Here’s the truth: stuffing, above all the Thanksgiving foods, is my FAVORITE. I love it more than the bird, then the jellied cranberries, the mashed potatoes and those crazy crack-like crescent rolls. Part of it is due to my love of anything and everything bread, and the other is that it just has so much FLAVOR packed into every bite, at least the way my mom makes it, cooked the proper way stuffed in the bird. In fact, I didn’t even know that it was even called dressing until I migrated south to NOLA.
Not only that, but I think it really is the best option for leftovers and I love nothing more than having it for breakfast, crisped up in the pan with a runny egg and some manchego melted on top.
I’m thinking about breakfast leftovers already.
Focus. Back to the business. Loving stuffing so much the traditional way, in creating my Middle Eastern Thanksgiving, I was afraid stray too far from my original pan-recipe because I didn’t want my dressing to lose its essence which, to me, is poultry seasoning, and that traditional mix of parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme. Bit by bit, I added in one flavor at a time to create a side that is still quintessentially the dressing that I love, but with enough accents to still fit in with the meal plan I started with the Lebanese spiced squash. Spiced with my beloved poultry seasoning and a bit of allspice, and laced with apricots and almonds, my final version would stand proud next to any bird.
Are you #TeamStuffing or #TeamDressing or #TeamIHateHashtags?
- 6 thick slices French bread
- 4 TB unsalted butter
- 1 carrot, diced (about 1/2 cup)
- 1 large red onion, diced (about 1 cup)
- 2 cloves garlic, finely minced or grated with a microplane
- 2 tsp poultry seasoning
- 1 tsp allspice
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 1 tsp coarse ground black pepper
- 1 cup vegetable or poultry stock
- 1/2 -1 cup dried apricots, chopped
- 1/2 cup slivered almonds, toasted
- 1/2 cup fresh parsley, chopped
- Preheat the oven to 400F.
- Butter each slice of bread with a total of 2 TB butter and put on a cookie sheet. Bake 10 minutes, flip each slice and toast until golden brown. Coarsely chop into crouton size pieces.
- In a large saute pan, add the butter, carrots, onion and garlic, salt and pepper, and cook about 5-7 minutes until the onions are translucent. Add the bread, the allspice and poultry seasoning and toss to coat. Add the apricots, almonds and stock. Coat everything very well and let cook until the stock has all been absorbed and reduced. Fold in the parsley, season as appropriate and serve hot.
Written during a replay of the Bones 200th episode. Still brilliant!
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