5 Stuffing Recipes for Thanksgiving
No doubt you'll be featuring a roast turkey on your table this year, so we're going to skip that step and focus instead on everyone's favorite side dish: Stuffing.
The starch to turkey's protein, stuffing (or dressing) is the perfect canvas for comforting flavors, which these recipes have in spades. What more, we've provided some delicious pairing ideas to help upgrade your Thanksgiving feast. You're welcome.
Chorizo Stuffing paired with Numanthia-Termes, S.L. 2010 Termes Tinta de Toro (Toro)
This dish’s density and the savory spice of the chorizo call for a bold, young wine. Consider Toro’s full-bodied, dark wines made from the Tinta de Toro clone of Tempranillo. You won’t go wrong with the 2010 Termes from Numanthia-Termes (92 points); tannic on the surface but not too rough at its core, its black fruits, toast and char are tamed by this flavor-packed stuffing.
2 leeks, cleaned, green portions removed
4 ounces cured chorizo
2 baguettes, approximately 10 ounces each
3 tablespoons olive oil, plus more to coat bottom of 13 × 9 pan
¼ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon coarse ground black pepper
¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper
2 tablespoons Sherry vinegar
4½ cups chicken stock, divided
1 tablespoon smoked paprika
½ teaspoon dried oregano
Cut the leeks in half lengthwise, and then slice into bite-size pieces.
Remove the casing from the chorizo. Cut the chorizo in quarters lengthwise, and then slice the quarters into small mini, bite-size chunks.
Cut baguettes in half lengthwise, slice into thin, bite-size strips.
Preheat a large, high-sided skillet over medium heat. Add olive oil, and heat for 30–60 seconds. Add the leeks, and stir occasionally until soft, about 3–5 minutes. Sprinkle with salt, black pepper and red pepper, and stir. Add the chorizo, and stir occasionally until chorizo is soft and the leeks begin to take on a red color. Add the Sherry vinegar and stir.
Add 1 cup of chicken stock, turn the heat up slightly and bring to a boil. Add about one quarter of the bread, cutting into it with the edge of a wooden spoon to help absorb the liquid. Incrementally add the remaining chicken stock and bread in this manner, until all the bread has been incorporated and chicken stock has been absorbed. Sprinkle paprika and oregano over the mixture and stir in, until most of the bread takes on a reddish color. Salt to taste if necessary.
Grease a 13 × 9 inch pan with olive oil. Transfer stuffing to the pan, and bake at 350˚F for 50–60 minutes, until the top begins to brown and becomes slightly crusty. Serves 8.
This dish’s density and the savory spice of the chorizo call for a bold, young wine. Consider Toro’s full-bodied, dark wines made from the Tinta de Toro clone of Tempranillo. You won’t go wrong with the 2010 Termes from Numanthia-Termes ($28; 92 points); tannic on the surface but not too rough at its core, its black fruits, toast and char are tamed by this flavor-packed stuffing.
Sourdough Stuffing with Prunes and Kielbasa paired with Quintessa 2011 Rutherford (Napa)
With beautiful, bright black cherry notes for the palate, the Quintessa pungent in red plum and cherry, with underlying clove and pepper notes. The wine will balance out the kielbasa's savory flavors and elevate the stuffing's humble preparation.
6 cups diced sourdough bread
10 thyme sprigs
1 sprig rosemary
1 pound kielbasa, cut into ¼-inch-thick half moons
½ pound butter
1 cup diced onion
¼ of a whole fennel bulb, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 celery stalks, diced small
½ cup chopped parsley
2 cups rough-chopped prunes
4 cups beef stock
6 hard-boiled eggs, sliced
4 tablespoons salt and pepper
Allow the diced sourdough bread to sit uncovered on a baking sheet overnight.
Rinse the thyme and rosemary, remove leaves and mince. Set aside.
Preheat an oven to 375˚F degrees on convection setting.
In a large pan, lightly brown the kielbasa in the butter over medium heat for 2–3 minutes. Add the onion, fennel, garlic and celery and allow to brown lightly (approximately 5 minutes). Remove from heat. Add the thyme, rosemary, parsley and prunes and stir in the sourdough bread cubes. Toss lightly, then add the stock and eggs. Using a folding motion, fold everything together until well mixed. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Place the stuffing into a well-buttered baking dish and bake for 20 minutes at 375˚F before serving. Serves 8.
The Gravy: Turkey Giblet Gravy
Giblets from the turkey
1 cup milk (or enough to cover giblets)
3 ounces vegetable oil
¼ cup diced onion
2 garlic cloves, minced
3 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons flour
1 cup red wine (similar to what you’ll be pouring with dinner)
6 cups turkey stock
1 sprig sage
Place the giblets in a bowl or dish and cover with milk. Allow giblets to soak, covered, for 1 hour.
Place a medium-sized saucepot over medium heat. Once the pot gets hot, pour oil into the pot and add the onion, garlic and giblets.
Once brown, approximately 4–5 minutes, add the butter and flour to the pot and mix well. After 2 minutes, deglaze with the red wine, turkey stock and sage. Cook the gravy for at least 25 minutes uncovered.
When it has reached the desired thickness, remove the sage and transfer the mixture to a hand blender.
Blend until smooth. Transfer to serving bowl or gravy boat. Serves 8–12.
Gino Santangelo, sommelier at The Forge, recommends the 2010 Quintessa from Napa Valley to pair with the kielbasa and prune stuffing and giblet gravy. “With beautiful, bright black cherry notes for the palate, it’s the closest wine in taste to a Bordeaux,” says Santangelo. “It has a generous, supple mouthfeel with a silky texture, and the finish is rich with a lingering, fruity essence.”
