I decided to try something a little different this year when I stuffed the Thanksgiving turkey. I know there are lots of interesting recipes out there but I wanted to stick to something with a traditional stuffing flavour but with a little variation. I’m really glad I tried something new. It was an absolute hit!
Perfect Poultry Stuffing with Whole Grain Rice & Sausage
Makes enough for a large turkey
- 1 loaf of fresh bread – I used 1/2 loaf of white bread and 1/2 loaf of pumpernickel – it has to be fresh!
- 1 package of Tilda Whole Grain Steamed Basmati Rice OR 2 cups of cooked (al dente) whole grain or other rice
- 3/4 cup of butter or margarine
- 1/2 cup of chopped onion
- 1 tablespoon EACH of chopped fresh thyme, basil and oregano. If you are using dried herbs use 1/2 the amount.
- 1 teaspoon of fresh sage (or 1/2 teaspoon of dry sage)
- 1/2 cup of dried cranberries
- 1 1/2 cups of cooked ground mild Italian sausage
- salt & pepper to taste
Cut the bread into bite size cubes. It’s important that you use fresh bread for this recipe since there is next to no liquid added to the stuffing. Put the bread cubes in a large bowl.
Add the fresh or dried herbs, cooked sausage, cranberries and rice to the bowl.
Put the butter or margarine in a pan over medium heat on the stove. Once it has melted add the chopped onion and cook for about 5 minutes to bring out the flavour of the onions. Remove from heat.
Pour the butter and onions over the dry ingredients in the bowl. Mix well. Add a little bit of salt and ground pepper to your liking.
You are now ready to stuff your bird! Now I know some people don’t actually like to cook their stuffing IN their turkey. I am not one of those people. This stuffing turned out PERFECTLY cooked in our Thanksgiving turkey. However, if you prefer to cook your stuffing separately just pack it into a deep baking dish, cover with foil and cook at 350 degrees for 30 minutes, remove foil and cook for another 10 minutes. If you are like me and actually like to stuff your bird with, you know, stuffing just keep these things in mind to ensure food safety:
- Stuff your bird JUST before you are ready to place it in the oven
- Do not pack the stuffing in the bird too tightly
- Cook your poultry to the recommended internal temperature (at least 185 F)
- Remove the stuffing from the poultry as soon as you take it out of the oven