For some reason, I have accumulated several boxes of Mrs. Cubbison’s stuffing mix in my pantry. I expect I thought I would cook a turkey for my family at some point over the holidays (yes, I’m referring to the winter one) but I think I recall a great 2 boxes-for-1 deal and figured I’d use them at some point, so I purchased them, only to discover that I must have done the same thing around Thanksgiving, because low and behold, I found two more boxes stacked in my cupboards … sigh.
This is when being able to cook creatively out of one’s cupboards comes in handy – with that much stuffing to use, it’s important to be able to change up the flavors a bit.
I think most of us associate stuffing with poultry, but it is also great with pork, and I’m thinking that if one really jazzed it up with the right extras, stuffing could make a nice accompaniment to roast beef (but I’ll get back to you on that one).
If you don’t have the time or inclination to make stuffing from scratch, Mrs. Cubbison’s can be quite delicious … with some added booke.
So, recently I got a lovely, plump, organic chicken – about 6 pounds – and created the following stuffing, with Mrs. C as the base:
Poultry Stuffing ~ Booke-Style
½ Bag Mrs. Cubbison’s Herb Seasoned cube stuffing (there are 2 bags in a box)
¼ C butter
½ C chopped mushrooms
½ C chopped celery
½ C chopped onion
½ C chopped carrots
4 cloves garlic, minced
⅔ C chicken broth
⅓ C white wine
Pour stuffing mix in a large mixing bowl.
Melt butter in a saucepan; add vegetables and sauté lightly for 3 – 5 minutes. Add broth and wine, and cook for 2 minutes. Add mixture to stuffing and mix to moisten bread.
Stuff poultry cavity, neck and crevices by wings and legs. Roast at 375 degrees until done, per weight of the bird.
I always increase the vegetable content and decrease the bread portion when I make this stuffing, which changes the flavor greatly. I’ve used lots of interesting ingredients in my stuffing creations … often depending on what is available in my fridge … chopped green onions, artichokes, bell peppers … I say, use your imagination! How about black beans, corn and chopped jalapenos? Or, diced butternut squash and a bit of sautéed (or leftover) Italian sausage? Or, green peas, edamame and chopped oyster mushrooms?
Of course, you can swap chicken broth for vegetable broth or water, but I highly recommend that third cup of white wine for the rich flavor factor.
And, obviously, the stuffing does not have to be “stuffed.” You can bake it in a pan, covered in foil. Or, Mrs. Cubbison’s offers a stovetop method, which I’ve never used, but is certainly worth a try, as it appears to be the fastest preparation.
Oh, and a little tip about roasting an organic bird: Organic poultry does not contain infusions of water, salt and unknown fillers to make birds juicy, so I rub pads of butter onto the breast meat just under the skin. If you don’t want the extra fat, you can baste the bird frequently with broth to help retain moistness as very little renders from the bird into the pan. Forget about making gravy from the drippings – there just isn’t enough to work with but maybe next time I’ll share a super yummy mushroom gravy I concocted out of a can of mushroom soup.
But for now, I’ve got my own curiosity going. I’m off to figure out how to make Mrs. Cubbison’s poultry stuffing work with a beef dish. Stay tuned for that success … or catastrophe!
Eat well. Be happy.