Here’s a very traditional stuffing recipe perfect for turkey or for stuffing a pork loin roast. It was inspired by a recipe from my former student and teacher, David Rosengarten. He was a student in my wine classes at Cornell, and I call him my teacher because he since became a famous chef, one of the first hosts of the FoodNetwork, author of several cookbooks, and I have learned immensely by listening to him and reading his work..
I have modified it slightly by adding eggs to make Muffings, my name for Stuffing Muffins. They are baked in muffin pans and they get nice and crispy on all sides. Everyone at your holiday meal gets a Muffing! If you are using this to stuff a pork loin, onion, tomato, zucchini or something else, you can leave out the eggs. They are needed only for Muffings in order to keep them from falling apart when they come out of the muffin pans. Eggs need to be cooked to 160°F to be safe, but if you leave out the eggs, you don’t have to cook it any higher than 135°F (pork is best at about 140°F).
Start with good bread. The better the bread, the better the stuffing. Go for a rustic Italian loaf or even an eggy challah. Skip the baguette. It has too much crust. But don’t eschew crust.
Amp up the veggies by sautéing, roasting, or smoking them first.
Use reduced stock. Moisten the bread with low sodium chicken stock rather than water, and reduce it to really boost flavor.
Use the gravy from my Ultimate Turkey recipe. If you make my recipe for The Ultimate Turkey, and you should, the gravy from this recipe is the best thing to use. Just remove 4 cups from the drip pan while the bird is cooking for the stuffing. No need to reduce that stuff.
Don’t stuff the bird. Juices from the bird infiltrate the stuffing (but not as many as you think) and if you do not cook it all the way up to 165°F in the center you could get a tummy ache. Worse, by the time the time the heat travels all the way to the center of the stuffing, the meat will be waaay over optimum, perhaps 180°F, and that is shoe leather bordering on cardboard. Just put just a few sprigs of herbs, some onion, and orange rind in the cavity so the aromatics can season the meat from the inside out. Bake the stuffing in a shallow pan so there is more surface on top to get crunchy while underneath it remains chewy. It is like a savory bread pudding.
Published On: 4/24/2014 Last Modified: 4/16/2021