Roast turkey is always appreciated, and if you are going to roast a turkey then you might want to make a special stuffing to go with it. This recipe is well worth making because the resulting stuffing is delicious. Although you can omit the oysters and still end up with a flavorful stuffing, it is much better if you leave them in. You will need to tear the bread up and let the bread pieces dry out overnight before making the stuffing, so begin this the day before it is needed.
The staler the bread, the less time it will take to dry. You could make this with whole wheat bread if you fancy a more wholesome flavor. Other changes you could make include swapping the celery for bell pepper, or using regular sausage instead of turkey sausage. The amount of seasonings you add is up to you, since different people like different amounts, but a small pinch of each is usually sufficient.
Use this stuffing to fill the cavity of your bird or cook it separately if you prefer. There are some concerns about a stuffed bird not being as safe to eat because of the possibility of cross-contamination between the bird and the stuffing, but if you cook it for long enough (a stuffed bird will take longer to cook through than an unstuffed one) that will not be an issue. Cook it separately if you want it crispy on top.
- 2½ loaves white bread
- 1 pint raw oysters, shucked and drained
- 2 cored, diced apples
- 14 oz can mushrooms, chopped
- 7 oz can water chestnuts, chopped
- 1 lb ground turkey sausage
- 1 chopped onion
- 2½ cups chicken broth or water
- 1 cup chopped celery
- Celery seed, rubbed sage, poultry seasoning and seasoned pepper, to taste
- Tear the bread into bite-size pieces and put these pieces in a big bowl to dry out overnight.
- An hour before you plan to stuff the turkey, sauté the sausage until brown, then drain the grease off.
- Stir in the celery, onion, mushrooms, apples, and water chestnuts, and cook until tender.
- Season the mixture to taste, and stir well.
- Bring the chicken broth or water to a boil in a pan.
- Put the bread in a big bowl and pour in enough broth or water to make it moist.
- It is OK if you do not use it all.
- Add the oysters and sausage mixture, and stir to combine.
- Stuff the oyster stuffing into the turkey before roasting the bird.
- If you prefer to cook the stuffing separately, spoon it into a dish and bake uncovered for an hour or until golden brown on top, in a 350 or 375 degree F oven.
This stuffing is fantastic and the oysters give it a lovely, rich flavor. If you usually use a stuffing mix, then taking the trouble to make your own stuffing will really pay off, because the results are great. Serve this with your roast turkey this thanksgiving (or whenever you want to roast a turkey) and everyone is sure to be impressed with the flavor. You can either cook it inside the bird if you want to do things traditionally, or cook the oyster stuffing in a separate glass or Pyrex dish if you want it to get nice and crispy on top.
Photo Credit: Oyster-Sausage Stuffing by SaucyGlo, on Flickr
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