Fruitcake, Chestnut, Sweet Potato and Sausage Stuffing
Creating Magical Environments & Seasonal Celebrations!
“Oh, these people's minds work in strange ways, Petunia, they're not like you and me," said Uncle Vernon, trying to knock in a nail with the piece of fruitcake Aunt Petunia had just brought him.”
For best results, read with a steaming cup of tea!
This is my absolute favorite stuffing recipe, as it contains at least two of my favorite things, fruitcake and chestnuts! There’s a secret ingredient at the end of the list and it’s an odd one, but it works. I know , I know…Fruitcake? I love it, but I unashamedly love Candy Corn too!
I’ve served this stuffing with turkey, but it’s equally as delightful with a pork roast at Christmas and don’t get me started on how delicious it is when eaten with roast duck or goose.
Please don’t be put off by the fruitcake because you’ll be missing out on the best use for it that I’ve ever found. This stuffing is easy to make, sweet, savory and just insanely delicious.
You will need:
8 to 10 cups cubed fruitcake (make sure it’s a good one, dark, rich and full of nuts and fruit!)
2 cups of cubed sweet potatoes
1 1/2 lbs of loose sweet Italian pork or chicken sausage
1 to 2 Tbs. olive oil
1 Tbs. Of organic butter
1 yellow onion, finely chopped
1 celery stalk, finely chopped
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
2 cups of roasted and peeled chestnuts, quartered
1 cup of chopped dried apricots
1/4 cup chopped mixed fresh herbs, such as sage, rosemary, oregano, winter savory, thyme and chives
3 cups of chicken stock
2 and 1/2 cups of shredded mozzarella cheese - The magical ingredient for the moistest stuffing ever !
Spread the fruitcake on a baking sheet. Toast in the oven (350 degree) until light golden brown and dry to the touch, about 20 minutes. Set aside.
Brown the sausage over medium heat, stirring and crumbling with a fork, until cooked through about 10 minutes. Transfer it to a large bowl.
Return the pan to medium heat. Add the olive oil and butter to the accumulated fat in the pan. Add the onion and celery and sauté, until golden, soft and translucent. Add the sweet potatoes and sauté them for about five minutes, Season everything with salt and pepper and add to the bowl with the sausage. Add the fruitcake, the chestnuts, the apricots, herbs, eggs and up to three cups of the stock then add the cheese! Season with salt and pepper and stir gently to combine everything.
Transfer the dressing to a buttered gratin pan, cover with aluminum foil and bake for 35 to 40 minutes. Remove the foil and continue baking until browned and crispy, 35 to 40 minutes more. If you’re the traditional type, stuff your turkey with it, either way is wonderful and no one ever notices the cheese because it’s essentially flavorless, they just wonder why the stuffing tastes so rich and moist ! If you do put the stuffing in the turkey, please do it just before roasting, avoid pre-stuffing and insert a food thermometer into the center of the stuffing to make sure it reaches 165 degrees Fahrenheit. Unwanted bacteria can survive in stuffing that has not reached 165 degrees, causing a dreadful case of food poisoning and ruining a wonderful evening.
This serves 10 to 12.
I’m just thrilled to have been featured in this episode of Kelsey Hughen’s wonderful Creative Cultivation podcast! If you’ve never “met” Kelsey, you’re going to love her. We had such a good time talking about our favorite season (of course Autumn!” and what it means to gather together in the age of COVID. I really hope that you enjoy it and if you are inclined to share it,I’d really appreciate it!
Some of what you'll hear in this episode:
• Exploring my definition of the word and identity, "witch"/"wytch" - "A fully actualized woman."
• The magic of Autumn - giving ourselves the permission to unravel, harvest and rest.
• Eating and living in-tune with the seasons.
• The wisdom and power that comes with menopause.
• The art of gathering.
• Groundlessness (Pema Chodran).
"I get great pleasure from stuffed foods, from an apple strudel to a vegetable samosa, from a whole roasted bird with a sweet and savory stuffing to a vine leaf filled with rice and spices." -Yotam Ottolenghi
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