My Grandmother’s Turkey Stuffing

This is a potato stuffing recipe that’s close to 100 years old. It’s from my Irish grandmother, but it’s not Irish, because there’s not that many turkeys in Ireland (I think the snakes got them). Probably it’s from the Pennsylvania Dutch around Philadelphia, where she lived at the start of the last century. I haven’t found this recipe online, but the one or two that were similar were from that area. We always had it when we went to the grandparents house for Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner. She included bird-stuffing directions, but I agree with Alton Brown, that stuffing is teh evil, so we put this in a dish and cook in the oven.*

The Recipe

    Inputs

    Giblets from a 12-15lb turkey (All measurements are ‘about’ – after the first time, you will know how to adjust)

    6-8 potatoes, peeled and quartered

    8-10 slices of stale white bread (she’d always lay them out in rows on the big kitchen table the night before).

    1 large or 2 small onions

    1 Tbsp Poultry Seasoning

    Salt and pepper IAW your cardiologists instructions.

    Process

    Wash and cook heart, gizzard, liver, and neck in water to cover. When cooked, remove meat from water, set aside. Save the water for the next step.

    Cook potatoes in same water as the meat. There should be very little water left after the cooking. Mash in the water, and set aside.

    In a hand grinder, grind the meat, bread, and onions into a bowl. Season. Mix in the potatoes.

    Put in a greased dish, cover, and cook at about 325F for about 30minutes. The only thing that needs cooking here is the onions, so it’s more like giving the flavors time to get comfortable with each other.

    Outputs

    A good combo-replacement for standard mashed potatoes and stuffing. Goes extremely well with gravey made from the stuff that leaks off the bird into the pan.

    It also makes some very good leftovers, suitable for sandwiches.

Afternote

You could try different herb and ingredient combinations – sage, oregano, celery. We have tried adding celery to this mix, and it isn’t bad, but it totally changes the flavor. You could also substitute something more wholesome than white bread, but that would change the character, and what we’re after here is a grandmother’s-stuffing-experience, not a health trip. Thanksgiving isn’t about health, it’s about eating to the point that surface tension becomes an issue.

When I was living in the dorm, I tried to make a field expedient version in my microwave, with instant mashed potatoes, breadcrumbs, and turkey broth. It never quite worked out.


*You could also, IAW more recent AB instructions, take the stuffing from the oven while hot and pack it into the turkey. That way it doesn’t have to be heated by the bird. Or just pour some pan juice over it when the turkey is done.

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2 Responses to “My Grandmother’s Turkey Stuffing”

  1. John S Says:

    Grandmother’s turkey roasting — heat oven to 425F or 450F, cook bird for about 20 minutes or so (to heat bird thru), then reduce heat to 350-325F and finish out. John

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