Casserole Stuffing Deluxe - Detail - ©

Canadian Thanksgiving: One Special Dish…

It’s Canadian Thanksgiving today. Like our American cousins, we celebrate the harvest with a traditional Roast Turkey Dinner. The harvest just comes earlier, here. And if there’s one dish that makes a Turkey Feast extra-special, it’s the Stuffing. And the special stuff in the Stuffing!

Casserole Stuffing Deluxe - © epicurious.comThis is about what your finished Stuffing should look like. This photo – alas! – is not of mine.
I haven’t made today’s batch yet! But the colour and texture are what I look for in my Stuffing. 

I’ll be making a big, big bowl of my famous Turkey Stuffing today. We’ll stuff the Bird and bake a casserole extra alongside. Everybody loves it and nobody – at least folks who don’t read this blog – knows what makes it so special. Now, I’m going to reveal my Stuffing Secrets, because my sister, Erin, convinced me it just isn’t fair to hold out on the rest of the Turkey-eating world any longer.

Secret ingredients

Here’s the ingredient list for my Signature Stuffing:

  • 6 slices stale White Bread
  • 6 slices stale Light Rye Bread
  • 2 cup / 500 ml Chicken Stock
  • 4 tsp. / 20 ml Sage
  • 2 tsp. / 10 ml Thyme
  • 2 tsp. / 10 ml Rosemary
  • 2 tsp. / 10 ml Parsley
  • 1 large Onion
  • 2 stalks Celery
  • 304 cloves of garlic (or to taste)
  • 1 tsp. / 5 ml Cumin
  • 1 tsp. / 5 ml Coriander
  • 2 tsp. / 10 ml Salt
  • 1 tsp. / 5 ml Black Pepper

And here’s the secret…

  • 1 small can Smoked Oysters
  • 6 slices Smoky Bacon

Here’s how you prep…

  • Dice all the veggies 1/4 in / 1 cm size. Peel and mince the Garlic
  • Dice the Oysters 1/4 in. / 1 cm size. That’s probably going to be the same as quartering them, depending on the size of the Oysters.
  • Cube all the Bread 3/4 in. / 2 cm size.
  • Fry or oven-bake the Bacon until very crispy, then cool and crumble to about 1/4 in. size. Retain the Bacon Grease for assembly of the Stuffing.

Get Cooking…

In a very large frying pan or the bottom of a roasting pan, add 4 tbsp. / 60 ml of Canola Oil and bring to med. high heat. Add the Celery Onion and Garlic and sweat until translucent, but still crunchy. Add the Herbs and Spices and toast in the oil for two or three minutes. Add the salt and Pepper. Add back the reserved Bacon Grease. Add the oysters and Bacon and stir the mixture to combine all ingredients thoroughly.

Now, turn down the heat to low and add the Bread Cubes. Toss until all hot ingredients are evenly distributed within the Bread Cubes. Now add the Chicken Stock, drizzling all over the Bread Cube Mixture and tossing to ensure that all Bead Cubes are evenly moistened.

Now, you can stuff the Bird and press the remaining Stuffing mixture into a suitable-sized greased casserole dish. Drizzle some good Olive Oil lightly over the top, cover in Foil and bake for at least an hour at 350 F. remove the foil for the last 15 minutes to ensure the top of the casserole is nice and crispy.

There you have it!

I usually double or triple this recipe so I have lots of Stuffing left over. I love it scramble fried as a side for breakfast, in place of Hash Browns or Home Fries. I’ve also successfully twice-baked it in a waffle iron. Amazing with Butter and Syrup! Another great treat is leftover Stuffing Croquettes or Patties, deep fried or pan fried until just warmed through and freshly crisped on the outside. It’s sort of a western take on Falafel! I also love leftover Stuffing in Stuffed Chicken Breasts or a Rolled Pork Loin Roast. Use your imagination!

Happy Canadian Thanksgiving! And remember to make lots of Extra Stuffing!

~ Maggie J.