DON GENOVA – A ‘New’ Stuffing

Get creative with your turkey this season

In my quest to avoid ‘the same old’ stuffing, I occasionally go back to this recipe from a chef I’ve held in high esteem from the first time I met him. Bernard Casavant is one of Canada’s most important chefs, a leader in developing a truly Canadian cuisine. His career began as a cook at a hotel when he was 16 years old, and he’s mentored hundreds of young chefs since then. His inspiration and encouragement came from his grandmother, and when I asked him for a turkey stuffing recipe, he eagerly passed on this one, which is based on one of his grandmother’s creations.

It’s a little different, using some dried fruit and Italian sausage (as spicy as you like) to keep the stuffing moist, with the savoury nature of the sausage, rosemary and thyme balanced with the sweet sugars in the dried prunes and apricots. The optional pine nuts and pecans add a crunch to the texture. Years ago, when I first served this to my family, they were resistant. They wanted the same-old, same-old stuffing, but were won over by the results. These days, it’s no longer ‘weird’ to put dried fruit in a stuffing, so I’m confident you can make some new fans with this stuffing as well.  Enjoy!

Turkey Stuffing, by Bernard Casavant

14 servings (about 18 cups)    preheat oven to 350F

14 ounces      Brown Bread, cut into 3/4″ cubes (about 12 cups)

1 pound         Italian Sausage, casing removed

1/2 pound      Bacon, sliced into 1/2″ pieces

1/4 cup          Butter

6 cups            Leeks, sliced (white and light green parts only), about 3 large Leeks

1                      Onion. peeled and diced into 1/2″ pieces

2 cups            Celery, diced into 1/2” pieces, including leaves

2                      Carrots, peeled and diced into 1/2″ pieces

2 cups            Dried Prunes, roughly chopped

1 cup              Dried Apricots, roughly chopped

6 tbsp             Fresh Thyme (sub 2 tbsp dry)

4 tbsp             Fresh Rosemary (sub 1-1/2 tbsp dry)

1- 1/3 cup       Chicken Stock

1/2 cup            Pecans(optional)

1/2 cup            Pine Nuts (optional)

To Taste         Salt, Pepper

3                       Eggs, beaten, to blend

 

Method:

Place bread cubes on two baking sheets and bake in the oven for 15 minutes. Cool completely. In a large frypan, cook the bacon and sausage until slightly golden, about 10 minutes, stirring frequently.  With a slotted spoon, remove and keep warm. Drain the remaining fat and in the same pan melt the butter.  Add in the onion, leeks, celery, carrots, sauté until the leeks are soft, about 8 minutes. Mix in the fresh herbs, meat, dried fruit and nuts.  Add this mixture to the bread, mix thoroughly but carefully. This can be done a day ahead. Allow to cool, cover and refrigerate.

To finish, add in eggs, season to taste with salt and pepper. Add in chicken stock until moistened to your liking.  Loosely stuff turkey cavities and proceed with your roasting. You can also bake the dressing in a foil-covered loaf pan at 350 degrees F for 45 minutes, then remove tin foil and brown for a further 15 minutes.

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The COVID-19 pandemic had an effect on film production on central and north Vancouver Island, says Vancouver Island North Film Commission. Pictured here, production of TV series Resident Alien in Ladysmith earlier this year. (Black Press file)
Film commissioner says COVID-19 cost central Island $6 million in economic activity

Jurassic World: Dominion, Chesapeake Shores among productions halted due to pandemic, says INFilm

Chelsey Moore’s character Chloe in the upcoming virtual reality game Altdeus: Beyond Chronos. Screengrab
Vancouver Island actress finds success in a virtual world

Black Creek’s Chelsey Moore lends her voice to a new video game set for release in December

Ceramic artist Darrel Hancock working on a clay jug in his home studio in Qualicum Beach. (Submitted photo)
Qualicum Beach potter Darrel Hancock celebrates 40 years in business

‘It’s wonderful to do what you love and make a living at it’

Artist Daniel Cline discusses his sculpture, Harmony Humpbacks, during the June 20 walking tour of Oak Bay’s 2019 ArtsAlive sculptures. Harmony Humpbacks was purchased by Oak Bay as the 2019 people’s choice winner and is permanently installed at the Beach Drive entrance to Willows Park. (Kevin Murdoch Photo)
Influx of donated art a ‘fantastic problem to have,’ says Oak Bay mayor

Oak Bay goes from zero to 10 permanent art pieces since 2015

Stephen Laidlaw, prepator with Nanaimo Art Gallery, hangs a photograph of Anna Wong, a B.C. print maker whose works are on display at the gallery. The exhibit opens Friday, Dec. 4, and runs until Feb. 7. (Chris Bush/News Bulletin)
Nanaimo Art Gallery exhibit explores life work of overlooked B.C. printmaker

‘Anna Wong: Traveller on Two Roads’ features more than 70 art works and personal belongings

Nanaimo rappers Konfidential and Teus released their first joint album, <em>The Invasion</em>. (Photo courtesy Raymond Knight)
Nanaimo rappers Konfidential and Teus release first joint album

Duo plan elaborate live-streamed CD release for ‘The Invasion’

Next month Nanaimo musician Spencer Hiemstra releases his solo debut album, ‘Wildlife.’ (Photo submitted)
Nanaimo musician Spencer Hiemstra releases solo debut album

New record ‘Wildlife’ about taking chances and going through changes

Dover Bay Secondary School student Victoria Hathfield’s poem <em>Dear Santa</em> appears in<em> Chicken Soup for the Soul: Christmas is in the Air</em>. (Photo courtesy Darren Lee)
Nanaimo high schooler has first poem published in ‘Chicken Soup for the Soul’

Victoria Hathfield’s ‘Dear Santa’ appears in new Christmas-themed edition of anthology series

Nanaimo graphic designer Amy Pye has written and illustrated her first children’s book, <em>G is for Grizzly Bear: A Canadian Alphabet</em>. (Photo courtesy Amy Pye)
Nanaimo graphic designer releases first children’s book

Amy Pye teaches the Canadian alphabet in ‘G is for Grizzly Bear’

The Vancouver Island Symphony’s Back Row Brass Quintet – including trumpeter Mark D’Angelo, tuba player Nick Atkinson and French horn player Karen Hough (from left) – were scheduled to tour the Nanaimo area with Christmas Under the Big Tent, but the concert series has now been cancelled. (Photo courtesy HA Photography)
Symphony brass quintet’s Christmas concert series cancelled

Performances were to happen at venues in Parksville and Lantzville next month

The Sheringham Point Lighthouse, near Shirley. (Contributed - Lee-Ann Ruttan)
New book shines a light on Sheringham Point Lighthouse

Publication examines history, lightkeepers, and volunteer society

Victoria-based guitarist Eric Harper performs at the Port Theatre on Nov. 27. (Photo credit Tatum Duryba)
Classical guitarist to play at the Port Theatre

Eric Harper to play new songs composed during the pandemic

Most Read