Baked turkeys are best served with a good Oyster Stuffing. The stuffing adds flavor the to meat and to the experience. The early Pilgrims – those folks who invented Thanksgiving, were sea faring people. They came across the ocean and they lived on the coast. Sea food was a basic staple. Blending sea food with wild game would seem a natural consequence of their environment. They experimented with Oyster Stuffing – much to our pleasure.
Onions (usually 1 white or yellow – but red can work – chopped)
Celery – chopped
Butter (two sticks – 16 spoons, two cups, a bunch)
Sage – liberal again – to taste
salt and pepper
Oysters (we use canned oysters)
Turkey guts to make a broth
Saute’ the chopped onions and celery in the butter – just long enough to soften the course fiber. The quantity depends on the size of the turkey and how hard one feels like working. Add the salt and pepper and the sage with the saute’ mix – add sage until you smell the aroma in the kitchen.
One can use a variety of breads. Our preference is our own left over sweet rolls from two days past. We have also used store bought croutons. Anyway, the amount is again dependent on how much you want to make. It just has to be proportionate to the other ingredients – and the proportions are determined by individual taste. DO NOT be afraid to experiment – that is the fun of cooking.
While the onions and celery are simmering in the butter and sage, boil the Turkey giblets (guts, usually a neck and some gizzards. (If there is liver available put it in for the last five minutes or so of the boiling process) Produce a broth that we use sparingly to achieve the level of moisture we want in the stuffing mix. Again – this is a personal preference – how do you like your stuffing – dry or moist?
We like to use a stainless steel bowl to mix the ingredients. Breaking the bread into pieces has some symbolic relevance for us – but the symbolism is not necessary. Break the bread into teaspoon size pieces.
With the bread in the bowl add the oysters. We buy whole oysters – sometimes we cut them up and sometimes we don’t – depends on how we feel at the moment – do we want to taste a whole oyster or do we want the oysters just blended into the final product. One can of oysters or two – depends on taste – we usually use one can.
Now add the onion, celery, and butter. Toss with a wooden spoon or your clean hands and test the moisture content. Add broth to satisfy your own desire. (Don’t you love the word – desire – it has so many connotations) After tossing we use a wooden spoon to spoon the stuffing mix into the turkey – We pack it in – against the advice of some.
The stuffing will change the baking time by about by about ten percent. Figure that out and enjoy your day.