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Let's Dish With Linda Lou

Sharing My Recipes, My Life, And The Food Tale Of Two Cities

Italian Sausage And Mushroom Stuffing

Sweet And Hot Italian Sausage Stuffing (3)

Sweet And Hot Italian Sausage Stuffing (2)

Sweet And Hot Italian Sausage Stuffing (1)

I’ve been talking to a lot of people who say their favorite holiday dish is the stuffing and/or dressing and I have to agree. My family’s traditional stuffing recipe has changed over the years. The ingredients are the same but the preparation is totally different. I remember my mother stuffing the turkey before it went into the oven. My stuffing is done separate from the bird and I believe it makes a big difference in the way a turkey cooks.

I’m going to a Christmas party this year so I’m bringing my Italians Sausage And Mushroom Stuffing. I’m using disposable deep-sided pans for easy transport.

In my opinion, the best bread for the bread cubes is Ciabatta bread. Let’s talk a little bit about the bread cubes and how easy it is to make your own.

I do think that you’ll want to make a large pan or two of stuffing. Family and friends love this dish and always want extra helpings. It’s also great to serve the next day, especially with a ladle of your favorite gravy on top!

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Sweet And Hot Italian Sausage Stuffing (2)

 

 

 

 

Prep Time: 40 minutes (includes all prep and the cooking of the vegetables)
Baking Time 1 hour 10 to15 minutes
Total Cook Time: 1 hour 50 to 55 minutes
Yields: 12 servings
Equipment: 12-inch sauté pan, large mixing bowl, two 1/4-size rimmed baking sheet pans, a 13 x 9 x 2 baking dish/disposable pan

Tip:  The day before you want to make the stuffing, make the Homemade Ciabatta Croutons.

Ingredients:
2 loaves of  Ciabatta (artisanal bread)
3/4 of cup olive oil
1 1/2 tablespoons of Kosher salt
1 teaspoon of freshly cracked black pepper

Directions For The Oven Bake Method.
Preheat oven to 400-degrees F.

Step1: Homemade Croutons:
Start by evenly dividing the bread cubes out onto two rimmed baking sheet pans. Add olive oil, Kosher salt, and fresh ground black pepper, toss to evenly coat the bread cubes. Spread the bread cubes evenly into a single layer. Bake for 15 minutes turning them once halfway through the cooking process to make sure they brown evenly. Transfer to a large mixing bowl. Set aside.

Step 2: Stuffing:
Use 1/4 cup of butter (4 tablespoons) to grease a 13 x 9 x 2 disposable pan (or casserole baking dish).

Ingredients:
2 pints of whole Cremini mushrooms, quartered
2 tablespoons of fresh thyme leaves, roughly chopped
1 tablespoon of garlic, minced
2 tablespoon of butter, unsalted
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Directions:
In a large sauté pan over medium heat add butter and olive oil. Add the Cremini mushrooms, minced garlic, pepper, and fresh thyme leaves. Stir to combine. Cook the mushrooms for about 5 minutes. Once the mushrooms have softened and released their water, add the Kosher salt. Cook for another 10 minutes. Turn the heat off and transfer the mushroom to a bowl and set aside.

Steps 3 and 4: Italian Sausage And Vegetables:
Ingredients:
1 pound of hot Italian sausage, casings removed
1 pound of sweet Italian sausage, casings removed
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon of Kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper
1 sprig of fresh rosemary

4 tablespoons butter, unsalted
1 large onion, diced
2 1/2 cups of celery diced include leafy tops
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1 tablespoon of Kosher salt
1 teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper

Directions:
In a large sauté pan, on medium heat, add in olive oil and sausage breaking it up with a wooden spoon. Add the sprig of fresh rosemary and cook for around 15 minutes or until no longer pink. Discard the rosemary stems, drain.  Remove cooked sausage with a slotted spoon and transfer to a bowl.

In the same sauté pan over medium heat melt butter. Add diced onions, celery, minced garlic, Kosher salt, and fresh ground black pepper. Cook until tender, about 8 to 10 minutes. Remove from the heat, allow to cool.

Step 5: The Mix:
Ingredients:

3 large beaten eggs (cage-free)
3/4 cup of Parmesan cheese, freshly grated
1 teaspoon dried oregano, chopped
1 tablespoon fresh rosemary leaves, roughly chopped
2 tablespoons of fresh sage leaves, roughly chopped
2 tablespoons of Italian parsley flat-leaf parsley, roughly chopped
1 tablespoon of Kosher salt
1 teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper
1-quart chicken broth, unsalted

Directions:
Preheat oven to 325-degrees F.
In a mixing large bowl, add the beaten eggs, cheese, all herbs, and seasonings. Add the cooked mushrooms.  Combine really well so the mushrooms are completely coated.

In another very large bowl combine the croutons (cooked bread cubes), cooked sausage, and cooled veggie mixture. Add the egg-mushroom mixture to the bowl, gently toss to combine.

