Eating is one of my favorite activities. That’s why Thanksgiving is so fun for me. There are about a dozen different dishes on the table and I can pick and choose from them all. Turkey isn’t the main event on my plate, but stuffing definitely would be a contender.
Last year I finally took Alton Brown’s advice and in addition to brining my turkey, I didn’t stuff it because he said it cools it down and hence makes the bird cook longer and less evenly.
This is actually the first year in a decade that I wasn’t in charge of the turkey. Instead I decided just to do the stuffing, or in this case I guess you would have to call it dressing.
Since some friends were hosting the feast I knew I would have to make the dressing easy to transport and also easy to keep warm. I also wanted to be courteous to the hosts and try not to take up their valuable post-turkey oven space.
I was perusing a slow cooker cookbook from the library the other day, and between the velveeta, onion soup mix and cream of mushroom soup ingredients I found a humble recipe called Slow Cooker Stuffing. I promptly disregarded the recipe, but it was the method I was interested in.
A Crock Pot makes a lot of sense for stuffing. It’s almost like a giant turkey — it keeps moisture in and cooks slowly. It would solve my transportation, heating and oven problems. I had to try it.
So I used my tried and true Daddy O’s Stuffing recipe and Crock Potted it instead of casseroling it. What I ended up with was moist, flavorful stuffing that tasted as though it was scooped right out of the bird.
- 1 onion, chopped
- 2 celery stalks, chopped
- 2 cups sliced crimini or button mushrooms
- 1.5 packets of breakfast sausage links
- 1/2 cup golden raisins
- 1 can of medium black olives, chopped
- 14 oz. bag seasoned bread cubes
- 3/4 cup finely chopped parsley
- 3/4 stick of butter
- 2 cups chicken stock
- salt and pepper
- A large crock pot
Directions: Start making this when you’re ready to eat breakfast. This way you can eat a couple of sausage links with some eggs while the other ones are cooling. Brown all the sausage links in a big saute pan. Once they are cooled, chop them into little rounds.
|Secret ingredient: meat
Slice the mushrooms using a hard-boiled egg cutter. I love this trick I invented that I’m sure other people have also come up with! My sister broke my egg slicer last year doing this, so now I just use it for olives and eggs.
Add 1 Tbs. butter in the saute pan and heat on medium-high. Add the celery, onion and mushrooms and cook till everything is softened, about 7 minutes.
Spray the inside of the crock pot with Pam and dump in the bread cubes. Add the breakfast sausage, mushrooms, onion and celery.
Use the hard boiled egg slicer again for the olives. It’s a cinch!
Add the raisins, olives, parsley, salt and pepper and mix thoroughly.
Cut the butter into little cubes and mix into the stuffing. Periodically pour in the chicken stock between mixing so everything is well incorporated.
Put the lid on the crock pot and turn it to low. Let it cook for 4-5 hours. Don’t remove the lid until you’re good and ready cause it takes a long time to reheat the crock pot.
|Thank you thrift store!
Fluff up just before serving.