Cornbread Stuffing

Stuffing for your Thanksgiving Turkey.

Yield: about 10 cups.

2 leeks
2 teaspoons olive or unsalted butter
4 celery stalks, diced
3 Granny Smith apples, peeled, if desired, and diced
7 to 8 cups crumbled day-old corn bread, store-bought, or homemade
1 cup chopped walnuts, pecans, or hazlenuts
3 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian flat-leaf parsley leaves
3 tablespoons chopped fresh sage leaves or 1 tablespoon dried sage
3 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary leaves or 1 tablespoon dried rosemary
3 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme leaves or 1 tablespoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon kosher salt
¼ cup dry vermouth
2 large eggs
½ to 1 cup chicken stock

1. Trim the roots off the leeks and remove all but 2 inches of the green part. Dice the remaining portion and wash in several changes of hot water, being sure to get rid of any sand; drain well in a colander.

2. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly butter a 9 x 13-inch pan.

3. Place a large skillet over low heat and when it is hot, add the oil. Add the leeks, celery, and apples, and cook until tender, about 15 to 20 minutes.

4. Add all the remaining ingredients and toss to mix. Place the stuffing in the prepared pan and transfer it to the oven. Cook until golden brown, about 35 minutes.

From Warehouse to Your House: More than 250 Simple, Spectacular Recipes to Cook, Store, and Share When You Buy in Quantity (Simon & Schuster, 2006)

Pan Gravy for Thanksgiving Turkey

This is the best gravy in the entire world. It is on the thin side, so if you absolutely must have thick gravy, add a little more flour, but know that it will muddy the great flavor. Start the gravy when the bird goes in the oven.

1 tablespoon olive or canola oil
Turkey giblets, neck, and tail piece
1 Spanish onion, unpeeled, chopped
9 cups turkey or chicken stock, or 6 cups canned low-sodium chicken broth plus 3 cups water
2 thyme sprigs
8 parsley stems
⅓ cup unsalted butter
¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1½ cups dry white wine
Kosher salt and black pepper

1. Place a large heavy-bottomed skillet over medium-high heat and when it is hot, add the oil. Add the turkey giblets, neck, and tail, and cook until golden brown, about 5 minutes. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 3 minutes. Lower the heat to low, cover, and cook until the turkey parts and the onion release their juices, about 20 minutes. Raise the heat to high, add the stock and herbs, and bring to a boil. Lower the heat to low and simmer, uncovered, skimming any scum that may rise to the surface until the broth is rich and flavorful, about 30 minutes.

2. Pour the broth through a strainer into a bowl. Discard all the solids except the heart and gizzard. You should have about 7-8 cups liquid. When it is cool enough to handle, remove the gristle from the gizzard; then dice the heart and gizzard.

3. Transfer the broth to a medium-size saucepan and bring just to a boil over medium heat. Place the butter in a large heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium-low heat and when it is melted, very slowly whisk in the flour to make a roux. Cook slowly, stirring constantly, until it is nut brown and fragrant, about 10 minutes. Vigorously whisk all but 1 cup of the hot broth into the roux. Raise the heat to medium-high and bring to a boil. Then lower the heat to medium-low and simmer, stirring occasionally, until slightly thickened and flavorful, about 30 minutes. Set aside until the turkey is done.

4. While the turkey is resting, spoon out and discard as much fat as possible from the roasting pan, leaving behind the caramelized herbs and vegetables. Place the roasting pan over two burners at medium-high heat (if the drippings are not dark brown, cook, and stirring constantly, until they caramelize.

5. Return the gravy to simmer over medium heat. Add the wine to the roasting pan and scrape up the browned bits clinging to the bottom; boil until reduced by half, about 5 minutes. Add the remaining 1 cup broth to the roasting pan, and then strain this mixture into the gravy, pressing the solids in the strainer to extract as much liquid as possible. Stir in the diced giblets and return to simmer. Add salt and pepper to taste. Use immediately, or cover and refrigerate for up to 2 days, or freeze up to 2 months.

From Warehouse to Your House: More than 250 Simple, Spectacular Recipes to Cook, Store, and Share When You Buy in Quantity (Simon & Schuster, 2006)