My mom made the BEST stuffing, which always made our holiday dinners complete. Here is her recipe, and mine as well. There is enough stuffing in this recipe to stuff up to a 25 pound bird, and still have some left over to bake in a casserole dish or aluminum foil, the last hour of cooking, so that you have plenty for everyone. Great to use for leftovers along with some sliced turkey and cranberry sauce, for a DELICIOUS sandwich... Enjoy!
- 2 (1 lb) rolls Jimmy Dean sausage
- 1 1⁄2 cups margarine or 1 1⁄2 cups butter
- turkey gizzards, chopped fine (optional) or turkey gizzard, ground (optional)
- turkey neck, heart, chopped fine (optional) or turkey neck, heart ground (optional)
- turkey liver, chopped fine (optional) or turkey liver, ground (optional)
- 1 1⁄2 cups onions, chopped fine
- 6 celery ribs, chopped fine
- 12 cups bread, crumbled
- 1 (16 ounce) boxnabisco saltine crackers, crushed
- 3 -5 teaspoons poultry seasoning, to taste
- 1 teaspoon salt, to taste
- 1⁄2 teaspoon black pepper, to taste
- In a saucepan over med. heat, boil the fresh pork sausage and gizzards, along with the margarine, onions, and celery, in 1 quart of water, for 30 minutes Strain, saving water.
- Put the onions, celery, and sausage in a lg. bowl, and set aside.
- Put the gizzards, and meat picked from the neck, in a blender, and press chop. (Do it quickly, and stop to mix meats, then pulse for 1-2 seconds again. You do not want it to be mushy). When all is chopped fine, put in the lg. bowl, along with onions, celery, and sausage.
- You may also grind the gizzards, and other meat parts in a meat grinder instead of the blender if you have one.
- Add to the sausage, onion and celery.
- When ready to stuff the bird and bake:.
- In a lg. bowl crumble your bread, crust and all, (I roll the bread between my hands to crumble it).
- Crush the crackers right in the closed sleeves, (but be careful not to push too fast or you may open the pkg). When crushed, open the sleeve and put in the bowl, along with the bread. Mix up well.
- Mix the meat mixture with the dry mixture.
- Add enough liquid from the sausage, gizzards, heart and neck stock (a little at a time), to make the stuffing to the desired consistency, of if not using these parts, use some chicken or turkey broth.
- Toss with a fork, until well mixed. Gently knead the mixture to distribute the ingredients.
- (The stuffing should have enough liquid so it holds together in a ball if you squeeze it in your hands, but not mushy, especially if you are stuffing your turkey, as the juices from the turkey make it moist as it is cooking.
- Add poultry seasoning, tasting as you go, to get it the way you like it.
- Salt and pepper, to taste.
- Stuff the bird right before putting it in the oven. DO NOT stuff the bird and let it sit overnight in the refrigerator.
- The stuffing should be warm or room temperature when you are ready to put it in the bird.
- Plan to use 3/4 cup stuffing for each pound of turkey.
- To stuff the neck, first pack it loosely with stuffing.
- Pin the neck skin over the exposed stuffing with a skewer, or flip the wing tips up to hold it in place.
- Spoon stuffing loosely in the main body cavity.
- Cover exposed stuffing with a swatch of aluminum foil or a piece of bread.
- Roast turkey using desired method. I bake mine at 350, and go by the pounds on the turkey label for the hours needed to roast.
- Baste turkey with pan drippings at least 3 times during cooking time to get nice crispy skin, and help to keep turkey moist.
- Use a meat thermometer to make sure the center of the stuffing reaches 165 degrees F before removing from the oven.
- Keep in mind that a "pop-up" thermometer that comes with a turkey won't tell you the temperature of the stuffing.
- Place any extra stuffing in a baking dish coated with cooking spray. Cover, and refrigerate until ready to bake, NO MORE THAN 8 hours before cooking the bird.
- Pour 1/2 cup turkey or chicken stock over the extra stuffing, and bake at 350, for 30-60 minutes covered with aluminum foil.
- After the turkey is done roasting, remove stuffing immediately from the bird, and place in a bowl. (I use an aluminum bowl and cover with aluminum foil to keep it nice and hot, until serving time.
- Refrigerate leftovers within 2 hours of taking out of the oven.
- Store leftover turkey and stuffing in shallow containers with covers, and use within 2-3 days.
- You may freeze but use within 3 months.
- Tips & Warnings:.
- Avoid pre-stuffed fresh turkeys, and DO NOT stuff birds to cook on a grill or smoker, or if you plan to deep fry.
- Always stuff a bird just BEFORE roasting.
- The stuffing should be warm, NOT hot or cold, when you pack it in the bird, otherwise the roasting time will be off, and the temperature will not reach 165 degrees F before the rest of the bird is done.
- Don't overstuff the turkey, because the stuffing will expand as the bird roasts.
- Following these simple steps is the safest way to stop airborne bacteria from invading your turkey and stuffing and making you sick.