Gluten Free Stuffing (Dressing)

My absolute favorite dish at any holiday meal is the stuffing. Growing up in New York, my mom, aunts and grandmother would gather in the kitchen the day before any big feast and prepare the numerous dishes. But none of them interested me as much as the super yummy stuffing. Oh, the smells that would waft through the house… Onions sauteing in butter… sage… thyme… apple… sausage… YUM!

Okay, my mouth is watering right now. And I just ate dinner! 😛

I love this stuffing. Several years ago, when I finally had Thanksgiving for my own family, I wrangled my Grandmama’s Apple Sausage Stuffing Recipe from my mother. (There I was, with the phone precariously wedged between my shoulder and ear, listening to my mother mentally prepared the stuffing, telling me every detail not necessarily in order or with any kind of measurements, but with plenty of emotion, estimation and vehemence!) Year after year I’ve enjoyed the smells & tastes this stuffing brings to my home, evoking many a happy childhood memory.

And now I’ve modified my favorite stuffing to be gluten-free! Since it was handed down three generations, the measurements aren’t exact and you may want to make little personalizations on the way…. But I think the torn, stained paper full of the chicken-scratch that is my transcribed recipe should fairly faithfully reproduce the yummy holiday greatness that I remember from my childhood.

First we have to start with making gluten-free breadcrumbs. There are several brands of pre-made gluten free breadcrumbs & stuffing mixes out there but I personally think homemade breadcrumbs are the best.

Udi’s Gluten Free Bread published a wonderful recipe for making you’re own gluten-free breadcrumbs in this month’s Special Holiday Edition of Living Without Magazine. I can’t find a link to it on either the Udi’s Gluten Free or the Living Without websites, so I’m going to reproduce Udi’s Gluten Free Bread Crumb Recipe here on this site.

_____Grandmama’s Apple Sausage Stuffing Recipe______
• 1 batch of homemade Udi’s Bread Crumbs
• 2 12 oz. packages mild sausage meat (“loose”, not links)
— (can be medium or hot instead of mild… whatever your heat preference)
— My mom always used Jones All Natural Pork Sausage, which is gluten-free, but I use an organic sausage: Organic Prairie Pork Breakfast Sausage
• 2 teaspoons Bell’s Seasoning
• 2 teaspoons rosemary
• 2 Tablespoons Thyme
• 2 large yellow Onions, diced
• 3 Celery stalks, medium, diced (up to 5 small stalks)
• 2-4 Tablespoons Butter (or Ghee, if you’re Casein free)
• Salt & Pepper (1-2 tsp each)
• 1 apple, finely diced
• Large can/package Chicken Broth (32 oz.)

– Prepare a batch of homemade Udi’s Bread Crumbs
– In large skillet, brown sausage. Set aside.
– In large saute pan/skillet, heat butter (or Ghee) over medium heat.
– Add onion, celery, thyme, rosemary and poultry seasoning.
– Sauté until almost soft, something like 4 minutes.
– Add apples to saute pan, continue cooking 1-2 minutes until celery is soft.
– In a large mixing bowl, combine sausage with breadcrumbs
– Pour hot onion mixture into the bowl with the bread mix and carefully blend ingredients.
– Season to taste with salt and pepper.
….. Up to this point, this can be prepared a day ahead. Simply cover and refrigerate …..
– Add half the container of chicken broth to stuffing and toss. Continue adding broth by the quarter cup until mixture is moist throughout but not soggy.
– You can check to see if you need any more seasonings by heating a little spoonful of the stuffing it in the microwave until cooked. Then you can add more seasonings to taste and re-mix.
– Place remaining stuffing in a greased baking dish, cover with foil and put into preheated 325 oven.
– Bake for about 45 to 60 minutes. (If it starts to get too dry, add chicken broth and retoss)
– If you like crispy bits on the top of your stuffing, uncover after 45 minutes & heat for additional 15 minutes or until warm throughout.

NOTE: If you make the stuffing ahead, never put cold stuffing in a bird. Let it sit out until it’s room temperature. Putting cold stuffing into a bird will affect cooking time of turkey.

And if my Grandmama’s stuffing doesn’t do it for you, here are links to some other good looking recipes I’ve found:
Whole Foods Gluten Free Stuffing
Udi’s Smoky Chorizo Stuffing

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