When it comes to Thanksgiving, I try to go as simple as possible, this really wasn’t always the case though. Every year, for years I have written lists, clipped magazine articles, and pinned idea’s for adorable table settings and glamorous pies. Inevitably, year after year, I find that it was a huge waste of time. I always end up making the same recipes. While I enjoy day dreaming about a gourmet Thanksgiving dinner party, I learned real fast that my family only wants what they want, and they will not touch anything foreign. (No matter how much I nudge, wink and smile.)
Seriously, I don’t even take out my “nice dishes” any more. I roll craft paper down the table, I give the boys crayons, we all write 10 things we are thankful for. We eat supper with our usual old school CorningWare dishes and a plethora of mixed matched Pyrex dishes, and we enjoy each other. I have made it a habit to ease the Turkey day anxiety by basically making everything in advance, usually up to a week in advance I start knocking things out here and there. On the big day I pretty much just roast the turkey and gently reheat things or assemble things.
This stuffing is a variation of a sausage & apple stuffing recipe I have used every year, instead of using sausage I have made use of those oh so awesome, nutrient dense giblets that most people avoid like the plague. It is reminiscent of the sausage stuffing I adore, although truthfully it is not quite, exactly the same. This stuffing, …err dressing, is perfectly savory, with a punch of sweetness, it is packed with all of those festive aromatic flavors you expect to have at Thanksgiving and of course there is no describing the distinct sweet, sour taste of great homemade sourdough. If I were cooking for a crowd I would double the recipe and use a pound of sausage instead of additional giblets. Since it’s just the four of us, this simplified, frugal alternative is fantastically satisfying. If you don’t have sourdough laying around a high quality artisan bread will work.
Sourdough Dressing with Giblets & Apple
- 1 One Pound Loaf of Stale or Toasted Sourdough Bread
- 2-3 Tablespoons Turkey Drippings, Lard or Butter
- Giblets From One Turkey, Trimmed (Gizzard, Liver & Heart)
- 1-2 Stalks of Celery, diced
- 1-2 Carrots, diced
- 1/2 of an Onion, diced (Roughly 1/2 cup)
- 1-2 Apples Peeled, Cored & Diced (Approximately 1 cup chopped)
- 1/2 to 1 teaspoon each: Dried Thyme & Fennel Seed
- 1 teaspoon ground sage
- Salt & Pepper
- 2 eggs
- 1 1/2 to 2 cups Turkey or Chicken Bone Broth (Homemade Bone Broth Recipe)
- 2-3 Tablespoons Butter (For Baking)
- Dice sourdough bread into 1-2″ cubes. Toast in a 350 degree oven for 10-15 minutes. (You can go longer if you would prefer your stuffing to be crunchier)
- Reduce Temperature to 325 degrees.
- In a 10-12″ skillet melt lard or turkey fat over medium heat.
- Fry giblets for 2-3 minutes. (They should be pink in the middle still.)
- Chop the giblets up finely and set them aside.
- Add more fat to the pan if desired, Saute’ onions, celery and carrots until softened. (approximately 4 minutes.)
- Add the apple to the pan and cook just for a moment.
- Remove the pan from the heat.
- Mix 2 eggs with 1 1/2 cups of broth and gently stir into the giblet and veggie mixture.
- Grease a 10″ cake tin or 2 quart baking dish with butter.
- Mix the egg and broth mixture with the sage, thyme, fennel, salt & pepper and toasted bread.
- Spread evenly into greased pan.Allow stuffing to rest for 15-20 minutes or until the liquid is absorbed. If the mixture seems too dry add a bit more broth.
- Toss 2-3 tablespoons of cubed butter onto the top of the dressing.
- Bake for 30-45 minutes or until golden brown and set. (If you prefer it firmer bake longer, if you want it soft and moist check it at 25 minutes.)
Advance Preparation: The croutons can be toasted in advance and the vegetable/giblet mixture can be made in advance. The day of your meal combine room temperature broth with eggs and toss together with your bread and veggie/giblet mixture. Bake as directed.
-Stuffing can be prepared in small ramekins or even a muffin tin, and frozen if you are prepping more than a week in advance. Thaw before baking.