Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Sourdough Apple Currant Sage Dressing


Sour Dough Apple Current Sage Dressing

“If one consults enough herbalist...every sickness known to humanity will be listed as being cured by sage.” Varro Taylor (herb expert)


This dressing may be prepared the day before and considering the amount of work that goes on Turkey Day, it’s a very good idea to prepare a day ahead and store in two 2-½ gallon Ziploc bags. Under-salt the dressing if it’s cooking in a brined bird. This dressing may also be used on any fowl or with pork. This recipe is enough for one 25 pound turkey. Preparation time is about an hour. Under salt the dressing if it’s cooking in a brined bird as the brining has salt in it. (Read notes) Do not include any uncooked meat products in the dressing as the key to turkey cooking time removes the turkey from the oven at 140 F which may not insure safe food practices. This dressing may also be used on any fowl or with pork.

Enough for one 29-pound Turkey. Preparation Time: About an Hour

5 stalks fresh celery, diced
2 yellow onions3, peeled, diced
6 Roma Apples, cored, peeled, diced
12-ounce box of currents (like small raisins)
1 pound of golden raisins
½ ~ 1 pound of raisins
1 ½ ~ 2 loafs of extra sourdough bread1, plastic wrapped,
processed with food processor to medium breadcrumbs.
4~5 sticks of melted sweet butter
1 ½~2 tablespoons black pepper
Salt to taste (under salt if using a brined turkey)
3~4 tablespoons4 of ground sage (to taste)

Use a really giant bowl or use a stock pot. Make bread crumbs out of the sour dough bread a little at a time and process in the food processor not too fine. Peel and coarsely pre-chop onions and process in the food processor not too fine. Coarsely pre-chop the celery and process in the food processor not too fine. Peel and core apples and process in the food processor to raisin sized chunks or slightly larger. Add all other ingredients and mix well. Taste the blend. Add more sage if needed. Under salt the dressing if it’s cooking in a brined bird as the brining has salt in it. Tightly pack dressing into the neck cavity and main cavity of the bird. Follow directions for roasting a dressed turkey. Do not add any form of un-cook meat to dressing.  Any roasting error could prevent the internal temperature from reaching a sufficiently high temperature to kill any bacteria present. I suggest using a direct indicating thermometer stuck deep in the bird insuring that the internal temperature exceeds 140oF for at least 10 minutes. If you are preparing the dressing the day ahead, remove the dressing from the refrigerator the same time as the turkey, allowing it to come up to room temperature, if possible; failing to do so may make it damn cold to handle the dressing.

Cook any extra dressing in the oven in a tightly cover chaffing or casserole dish for 1 hour at 350F. (Add extra salt to extra stuffing not cooked in the bird, if needed, if you under salted for a brined turkey.)

Notes:
  1. I do not use dry breadcrumbs or stale bread, as it is too difficult to chop in the food processor. Sour dough bread that is wrapped (either sliced or whole loaf) being a little moister make good bread crumbs in the food processor and does not require re-hydration. Buy the bread ahead of time so it is not sold out the week of Thanksgiving.
  2. Do not add any form of un-cook meat to dressing. Any roasting error could prevent the internal temperature from reaching a sufficiently high temperature to kill any bacteria present.
  3. White onion as a substitute.
  4. Do not be alarmed about quantity of sage, that is not a “typo”.


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