1 1/4 lb sliced light Polish rye bread, torn into bite-sized pieces
2 large onions, diced
1 bunch celery, diced
1/2 cups turkey, chicken or beef stock
1 tablespoon butter
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 teaspoon caraway seeds
1 lb smoked kielbasa (I used wiejska which has garlic and marjoram), diced
1 teaspoon white pepper
In a large pan, saute celery and onions in butter and olive oil over very low heat until the onions are translucent. Do not brown. Meanwhile, lightly brown the kielbasa. Drain on paper towel lined plates if unnecessary.
Add the celery onion mixture, kielbasa and the to bread cubes in bowl and add the spices.
Combine with egg and stock. Form medium-sized balls. Refrigerate until ready to use, up to overnight.
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.
I think stuffing is my favorite dish at Thanksgiving. Growing up, we never stuffed the turkey or made a separate dish of dressing, we made balls of stuffing we sat round the turkey in the roasting pan and on the rack. That way you get some of the flavor from the turkey but the turkey cooks more evenly than it does when stuffed. My mom still makes a pretty traditional version but over the years I’ve branched out. I’ve made thyme and portobello, oyster, rosemary sage, pecan, crimini mushroom, even Hawaiian bread & Spam. All delicous. This year I went Polish and and used a light rye instead of the usual sandwich bread and kielbasa to add flavor and Polish flare. Baltimore has a sizable Polish-American community (including members of my family) so it was easy to find Polish ingredients for the stuffing but any good supermarket or shop with a European foods section should have it. I was most excited find this sausage at the Broadway Market because I had already planned to season my turkey with garlic and marjoram. I love coordinating flavors and this was one of the best kielbasa I’ve ever had.