What to Include In Your Thanksgiving Stuffing
When it comes to Thanksgiving dishes, most people tend to follow traditional recipes. Although slight variations may occur from year to year, classics like mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, cranberry sauce and of course, the turkey, never stray too far from the original. However, when it comes to stuffing the only constant ingredient is the bread so you can get as creative as you'd like!
Choosing the Right Bread
The great thing about this one constant ingredient, is that even the bread allows for lots of choices. The only thing to keep in mind is that it's best to choose a bread that is dry enough, but doesn't crumble when it's broken apart. Day-old bread works best. Classic white sandwich bread, French baguettes and sourdough are all great because they can really absorb the flavor of the other ingredients. More hearty options such as whole grain, seeded or artisan-style bread will bring more flavor on their own and make for a more substantial dish overall. With the bread that you chose, tear it into pieces smaller than one inch and bake until they are no longer moist, but hard and crispy.
Bringing in the Meat and Vegetables
If you are cooking for vegetarians this year, skip the meat to keep your stuffing veggie-friendly. If you have the option of adding meat, sausage, bacon and turkey bits all create a savory flavor. Meat should be sauteed until it is cooked all the way through before it can be added to the stuffing. Seasoning meats before cooking will add enhanced flavor. Traditional stuffing staples include celery, shallots and onions but this is also where you can really get creative. Sauteed red, green and yellow peppers, carrots and mushrooms are great options for adding a little bit of a zest to your stuffing. If you're aiming for a dish that's slightly sweeter, add in chopped apples.
Additional Treats, Liquids and Seasonings
Once the dried bread, meat and vegetables have been mixed together you can add in almost any other small treat you'd like. Dried cranberries, blueberries, pears, currants and cranberries are one way of adding natural sweetness to your dish. Chestnuts, pistachios, pecans and walnuts bring a more woody flavor that contrasts well with the vegetables. However, it's important to choose only a few additions for your stuffing. Throwing in too many additions will only overwhelm the senses and hinder too much of the flavor.
Next, bring the stuffing mixture together in your Crock-Pot® 6-Quart Manual Slow Cooker to be seasoned. Tasty stuffing seasonings include lemon zest, sage, rosemary, chili powder or anything else that your taste buds desire. The final step to making a creative and unique stuffing dish is adding a broth that will bring it all together. Pour 1 1/2 cups of turkey or chicken broth, with an 1/2 cup of white wine into your slow cooker. Cover and heat on high for 45 minutes. Then reduce heat to low and continue to cook for 4 to 8 hours. Serve warm and enjoy!