November 16, 2008

Rosemary and Sage Stuffing Balls

rosemary sage stuffing balls

Ingredients:
25 slices torn sandwich bread
2 large onions, diced
1 bunch celery, diced
1/2 cup chicken or turkey stock
1 tablespoon butter
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 oz fresh sage, torn
2 tablespoons chopped rosemary
8 oz sliced crimini mushrooms
1 teaspoon white pepper


Directions:



In a large pan, saute celery, mushrooms and onions in butter and olive oil over very low heat until the onions are translucent. Do not brown. Add to bread cubes in bowl and add seasoning. Combine with egg and broth. Form medium-sized balls. Refrigerate until ready to use.


Place balls in the bottom of the roasting pan under the rack and around the turkey or chicken on the rack for the last 1/2 hour of roasting and cook until cooked through.


Yield: 8-10 servings

My thoughts:
I made this stuffing when I made my sage roasted chicken but it easily is enough to serve with turkey instead. I love making stuffing balls because you can place them in the roasting pan to absorb the juices (but not all of them, there is often enough leftover to make gravy with) without having to actually stuff the bird which can lead to bacteria growth and food poisoning. It is really my favorite part of roasting a chicken or turkey. In fact I often roast a chicken or an extra turkey during the Winter just so I have an excuse to make (and consume!) vast amounts of stuffing. This particular stuffing is a herby variation on the stuffing my family serves at the holidays. The flavors of the sage and rosemary, while present, are mellowed by the roasting.

16 comments:

  1. These look amazing - I know they'd get gobbled up around here. Might try them before the holidays with a roast chicken!

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  2. These look amazing. I am SO ready for Thanksgiving!

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  3. this looks amazing for thanksgiving! do you use dried bread or fresh?

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  4. Sarah- I always just use fresh sandwich bread.

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  5. Our family is all over the place on stuffing, and over the years I've lost my zest for making the elaborate stuffing I grew up with. Myself, I don't even like it! So your stuffing balls look like the perfect solution - simple, tasty, not too rich, and countable (I know how many people will eat stuffing and how may won't!). So I plan to use your recipe this Thanksgiving.

    QUESTION: How does the "torn sandwich bread" get transformed into "bread cubes" - do you cut the bread into cubes instead of actually tearing it? If so, approximately what size - looks like maybe 1/2"? Do you toast the bread in the oven before adding to the stuffing?

    Thanks - I'm looking forward to springing this recipe on my family this year!

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  6. Anon-it isn't exactly cubes, just bits of torn bread. The directions are exactly as written, nothing is toasted and you can really tear it into any sized bits. I mean nothing terribly huge (you don't want to tear it just in half) but I am certainly not measuring them or concerned if they are uneven. Some are large bits, some are quite small.

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  7. Oops! Forgot to ask if you leave the bread crusts on? Also, how big is a medium-sized ball (golf ball? 1 1/2-inch? 2-inch? larger?).

    Thanks again.

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  8. Anon- Bread crusts on. A medium sized ball- I just form a ball in the palm of my hand. It really comes down to what will fit into your pan and what you think a serving size would be. Golf ball sized probably doesn't make sense as they are supposed to be individual portions. If you click through to the chicken recipe you can see them in the pan with the chicken.

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  9. Thanks, Rachel. I looked at the roast chicken photo and got a better idea of how big the balls should be. Just about the size I thought you meant.

    Am looking forward to doing your recipe this year.

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  10. I'm a big fan of stuffing myself (pun absolutely not intended.) I like how you've done it here - it seems like portion control would be a little easier, making it more difficult for (me) to eat the whole batch.

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  11. I love this idea, as stuffing is so much better when it soaks up the turkey fat and juices, but I don't like filling the turkey cavity as it makes the turkey take so much longer to cook! Will try this soon and report back!

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  12. I made this for my Thanksgiving, and I have to tell you that it is one of the best stuffings I've ever had the pleasure of making. Thanks so much for sharing this recipe!

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  13. Stuffing is wonderful, and my mother always made much more than could be put in the bird. The extra would go in a casserole dish and be called dressing. Everyone wanted the stuffing, rather than the dressing.

    While I have to admit to not getting too worried about bacteria from a stuffed bird (I've eaten so much of it and have been lucky so far, and watched so many others do the same ; ). However, I have recently realized how juicy and crispy a bird that is not stuffed can be. I LOVE THIS IDEA. I see the opportunity for stuffing (not just dressing) AND the crisp juicy bird. Thanks for the idea!

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