Friday, November 25, 2011

Cornbread Dressing with Sausage and Apples

I did half mushrooms for us non-mushroom fans.. but I wish I had did all mushrooms because the mushrooms were actually edible!

Cornbread Dressing with Sausage and Apples
serves 16

12 Cups of Bread Cut Into 1 Inch Cubes(I used 2 baking mixes of corn bread and 1 loaf of day-old Jimmy John's bread)
32 Oz. White Button Mushrooms
1/2 Teaspoon Salt
4 Tablespoons Canola Oil
1/2 Pound Italian Sausage
2 Cups Diced Onion
5 Whole Tart Apples, Such as Granny Smith or Pink Lady
5 Tablespoons Brown Sugar
1 Cup White Wine
1/2 Teaspoon Salt
32 Oz. Low-Sodium Chicken Stalk
1 Teaspoon Ground Thyme
1 Teaspoon Dried Rosemary
1/2 Teaspoon Turmeric
Salt and Pepper, To Taste
Fresh Parsley, Chopped

Prepare bread.  Arrange on a baking sheet and let sit out for a few hours or over night.  For the mushrooms, rinse with water and pat dry.  Toss the mushrooms with the canola oil and 1/2 teaspoon salt.  Place them on a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil and roast at 500 degrees for 20 minutes.  Mushrooms will be very dark.  Set aside.  In a large skillet or pot (I used my dutch oven) crumble and brown the sausage over medium high heat.  Remove sausage and set aside.  With out cleaning the skillet, brown onions for 5 minutes.  Increase heat to high and add apples and brown sugar and 1/2 teaspoon salt.  Cook 3 to 5 minutes until golden brown.   Decrease heat to medium and pour in wine (use caution if cooking with an open flame).  Stir and cook to reduce liquid by half, about 2 to 3 minutes.  Pour apple/onion mixture into a bowl and set aside.  Return skillet to medium heat and add stock, thyme, rosemary, turmeric, and salt and pepper.  Heat for a few minutes and set aside.  To assemble, add bread to a large bowl, then add browned sausage, apple mixture and any juice that may have accumulated.  Next, add broth mixture gradually as you toss the ingredients, being prepared not to use all the liquid according to your taste.  Pour into a large baking dish and bake at 375 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes or until golden on top.  Garnish with fresh parsley and serve warm next to turkey and mashed potatoes.

As I was standing in line at Target ready to purchase all the ingredients that go into this dressing, a box of Stouffer's stuffing caught my eye. The $2.04 price tag was tempting but I held strong.  I new that this would be labor intensive and normally I put little to no effort into my side dishes, but since all I had to make for Thanksgiving was stuffing, I thought I should go all out.  And I knew it would be good because Pioneer Woman does not disappoint!

Baby single serving stuffing.  I had to make sure it tasted good!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Creamy Chicken Wild Rice Soup

Creamy Chicken Wild Rice Soup
from Chef Mommy
serves 6 as a main course

1 Cup Diced Carrots
1 Cup Diced Celery
1 Pound Raw Chicken Breasts
1 Package of Rice-A-Roni Long Grain and Wild Rice
4 Cups Low-Sodium Chicken Stock
2 Cups Water
1/2 Cup (1 Stick) Butter
3/4 Cup All-Purpose Flour
1/2 Teaspoon Salt
1/2 Teaspoon Pepper
2 Cups Half-and-Half

In a dutch oven, combine carrots, celery, chicken, rice (and seasoning packet), stock, and water.  Cover and cook on medium-low for about an hour, until chicken and rice are cooked.  Take the chicken out and shred with two forks, then place back in the soup.  Melt the butter in a medium sauce pan over medium heat.  In a small bowl, combine flour, salt and pepper.  Whisk in the flour by the tablespoon to form a roux.  Whisk in cream, a little at a time, until fully incorporated and smooth.  Stir cream mixture into soup and cook on low for an additional 15 minutes.  Dish up and enjoy!

I've never been much of a fan of chicken wild rice soup, but when I found this recipe on pinterest, I thought I would give it a shot.  And I hated it.  Just kidding.  It was awesome!  The roux adds a 'gravy' flavor that makes it very comforting and perfect for a chilly night. This dish would also be perfect to use up some leftover Turkey from Thanksgiving instead of the chicken!  Next time I think I'll add some diced onion and a nice woodsy herb like rosemary to step it up a notch.  You can also prepare this in the slow cooker, just combine the first 6 ingredients in your slow cooker and cook on low for 6-8 hours or high for 4 hours.  Happy Thanksgiving!