It’s the day before Thanksgiving! Like I said yesterday I got ahead of schedule and brined my turkey. It’s going to be juicy and flavorful. I’m really surprised to find out how popular brining turkey has gotten. I’ve got a bunch of friends on Facebook talking about how they are brining their turkeys and what they’re brining their turkeys in. I’m excited to know that not as many folks will be eating dry white meat this year.
Today, getting the dressing prepped was on deck. My office closed at 3:00p today so I was able to take full advantage of the time. It’s now 5:01p and my dressing is prepped and in the fridge. Beatriz and I are going to grab happy hour somewhere. As I said yesterday, my dressing recipe was going to be inspired by Martha Stewart’s Sausage and Sage Un-stuffing, which is pretty much a fried stuffing roll. I’m making my dressing in the more traditional manner. What’s great about that is that it can be prepped the day before. Here’s the recipe:
Tony’s Chicken Sausage and Chicken Liver Dressing:
1 onion chopped
3 stalks of celery diced
3 cloves of garlic minced
2-3 links of fresh hot Italian chicken sausage (removed from casing)
5-6 chicken livers
1 loaf of good white bread (chopped into bread crumbs in the food processor)
1 cup of diced prunes
1 cup of Calvados or brandy
3-4 tbs (chopped fresh sage)
5-6 tbs (chopped fresh parsley)
8 oz. Chicken Stock
1/2 cup half and half
1/2 cup white wine
1 cup chopped fresh chestnuts
salt and pepper to taste
Olive oil for sauteing
butter for sauteing
Method: Heat oven to 375. Score Chestnuts with “X” shaped incision using a paring knife. Place scored chestnuts on baking tray and roast 10-15 minutes until the chestnuts open. Allow chestnuts to cool. Peel chestnuts and discard the shells. Chop chestnuts and set aside. Meanwhile, soak chopped prunes in Calvados/Brandy. Place breadcrumbs in large mixing bowl.
Heat sauce pan or large skillet to medium high heat. Add 2 tbs of olive oil to pan. Saute chicken sausage and break up sausage to resemble ground meat. Add onions and celery and saute and translucent. Add garlic and cook until fragrant. Season with salt and pepper. Remove chicken mixture from pan and reserve.
Place pan back on heat. Add 1 tbs of butter and 1 tbs of olive oil. Add chicken livers and fry until firm but still a little rosy (be cautious as it will splatter). Remove chicken livers and set aside to cool. Add Calvados and prunes to pan and de-glaze. Add chicken-onion mixture, sage, parsley and chicken stock to incorporate. Turn off heat. Chop chicken livers and add to pan. Mix well, and season with salt and pepper to taste. Allow to cool.
When mixture has adequately cooled add mixture to bread crumbs along with eggs, white wine, and chopped chestnuts. Mix well. Mixture should be wet. Place dressing in a buttered baking dish. [at this point you can cover and refrigerate the day before, which is what I have done]. When ready to bake, place in 350 degree oven for 35-45 minutes until golden brown and crispy on top.