Let it be known to all that in the year 2020, Thanksgiving SUCKED. It’s been cold and rainy all week – perfectly befitting a “holiday” where we’re all stuck in our own homes, away from family and friends. I was tempted to just pretend the whole thing wasn’t even happening.
But it turns out that after 40-some odd years of doing it, the impulse to cook for Thanksgiving can’t be squelched in me. I’ve therefore devised a menu for one, starting with the Cornish game hen I found at Trader Joe’s.
I’m making stuffing from scratch (as in, not using the Pepperidge Farm croutons my mom always used) for the first time this year. It’s mostly the same recipe as always; but especially since I’m making it gluten-free, I figured I’d jot down the quantities and so forth. Plus my friend Stacey said she required pictures! LOL
Makes 6 servings
1 loaf Trader Joe’s gluten-free Italian bread (Dr. Schar worked great too)
1 stick butter
1/2 large onion (1 cup) (don’t use too much!)
3 stalks celery (2/3 cup)
1 c chicken broth
1T fresh sage (the fresh herbs are what really make this delicious! Don’t skip them; but don’t overdo them either.)
1T fresh rosemary
Dry out and chop your bread. Chop your onion and celery, combine with your minced herbs & salt, saute in the butter.
Start to finish, it takes about 30 minutes to make this stuffing.
I’m starting with Trader Joe’s brand gluten-free Italian bread. I used all but 4 slices – just because I want enough bread for 2 leftover turkey sandwiches – even if this year they’re actually going to be leftover cornish game hen sandwiches.
I arranged the slices on a cookie sheet and baked them at 225° for about an hour, flipping halfway through. This allowed the moisture to escape from both sides of the bread. Once they’re fairly dry, I chopped them into squares. Spread them out on a cookie sheet overnight if you can, to let them dry out the rest of the way. I weighed the bread after I dried it out and it was about 7 oz.
Next I chopped up half a large onion (1c) and 3 stalks of celery (about 2/3c), then sauteed them in a stick of butter.
To this pan, I added 1 cup of chicken broth, 1T chopped fresh sage, 1t chopped fresh rosemary and 1/2t salt.
After bringing the mixture to a boil, I poured it over the bread cubes and stirred to make sure all the cubes got soaked in the liquid. [I actually needed to add a little bit more broth, maybe a tablespoon or 2?]
I buttered an 8″ square baking pan and spooned the dressing into it. Part of what makes “stuffing” so good (as opposed to dressing) is that it gets mashed by the pressure into the bird and gets extra dense. To replicate this in a pan, squish as much dressing as you possibly can into your pan, then cover it tightly with aluminum foil. It would probably also be good to make it ahead of time so that it could soak and soften overnight.
I baked it at 400° for about 25 minutes. It was soooooo good – quite possibly the best dressing ever!