother with eating any turkey. I think I might just eat this with gravy and Grandma Kelly's Rolls with butter. Mmmmm... so, so tasty. I love this stuff. It's very salty and flavorful with the sage sausage, pistachios, and seasonings. I can't even do it justice with a description (especially at 1:14 A.M.).
Time for bed. I'll probably get some better pics tomorrow as well, when the sun is shining and I'm more alert.
Happy Thanksgiving!

(Heidi's) Aunt Beth’s Stuffing

  • 1/2 pound chestnuts in shell (or 1 1/2 cups pre roasted jarred chestnuts)
  • 1 cup pistachios, shelled
  • 1 1/2 pounds Jimmy Dean Sage Sausage
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup celery, chopped
  • 1 cup onion, chopped
  • 1 large loaf French bread, stale & cubed
  • 1/4 cup chopped parsley
  • 2 teaspoons poultry seasoning, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon sage powder
  • 3/4 to 1 cup half and half 
  • 1/2 to 3/4 cup chicken stock/broth
Preheat oven to 325˚ Fahrenheit.
If bread is not already stale, cut into 1” cubes and toast in 325˚ oven for about 25 minutes, or until lightly browned.
If roasting your own chestnuts make an “x” on the op of each chestnut. Place on a baking sheet and roast in 325˚oven for 20 minutes. When chestnuts are cool (or you remove them from the jar) cut them up into rough 1/4 inch pieces.
In a skillet over medium high heat, brown the sausage, keeping the rendered liquid/drippings, but removing the browned sausage to a large bowl while you sauté the vegetables.
Sauté celery and onion in the sausage drippings until soft. Add garlic and seasonings and cook another minute. Deglaze the pan with about half a cup of the broth, scraping up the browned goodness.
Combine the sausage, vegetables, bread, pistachios, chestnuts, and parsley in a large bowl. Pour half and half and broth/stock over mixture as you stir. Pour in as much as you need to get the desired level of moisture.
Pour mixed stuffing into a greased 9x13 inch baking pan.
Bake in 350˚ oven for about 25 minutes, or until heated through and browned on top.
Dressing may be made a day ahead of time, cooled and stored covered in refrigerator. Reheat in 350˚ oven for 30-45 minutes.

Makes about 12 servings

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