Okay, okay…. when I first started making Thanksgiving – I stole this recipe from Martha Stewart. Then I switched the Oranges to Tangerines and added Brandy. These days I love bourbon, so I used that this year.
2 bags (12 ounces each) fresh or frozen cranberries
1 1/2 cups sugar
4 wide strips orange zest, plus 1 cup fresh orange/tangerine juice
1 1/2 oz. of Bourbon.
Coarse salt and ground pepper (optional)
In a medium saucepan, combine cranberries, sugar, orange zest, and 1/2 cup water, add bourbon and season with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil over medium-high. Reduce to a simmer and cook until thickened, 20 to 25 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in orange juice.
Hopefully I am not breaking any rules by giving out family secrets, but this is my Grandmother’s Thanksgiving Stuffing Recipe. Every year we look forward to the stuffing just as much OR more than all the other side-dishes. My grandmother was Nicaraguan and adopted this recipe from one she learned and customized it. I can guarantee, you have not had this before. Even my mushroom hating roommate loved it. 😉
The recipe usually makes two big pans of stuffing, which never seems like enough.
2 pounds of Ground Chicken
1/8 stick of butter (diced)
1 Large Yellow Onion (diced)
1 Bulb of Garlic (diced)
5 Stalks of Celery (diced)
2 Packages of sliced white mushrooms (diced)
1- 2 cups Portabella Mushroom or Crimini Mushrooms – any brown and flavorful mushroom works, (diced)
1 can of chicken stock and 1 can (size) of water
1 can of Mushroom soup (smaller campbells works)
2 tblesp. of yellow mustard
1 small to medium jar of capers with juice
1 loaf of fresh bread, dice and blend to crumbs. (Use a blender, chopper or even dicing small with a knife) – you need at least 4 cups.
Italian Season, Rosemary, Cayenne, salt and pepper.
In a large pot, add 1/8 stick of butter (diced), onion and garlic. Then add in the celery and cook down a bit. Slice white mushrooms smaller (makes for better texture. Add in mushrooms and let saute. Once veggies have started cooking, you can add in your chicken stock and water. I usually add in the herbs and let cook a bit. Add mushroom soup. Check the consistency, should be a soupy mixture of mushrooms and veggies. Add in the mustard and the capers, this will make the whole taste pop. (Secret Ingredient Spoiler!!!)
In a separate pan, cook the Ground Chicken with a bit of herbs and ground cumin. it really doesn’t need much more since you will be combining this with the stuffing mixture.
Meanwhile I like to make my own fresh bread crumbs. They tend to soak up the mixture better and leave the whole thing with a smooth texture instead of rough chunks of bread crumbs. I take the bread and dice it, then throw it in my cuisinart chopper and make crumbs out of it.
So, then we are ready to combine the items into one. Add the Ground Chicken to the soupy stuffing mixture. This will thicken it up a bit. Then slowly fold in the bread crumbs until it gets much thicker. It will almost seem too thick, better that than too thin. If it is, add more bread crumbs.
Butter each pan and add stuffing mixture. Top with bread crumbs and maybe a rosemary spring for decor. Bake at 350 for 30-40 minutes until golden brown and cooked so that it’s somewhat solid.
This is absolutely my favorite. I know it’s not really fancy, but this is our family’s stuffing recipe. I’m glad my Grandmother shared it with me and now I am sharing it with you!