I like making my own stuffing. I started when I was 14 getting creative with food and oddly enough it was one of the first things I made on my own. I knew I liked the taste of the stuffing my aunt had bought but I didn’t know what kind of stuffing it was nor did I have the money to buy it. But I figured it couldn’t be much more than bread, herbs and something fruity. Thus this creations!
The first few times I made it I made too much and I didn’t know I needed to add a liquid to the bread, so it was very dry. And with the left over dry stuffing in the bowl I rubbed it all over the outside of the bird!! It smelled great to me and I figured it couldn’t hurt to be inventive.
Over the years I learned more about stuffings, like adding liquid, and all the variety of stuffings there are out there with ingredients that seemed quite exotic to me.
Well, when we moved to Belize and I’d buy whole chickens I was surprised at how much extra stuff came in them. I was used to giblets (neck,heart, liver) in a bird and sometimes the kidneys. But not feet! I never did anything with the feet, and not much with the neck either, except sometimes to use in chicken broth. But Belizean’s love the neck and feet and would feel cheated if the bird didn’t contain them in the cavity. Things that make you go hmmmm.
Anyway, I started using the organs in my stuffing and when chopped up finely they are a nice compliment to the other ingredients. Don’t be afraid to try them out!
I often have dried out bread in the bread drawer, and it’s usually small ends of a baguette or ends of thick Texas Toast that never got used. Let them hang around and dry up for when you want to make stuffing, or bread crumbs. If you don’t have dried out bread then you could toast your slices really well, let cool completely and then cut up.
Although I mostly use this recipe for a 3-5 lb chicken it would be great for a turkey as well.
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- Giblets from chicken Use just organs and reserve neck for broth
- 6 Slices Dried out bread, cubed About 3 cups worth, depending on type of bread & size of slices
- 1 White onion, chopped
- 1 Celery stalk, diced Use top of celery as well
- 1/2 Cup Chopped Walnuts Optional
- 1 Tbsp Dried Thyme
- 1 Tbsp Dried Oregano
- 2 Tsp (aprox) salt
- 1/4 Cup Orange juice without pulp
- 1/2 Cup Chicken broth Opt for low sodium
- 1/4 Cup Dry wine Either red or white
- 2 Tbsp Lemon juice Opt for fresh lemon juice
- In a medium size bowl mix liquids and herbs and salt and let sit for about 10 minutes.
- Dice up organs into small pieces and simmer in 1 tbsp oil in frying pan on stove over low-medium heat. Cook for about 5 minutes then add wine and deglaze. Cook another 3 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.
- Place cubed bread and a large bowl. Stir herb and liquid mixture well and then pour over bread and mix well.
- Add cooked giblets and chopped walnuts to mix and well.
- Use immediately for stuffing a bird. Or bake in a covered dish for 45 min to 1 hour. Don't keep any left over.