I have to be honest, I am not a huge Thanksgiving food person – never really have been. Thanksgiving to me was always more about family than the food and our family being extremely close didn’t need a holiday excuse to get together. I also eat Thanksgiving staples throughout the year when I feel like it so having it one more day really does not make a huge difference. Don’t get me wrong, I am truly thankful to our forefathers for helping to shape our nation but I’ll take my turkey and stuffing throughout the year and not just on Thanksgiving. That being said, I do have a personal affinity for stuffing. I love it as a side throughout the year and will often mix up a batch of simple gluten-free stuffing for a hearty side with dinner.
After having an early Thanksgiving with my Mother, who made her famous stuffing, many of you were asking for the recipe. So, just in time for Thanksgiving, here it is. Now while Mom’s is definitely a bit more elaborate than what I typically make – it is still pretty fast and simple to make and takes plain gluten-free stuffing to the next level.
- 12 oz. seasoned stuffing cubes (Aleia’s is a personal favorite)
- ¾ lb. Jimmy Dean’s Original sausage
- 1 lg. onion chopped small
- 4 stalks celery chopped small
- 2 cups chicken broth
- 1 ½ tsp. of poultry seasoning
- 1 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce (to taste)
- ¾ cup raisins
- 1 lg. Gala apple chopped small
- 3 tbsp. butter or margarine
Optional: Pignoli nuts
In a large skillet melt butter over medium heat. Add sausage, onion, celery, poultry seasoning, and Worcestershire sauce and sauté until onions become translucent. Stir in apples and raisins. Add stuffing cubes. Reduce heat and add chicken broth. Simmer over low heat until all broth is absorbed (but mixture is still moist).
Now there will always be the debate of whether to cook the stuffing inside or outside of the turksy but it comes down to personal preference. Mom recommends cooking inside the turkey (and trust me at our early Thanksgiving this year it turned out amazing). Mom always bakes any additional stuffing that does not fit in the bird in a well-buttered baking dish. You can then mix the stuffing from the bird with any baked separately before serving. If you are baking separately, just keep an eye on the stuffing while it bakes along with your bird. Once the top is crispy you can remove from the oven.
To give the stuffing a Sicilian flair (Mom is Sicilian), my mother also from time to time includes pignoli nuts in the mix. A couple of handfuls does the trick and adds another level of complexity to the dish.
Recipe is perfect for a 14 to 16 lb. turkey.