A favorite stuffing recipe from former Yankee editor Leslie Land. She described it as "stuffing chockfull of assorted textures and flavors, fruits and nuts, a thrill-studded savory bread pudding rich with meat and sweet wine."
Recipe yields enough to thoroughly stuff a 15-pound turkey, with a bit left over.
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- 10 cups firm white bread, cut into l -inch cubes
- 1 cup milk, approximately
- 1/2 to 3/4 cup butter
- 1/2 pound kielbasa or other garlic sausage, cut into small dice
- 2 large onions, diced, about 4 cups
- 1-1/4 cups diced celery
- 3/4 pound mushrooms, cut in large dice, about 3 cups
- 1/2 cup Madeira or Tawny Port
- 2 large cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 cup minced parsley
- 1-1/2 tablespoons minced fresh thyme or 1-1/2 teaspoons dried
- 1-1/2 teaspoons dried sage leaves, rubbed to powder
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- 1/2 cup raisins
- 1/2 cup dried apricots, cut into small dice
- 1 cup pecans, broken into large pieces
- 2 pounds chestnuts, roasted and peeled, or 2 cups vacuum-packed roasted, peeled chestnuts, broken into large pieces
- salt and cracked pepper to taste
- 2 lightly beaten eggs
Instructions:Spread the bread on a cookie sheet and let it dry out overnight. Place it in a large bowl, pour 1 cup milk over, and toss lightly. Set aside.
Melt 1/2 cup butter in a wide skillet over medium heat. Add the sausage and cook, stirring often, until the meat is lightly browned. Remove it with a slotted spoon and add it to the bread. Cook the onions, stirring occasionally, until translucent and limp but not browned. Remove them to the bread bowl, using the slotted spoon. Cook and remove the celery the same way. There should still be a generous film of fat in the pan; if not, add butter. Raise heat to medium high, add the mushrooms and cook, stirring often, until browned.
Add the mushrooms to the bread bowl and pour the wine into the skillet. Stir it around to loosen all the browned bits, then pour into the bread bowl. Add seasonings, fruit, and nuts and toss madly until all is combined. Taste, adjust seasonings, then stir/toss in the eggs. Add more milk only if very dry.