Are you ready for Thanksgiving yet?
You know it’s just around the corner. It’s basically tomorrow, and then Christmas is the next day, and then there’s New Year’s and then it’s 2019 and then you realize it’s been 30 years since your favorite TV show began, your kid is getting married, and you’re old.
Oh, gosh, this is a happy holiday recipe blog! Sorry.
What will be on your plate for Thanksgiving this year, alongside your turkey, turducken, roast, or veggie field roast?
I’ve never had the opportunity to cook the stuffing before. We have traditions – strict family traditions (I’m okay with that – I like habitual, ritualistic things), and Mom always makes the stuffing.
So, I decided to try one out at home this week, just for kicks and giggles, AND to mix it up with a little cornbread (crispy croutons), dried cranberries, toasted hazelnuts, and tarragon instead of sage.
You’ll love it. We did.
Crispy Cornbread Crouton Stuffing & Turkey
1 loaf of cornbread, chopped into 1″ pieces*1 cup chopped toasted hazelnuts** ⅓ cup dried cranberries 2 Tbs. chopped fresh tarragon 1 fresh chile (such as Fresno), seeds removed if desired, chopped 1 medium onion, finely chopped 4 stalks celery, chopped 1/2 cup dry red wine
½ cup (1 stick) butter 2 large eggs, beaten to blend 1 cup (or more) turkey stock or low-sodium chicken broth
1 lb. turkey breasts 1/4 cup breadcrumbs 2 Tbs. fresh tarragon sea salt and pepper
Preheat oven to 350. Butter a shallow 3-qt. baking dish and a sheet of foil. Place bread, nuts, cranberries, and tarragon in a very large bowl.
Season the turkey with the breadcrumbs, tarragon, and salt and pepper. Set aside.
Add onions, celery, and any extra tarragon to a buttered skillet. Season with salt and pepper and cook, stirring often, until onions are softened and browned around the edges, 10–12 minutes. Scrape aromatics into bowl with bread mixture. Cook the turkey breasts with the remaining butter in the pan.
Return skillet to medium heat and pour in deglazing liquid (dry red wine). Cook, scraping up any browned bits, until almost all liquid has evaporated. Add ½ cup butter and cook, stirring, until melted. Drizzle over bread mixture. Whisk eggs and 2 cups stock in a medium bowl and add to bread mixture. Season with salt and pepper and toss until combined, adding more stock ¼-cupful at a time as needed to ensure bread is fully hydrated.
Transfer stuffing to prepared baking dish and dot with 4 Tbs. butter, cut into small pieces. Cover with foil, buttered side down, crimping edges to seal. Bake until a paring knife inserted into the center comes out hot, 30–35 minutes. Remove foil and increase oven temperature to 450. Bake until top is well browned, 20–25 minutes. Let sit 10 minutes before serving, along with the turkey breasts.
*For cornbread stuffing, toast dried-out cornbread on 2 rimmed baking sheets in a 400° oven until browned, 8–10 minutes. This will keep it from falling apart during mixing.
**To toast hazelnuts, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spread the nuts out on a pan and toast for 10 minutes. Remove from oven and place in a kitchen towel. Rub vigorously until the skins are removed. (The skins are rather bitter and are best removed through toasting).