Mouthwatering Turkey Stuffing to Remember

Stuffing is arguably the most popular dish on the table every Thanksgiving, but this year, it could take the prize hands down.

On "The Early Show" Tuesday, Tanya Steel, editor in chief of Epicurious.com, served up delicious recipes that will have everybody at your table clamoring for more -- from old standbys to modern varieties.

She prepared:

• Chestnut, Bacon, Dried Apple, and Corn Bread Stuffing (an old- fashioned classic)
• Artichoke, Sausage, and Parmesan Cheese Stuffing (one offering a new twist)
• Leek, and Wild Mushroom Stuffing (flavor-packed)

"Early Show" recipes galore!


Chestnut, Bacon, Dried Apple, and Corn Bread Stuffing

This is a stuffing that Thanksgiving purists and adventurous foodies will both love.

Traditionally, stuffing was made with cornbread, chestnuts, and other classic flavors. There's been a trend in cooking to return to old-fashioned recipes, and this stuffing certainly reflects that trend.

This recipe calls for the stuffing to either be cooked inside the bird, or outside. There's been a long debate about which is correct, and the traditional way is inside the turkey. The turkey will add flavor to the stuffing and vice versa. However, some food safety experts say you should cook the stuffing separately to avoid the turkey drippings getting into your food.

Artichoke, Sausage, and Parmesan Cheese Stuffing

An Italian twist on stuffing, this dish is really something different -- and totally delicious -- but that still retains the essence of traditional stuffing.

The tart flavor of the sourdough mixes perfectly with the sharp Parmesean cheese, and Italian sweet sausage. Mint is a totally unexpected addition, but as you'll see, it all works.

Like the other recipes, this stuffing can be mostly made 1 day ahead, and cooked through in the oven on Thanksgiving.

Leek and Wild Mushroom Stuffing

This recipe has been reviewed over 70 times, and 93 percent of people say they would make it again.

It doesn't have meat, or even chicken broth, so vegetarians will be pleased.

Several types of mushrooms, including porcini and shiitake, give this dish added heft. Leeks and white wine are unusual additions, but it all works in this almost French dish.

RECIPES

Chestnut, Bacon, Dried Apple, and Corn Bread Stuffing


Makes 10 to 12 servings

INGREDIENTS:
1/2 pound thick-cut bacon slices, cut crosswise into 1/2-inch-wide strips
4 cups chopped onions
3 cups chopped celery
1 cup chopped dried apples
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
1 1/2 teaspoons dried rubbed sage
2 7.4-ounce jars roasted whole chestnuts, coarsely broken

8 cups dried corn bread stuffing mix (from two 16-ounce packages)
1 3/4 cups (or more) low-salt chicken broth
2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) butter, melted

METHOD:
Cook bacon in heavy large skillet over medium-high heat until brown and crisp. Using slotted spoon, transfer bacon to large bowl. Pour off all but 2 tablespoons drippings from skillet. Add onions and celery to drippings in skillet. Cover and cook over medium heat until vegetables are soft, stirring occasionally, about 12 minutes. Add vegetables to bacon; mix in apples, thyme, and sage, then chestnuts.

Add corn bread stuffing mix to chestnut mixture. Mix in 1 3/4 cups broth. Drizzle with butter.

To bake stuffing in turkey:
Loosely fill main cavity and neck cavity of turkey with stuffing. Add enough broth to remaining stuffing to moisten slightly (1/4 cup to 3/4 cup, depending on amount of remaining stuffing). Generously butter baking dish. Spoon remaining stuffing into prepared dish. Cover dish with buttered foil, buttered side down. Bake stuffing in dish - alongside turkey or while turkey is resting - until heated through, about 25 minutes. Uncover stuffing in dish. Bake until top of stuffing is slightly crisp and golden, about 15 minutes longer.

To bake stuffing in dish:
Preheat oven to 350°F. Generously butter 13x9x2-inch glass baking dish. Add enough extra broth to stuffing to moisten (3/4 cup to 1 1/4 cups). Transfer stuffing to prepared dish. Cover with buttered foil, buttered side down. Bake until heated through, about 40 minutes. Uncover and bake until top is slightly crisp and golden, about 20 minutes longer.

For the other two recipes, go to Page 2.

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