Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Sourdough Apple Currant Sage Dressing

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

Oh my! Turkey day is almost upon us !

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.

5 Ribs fresh celery, chopped
2 Spanish (yellow) onions, peeled, chopped
6 Red Delicious cored, peeled, chopped
10 to 12 Ounces currants
1 Pound of golden raisins
½ Pound of raisins
1 ½ ~ 2 Loafs of extra sourdough bread1, plastic wrapped, processed with food processor to medium bread crumbs (about 48 ounces (3 pounds)
4 Or more sticks of melted unsalted butter
1 ½~2 Tablespoons black pepper
Salt to taste (under salt if using a brined turkey)
3~4 Tablespoons of ground sage (to taste)

Use a really giant bowl or use a stock pot.
Make bread crumbs out of the sourdough bread
Chop onions, celery, apples in a food processor not too fine
Combine onions, celery, apples, bread crumbs, and all other ingredients except the butter and mix well
Add 3 sticks of melted butter and blend

Taste the dressing. Add more sage, pepper, salt and butter as needed.
Dressing Usage:
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 160 F for at least 20 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.
Cooking Extra Dressing:
Cook any extra dressing in the oven in a tightly covered chaffing or casserole dish for 45 to 60 minutes at 350 F. (Add extra salt to extra stuffing not cooked in bird, if needed, if you under salted for a brined turkey.) Dressing is done, when it tastes done. Dressing may be reheated as required.

1. Do not use dry bread crumbs or stale bread as it’s too difficult to chop in the food processor. Sourdough bread that is wrapped (either sliced or whole loaf) being a little moister makes good bread crumbs in the food processor and does not require re-hydration.

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