Makes 8-10 servings
1-pound loaf caraway rye bread, old is fine.
4 tablespoons butter, divided
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 red onion, diced
3 ribs celery, diced
2 tablespoons kosher salt
11/2 teaspoons black pepper
1/4 teaspoon allspice, ground
1 bay leaf
2 tablespoons fresh thyme chopped
1/2 bunch flat leaf parsley, chopped
2 teaspoons orange zest
1 quart chicken stock (less if you don't want the intended puddinglike texture)
2 cups heavy cream
1/2 cup toasted pecans, chopped
1/2 cup golden raisins
1 pint chicken livers
1 pound fresh (or frozen) cranberries.
Optional: Turkey gizzards and neck (pre-simmmered in chicken broth until well cooked), heart, turkey liver.
1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Cut the rye bread into 1-inch cubes and lay them out on a sheet tray, then bake in 300-degree oven for 30 minutes, or until very dry and lightly toasted. Set aside.
2. In a large saute pan, heat 2 tablespoons of butter and the olive oil, then add the onion and cook. Once the onion is soft and has taken on some color, add the celery, salt, pepper, allspice, and bay leaf. Cook for 5-8 minutes, stirring occasionally.
3. Add the thyme, parsley, and orange zest and then add the stock and cream to deglaze the pan and get all that good stuff off the bottom, then shut off the heat.
4. Place the toasted bread in a large mixing bowl, then pour the cream mixture over it and allow it to sit.
5. Adjust a meat grinder with a plate with the largest holes (or a food processor for a coarse grind). Begin grinding the chicken livers, turkey liver, hearts, pre-cooked gizzards, if using, until it has all passed through. Then follow with the cranberries.
6. Add your cranberry and meat puree to the bowl with the bread, as well as the pecans and raisins and gently mix. The neck meat can be picked and tossed in with the rest of the stuffing.
7. Allow the mixture to soak for at least four hours, or overnight to ensure everything blends well.
8. Preheat oven to 350. Prepare a 9-inch casserole by smearing the inside with softened butter, then pour the stuffing mix in, and cover the top with foil.
9. Bake stuffing covered for 45 minutes, or until the internal temperature is 160 degrees then remove the foil, turn the oven up to 375 degrees, and bake an additional 15 minutes to crisp up the top.
– From Hungry Pigeon pastry chef and co-owner Pat O'Malley