Panettone Stuffing paired with Clambake 2013 Rosé of Syrah (Green Valley, CA)
Recipe courtesy Chef Michael Chiarello
Citrus, bright cherry and lightly savory herbs from Clambake's Syrah are balanced by those same flavors in this playful use of the traditional holiday bread.
Half of one 2.2-pound panettone, cut into ¾ inch cubes (9 cups)
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons minced fresh sage
Sea salt, preferable gray salt
Freshly ground black pepper
¼ cup julienned dried apricots
¼ cup dried sour cherries
¼ cup golden raisins
¾ cup finely chopped yellow onion
½ cup finely chopped celery or fennel
½ cup finely chopped peeled carrot
1 ½ cups roasted chicken stock or turkey stock, or more as needed
1 large egg, beaten (optional if you like a firmer stuffing)
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Spread the panettone cubes out on two rimmed baking sheets. In a small saucepan, melt 2 tablespoons of the butter over medium heat and cook until light brown, about 6 minutes. Remove from the heat and add half the sage. Season with salt and pepper. Pour the sage butter over the bread and toss gently but swiftly. Toast the bread in the oven, turning with a spatula halfway through cooking, until light brown, about 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and pour the croutons into bowl, leaving the oven on.
Meanwhile, put the dried fruit in a large bowl and add boiling water to cover. Let soak for at least 10 minutes to make the fruit plump and soft. Drain and set aside.
Increase the oven temperature to 375°F. Heat a large sauté pan or skillet over medium-low heat, add the remaining 2 tablespoons butter, and cook until it foams. Add the onion, celery, and carrot and sauté until soft, 12 to 15 minutes. Stir in the plumped fruit and remaining sage, then add to the cooled croutons and gently toss. Add the 1 ½ cups stock to moisten. Add more stock if you like a softer stuffing. For a firmer stuffing, stir in the beaten egg now. Taste and adjust the seasoning.
Put the stuffing in a baking pan and cook, covered, at 375°F for about 30 minutes. Uncover and cook until browned at the top, approximately another 10 minutes.
Sweet Potato and Rye Bread Stuffing with Lange 2013 Chardonnay (Willamette Valley)
Recipe courtesy Chef Martin Rios
The crisp acidity and light peach notes in Lange's Chardonnay (90 points) play nicely with the savory notes coming from this dish's bacon and rye.
½ cup yellow onions minced
8 ounces apple-smoked bacon, minced
2 tablespoon roasted garlic puree
1 cup raisins
½ cup dried cranberries
10 ounces rye bread (toasted, medium cubed)
1 pound sweet potatoes (roasted and cubed)
4 ounces melted butter
2 cup white chicken stock
1 teaspoon cinnamon powder
1 teaspoon curry powder
2 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon chipotle chili powder
In a large pan or skillet sauté the onions and bacon until lightly caramelized. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix well. Transfer the mixture to the oven and bake for fifteen minutes at 350°F. Keep warm until ready to serve.
Bacon and Cherry Stuffing with Bourbon, pair2012 Clos du Val Carneros Estate Chardonnay (Napa)
While the hints of fresh oak and toasty vanilla in the wine will accentuate the bacon and Bourbon, the lively freshness of pear and Granny Smith apple will lift the stuffing to new heights.
1 loaf crusty white bread
1 pound bacon lardons
1 large white onion, diced
3 garlic cloves, sliced
1 stalk of celery, diced
1 cup Bourbon
½ cup butter
6 sprigs of thyme
3 sage leaves
1 sprig rosemary, chopped
Pinch of salt
Pinch of pepper
10 dried cherries, chopped
2 cups chicken stock
Cut the bread into 1-inch cubes the day before and let sit uncovered overnight. Preheat an oven to 350˚F. In a large sauté pan, render the bacon until crispy, approximately 4 minutes. Once crispy, add the white onion and garlic, cook for 3 minutes, then add the celery and continue to cook until tender. Deglaze with Bourbon and reduce. Add butter and cook until melted.
Rinse the thyme sprigs with water and remove the leaves. Add thyme leaves, sage, rosemary, salt and pepper to the pan. Mix in the cubed bread and chopped cherries. Add the chicken stock to moisten.
Place some of the stuffing in the turkey and the rest in a baking dish. Place baking dish in oven and bake for 20 minutes. Serves 10.
The Gravy: Pan Gravy with Wine
3 sprigs fresh thyme
1 cup dry white wine, like a California
2 tablespoons butter
½ cup flour
2½ cups chicken stock
Pinch of salt
Pinch of pepper
Rinse thyme sprigs with water and remove the leaves. Reserve.
Remove the roast turkey from the pan and set aside. Place the roasting pan on top of the stove over medium-low heat. Add the white wine to the pan juices and deglaze, using a wooden spoon to scrape off any pieces stuck to the bottom of the pan.
Add the butter and melt. Add flour and cook until light brown, approximately 3–4 minutes. Slowly add the chicken stock and whisk together, stirring constantly to remove any lumps. Season with salt, pepper and fresh thyme leaves. Serves 10.
“I recommend the 2012 Clos du Val Carneros Estate Chardonnay from Napa Valley,” says Lombardo. “While the hints of fresh oak and toasty vanilla will accentuate the bacon and Bourbon, the lively freshness of pear and Granny Smith apple will lift the stuffing to new heights."