I’ve always loved my Mom’s turkey stuffing, a spicy bread mixture made with the giblets and a blend of rosemary, sage and thyme. But hubby and the kids are not fond of organ meats, so stuffing has not been a popular dish at our Christmas table in recent years. This year I thought I would try something a little different, and hopefully hit on a recipe everybody likes. Here are some of the options I am considering. Maybe you’ll find one your family will enjoy too!
Stuffing Made with Nuts and Fruits
Chestnuts are often a main ingredient in stuffing recipes. If you are a traditionalist looking for something just a little different this year, try Good Food’s Apricot Hazelnut Stuffing – made into serving sized balls and baked instead of cooked in the cavity of your turkey. There is also a comment that talks about substituting chestnuts, and adding in sweet spices like nutmeg and cinnamon. I think I may try both variations!
The Pear Hazelnut Stuffing from About.com also looked delicious, as did the more spicy Hazelnut Mole from Epicurious. Meat lovers will want to take a gander at their Hazelnut Stuffing recipe too. It doesn’t sound like it from the name – but with sausage, chicken breast and ham in it, you could make this stuffing as a meal in itself!
Shhhh, don’t tell my family the Sausage, Apple and Cranberry Stuffing from AllRecipes.com has turkey liver in it! Do you think if I chop the liver very finely, they won’t notice? OK, I know it’s a stretch. If that doesn’t work, maybe I’ll try this Wild Rice, Apple and Cranberry Stuffing from Epicurious instead. Mom sometimes adds rice to her stuffing, so I like the idea of trying something similar. It uses a lot of the same vegetables and seasonings, too.
Absolutely Over the Top Stuffing Recipes
For a really extraordinary meal, sure to impress your family and guests, think Cajun Crawfish stuffing, made with cornbread, creole seasonings and chopped bell peppers. Or maybe you’re doing Christmas dinner for two? Try a chicken or turkey breast, with Spinach and Mandarin Stuffing and a tarragon orange sauce. My mouth is watering already! And not to worry about being busy throughout the holidays, because this last recipe can even be prepared in the microwave. A perfect treat for the young couple in their first apartment, or for the student who can’t get home at the holidays this year.
Turkey Stuffing Safety
Turkey stuffing is safest if cooked up in a separate baking dish, or on the stove top. If you do this, you can put a little lemon juice and seasonings, and some chopped carrots, onions and celery into the turkey cavity. If you want to go traditional, be sure to check the internal temperature of the stuffing and the turkey separately. Your turkey thigh should be at least 180ºF (80ºC) and the stuffing needs to be at least 165ºF (75ºC.)