Dear Friends and Readers,
I cooked my first Thanksgiving this year. It was not my first turkey, nor my first stuffing. But it was a first for all the rest and I am so grateful for my friends coming over to celebrate with me. I am thankful everything came out good and we had a nice Italian Thanksgiving feast. I decided to give every dish an Italian spin so I used many Italian ingredients and techniques: one of my favorite dishes was the stuffing… In Italy we don’t stuff our turkeys very often but I thought the best way to stay true to my roots was to use something unexpected: Panettone Bauducco.
Panettone is an Italian cake that has a texture very similar to briosche but also has raising and candy citrus/orange in the mix so with every bite you get a little of the fluffy texture of briosche and a bit of sweetness from the fruit. I chose bauducco because I tried theit Panettone and found it as light and tasty as the artisanal ones I used to eat when I lived in Italy.
My challenge was to make stuffing out of panettone…. not so easy when you have to turn something sweet into a savory staple of your thanksgiving. But you know me right? I like this challenges and with a bit of creativity the stuffing came out GREAT!
- 1/2 Panettone Bauducco (with raisins),
- 1 cup of celery, thinly chopped
- 2 Italian sweet sausages, casing removed
- 2 spicy chicken sausages, casing removed
- 1/2 cup of white wine
- 1 cup of breadcrumbs (I used Panko)
- 2 cups of chicken (or turkey) stock
- 6 sage leaves, thinly chopped
- 3 sprigs of thyme, thinly chopped
- 3 sprigs of fresh oregano, thinly chopped
- 1/2 cup of half & half
- salt to taste (approx 1/2 tbsp)
For the Panettone crumbs:
Preheat the oven at 375F. Slice the halved panettone in 1-inch slices, then cut each slice to obtain 1/2-inch cubes. Place the panettone cubes in a parchment paper lined baking sheet, sprinkle with half the sald and bake in the oven until they are golden brown (approx 10 minutes). If you notice they are browning to fast shake the pan to turn the cubes to the uncooked side. When the panettone is cool, crumble it in smaller pieces and set aside.
For the Sausage:
Remove the sausage from the casing and roughly chop so the final texture of the stuffing will be smoother. Put the ground meat in a pan over medium heat (with no oil… the sausage is already rich enough and it will cook in its own juices!). Stir the meat from time to time to for a more crumbly texture. Cook for 10 minutes then add the celery and the herbs and stir to combine. Season the sausage mixture with salt. After approximately 5 minutes pour in the wine and scrape the bottom of the pan to deglaze. Let the alcohol evapotare (approximately 2 minutes, turn off the heat and set aside.
Assembling the stuffing:
Place the panettone crumbs, sausage mixture and panko in a large bowl. Pour in the half and half, and mix the ingredients together. Pour the chicken stock half cup at a time and mix the ingredients together. Place the mixture in a gratin mold and cook at 350F for 25 minutes.