Try A Trio Of Stuffings For Your Bird This Year Try A Trio Of Stuffings For Your Bird This Year - 27 East

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Try A Trio Of Stuffings For Your Bird This Year

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Seasonal Chef

  • Publication: Food & Drink
  • Published on: Nov 13, 2019
  • Columnist: Janeen Sarlin

Thanksgiving turkey is traditionally stuffed with either white or corn bread combined with onions, celery, sage, and sausage, giblets, or oysters. If you aren’t afraid of changing a popular custom why not substitute barley, rice, or grains for the bread for this year’s menu? Because I can’t decide which of the following recipes I’ll use to stuff the turkey, I will make all three this week and leave the selection until Thanksgiving Eve, one for the stuffing and another as a side dish for the big dinner and the remaining dish will be the main course for dinner that night with a salad, cheese, bread and fresh pears for dessert.

Each recipe can be done ahead up to the point that is noted in each recipe, cooled to room temperature, then refrigerated or frozen. If the stuffing is frozen, defrost in the refrigerator overnight. Add the fresh ingredients such as oysters and herbs, taste and correct the seasoning just before stuffing the turkey. Two key food safety points to remember about stuffing: 1. Do not stuff the turkey until minutes before putting it in the oven. 2. Remove the hot stuffing soon after the turkey is done. Transfer to a serving bowl and keep hot. Bon stuffing appetit!

Fruited Barley Stuffing With Herbs

2 cups barley

4 cups water

2 cups chicken or vegetable stock

4 ounce piece salt pork

1/2 cup pitted prunes, soaked in chicken broth

1/2 cup sundried cranberries

1/2 cup dried apricots

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 large onion, chopped

1 stalk celery, chopped

1 bunch flat leaf parsley, chopped (about 1/2 cup)

1/4 cup chopped fresh thyme

1/4 cup chopped fresh sage leaves

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

To prepare:

Wash and check over the barley. Place in large heavy saucepan over moderate heat, cover with water and stock. Cook covered for 30 minutes. Add the salt pork, reduce the heat, and simmer until the barley is tender and the liquid is absorbed, about 1 hour.

Meanwhile, in a skillet over moderately high heat, coat the bottom of the pan with oil and sauté onion and celery until soft and translucent. Add the prunes, cranberries, apricots, chopped fresh herbs, and stir well. Taste and correct the seasonings. When the barley is cooked, remove the salt pork and transfer the barley to a large bowl. Stir in the fruit and onion mixture, let cool to room temperature. Transfer to zip lock plastic bags, label, and refrigerate for up to one week or freeze for up to two weeks, defrost in the refrigerator overnight. Just before using, stir in a few extra fresh herbs, toss, taste and correct the seasonings and stuff the bird or pass as a side dish.

Farro, Japonica Rice, Ginger, Pecan Stuffing

2 cups farro or spelt

5 cups water or chicken stock

1 cup japonica rice (black and mahogany colored unprocessed rice, found in health food and specialty stores)

2 cups chicken stock

1 inch slice fresh ginger, peeled and chopped

1 cup toasted pecans

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

2 carrots, peeled and diced

1 bunch scallions, trimmed and chopped

1 clove garlic, minced

1/2 cup chopped celery

1 teaspoon dried cilantro

Sea salt, freshly ground black pepper, to taste

1 bunch fresh cilantro or flat leaf parsley, coarsely chopped

Optional additions:

1 cup fresh oysters, well drained, added just before stuffing the turkey.

To prepare:

In a large heavy saucepan over moderate high heat, add the spelt and chicken stock and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, covered, until the spelt is tender to the tooth and all the liquid is absorbed, about 50 minutes. Remove from the heat, place a paper towel under the lid and let stand at least 15 minutes. Turn out into a large mixing bowl. In another heavy saucepan over moderate high heat, add the japonica rice and chicken stock and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, covered until the rice is tender and all the liquid is absorbed, about 35 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a large skillet over moderate heat, film the bottom with oil. Add the carrots and sauté until they are coated with oil, about 2 minutes. Add a splash of chicken stock and cook until the carrots are crunchy about 5 minutes. Add the scallions, garlic, and celery and sauté, stirring constantly until they begin to soften, about 3 minutes. Add salt, pepper, parsley and dried cilantro to taste. Once the vegetables are tender, remove from the heat. Using chop sticks, toss the spelt, japonica rice, and the scallion mixture together. Add a few drops more oil if necessary for taste and texture. Cool to room temperature. Transfer to zip lock plastic bags, label, and refrigerate for up to one week or freeze for up to two weeks, defrost in the refrigerator overnight.

Just before using, stir in the oysters and fresh cilantro, toss well, taste and adjust the seasonings and stuff the bird or pass as a side dish.

Chickpea, Orzo, Spinach and Feta Stuffing

5 cups water, salted to taste

2 cups uncooked orzo

1, 16 ounce can chick peas, drained

5 cups coarsely chopped fresh spinach, washed and spun dry

1/2 cup pitted black oil-cured olives or more to taste

5 to 6 ounces feta cheese, cut into small cubes

2to 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

Grated zest of half a lemon or more to taste

Juice of one lemon or more to taste

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Pinch of red pepper flakes to taste

To prepare:

In a large saucepan over high heat, bring the water to a boil. Add the orzo and cook according to directions on the side of the package, about 10 minutes, drain and rinse with cold water and drain well again.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the orzo, spinach, olives, and feta cheese. In another bowl, whisk together the olive oil, lemon zest and juice. Drizzle the lemon zest and juice and oil over the orzo, toss well, add salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes. Taste and adjust the seasonings. Cool to room temperature. Transfer to zip lock plastic bags, label, and refrigerate for up to two days. This stuffing does not freeze well.

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