Finally, slowly pour the chicken broth over all the ingredients, allowing all the bread cubes to absorb the liquid. Continually stirring gently, as you add the liquid. There will most likely be extra liquid in the bowl, that liquid will get absorbed during the baking process.

Spoon the stuffing mixture to the buttered casserole dish. Pour over any excess liquid left in the bowl.  Cover and bake for 1 hour. Uncover, bake an additional 10 to 15 minutes, or until light golden brown, and a meat thermometer reads 160-degrees F. This is my Italian Sausage And Mushroom Stuffing.

Homemade Ciabatta Croutons

Maple Bourbon Brined Turkey

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Slow Cooker Citrus Spiced Chicken And Mushroom Stew

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After coming back from the EPCOT Food and Wine Festival, and visiting with Pam Smith of Spice Blends, I knew I needed to incorporate her wonderful new spice blend, Citrus Spice, into this dish. I thought what better way than with a delicious French-style stew with chicken and mushrooms. Usually, I do this dish in a Dutch oven, I thought I could test this dish with my new 7-quart Crock-pot.

Really the only major prep to this dish is just the browning of the chicken. This is my Slow Cooker Citrus Spiced Chicken And Mushroom Stew.

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Prep Time: 40 minutes (includes 30 minutes for browning chicken)
Cook Time: 8 hours on low or 4 hours on high
Total Time: 8 hours 20 minutes (4 hours 20 minutes)
Yields: 4 to 6 servings
Equipment: 12-inch cast-iron skillet, 7-quart Crock-Pot, chef’s knife, 2 rimmed baking sheet pans, 2 large mixing bowls, 3 medium-size bowls

Ingredients:
4 bone-in, skin-on chicken breasts, cut in half
1 1/2 cups of Canola oil (amount of oil may vary)
4 medium-size Yukon gold potatoes, scrubbed clean, dried, and halved
3 pints of whole cremini mushrooms, cleaned
2 large onions, quartered
3 ribs of celery, cut into 3-inch pieces, include leafy tops
6 whole cloves of garlic, peeled
1 tablespoon of Citrus Spice Blend
2 tablespoons of Kosher salt
1 1/2 teaspoons of freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup of good white wine
1 cup of chicken broth, unsalted
1 cup of cooking liquid
1 heaping tablespoon of all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons of fresh thyme leaves, roughly chopped
2 tablespoons of fresh Italian flat-leaf parsley for garnish

Seasoned Flour:
3 cups of all-purpose flour
4 tablespoons (1/4 cup) of Citrus Spice Blend
1 tablespoon of Kosher salt
1 teaspoon of fresh ground black pepper

Directions:
Start by cutting all four chicken breasts in half as seen in the pictures. Using paper towels, pat each piece of chicken dry really well. Transfer to a large mixing bowl. Set aside.

Next, prep all the vegetables and transfer to a large mixing bowl. Set aside. Clean the mushrooms with a damp paper towel to remove any dirt and/or grit. Transfer to a bowl and set aside.

Last, in a medium-size bowl, prepare the seasoned flour. To a bowl add the flour, 1 tablespoon of Kosher salt, 1 teaspoon of fresh ground black pepper, 3 tablespoons of Citrus Spice Blend, whisk to combine. Set aside.

To start, using 1 tablespoon of the Citrus Spice Blend, add a pinch of the spice blend underneath of the skin of each of the chicken pieces. Using 1 tablespoon of Kosher salt and 1 teaspoon of fresh ground black pepper, distribute evenly, season the tops of all the chicken pieces. Transfer the pieces to a rimmed baking sheet pan, set aside. Dredge each piece of chicken into the seasoned flour, shake off any excess, and set onto a separate rimmed baking sheet pan. Repeat the process until all the chicken pieces are coated in the seasoned flour.

In a cast-iron skillet heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add enough oil to cover the bottom of the skillet, about 1/2-inch deep. Heat the oil until it starts to shimmer. Place the chicken into the skillet, skin side down, in batches of three. Cook for 2 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium, continue cooking skin side down, occasionally rearranging the chicken pieces until the fat renders and the skin is golden brown, about 5 to 7 minutes. Using a pair of tongs flip each piece and cook for another 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer the finished golden brown chicken pieces back onto the rimmed baking sheet pan. Repeat the process until all the pieces are golden brown. The chicken will finish cooking in the slow cooker.

Into the Crock-pot place all of the potatoes, onion, celery, and garlic. Add 1 tablespoon of Kosher salt and 1/2 a teaspoon of fresh ground black pepper to the vegetables. Next, add the chicken broth and wine. Arrange all the chicken pieces on top, but make sure they are nestled in there really well.

Note: You want to set the temperature on high if cooking for 4 hours and low for 8 hours. Keep in mind that all the vegetables are going to release water as they cook, and this will cause the liquid to rise slowly as everything progresses. I cooked this version of high for 4 hours because I just happen to be home and I needed to watch the progression of the dish so I could post everything correctly.

Once everything has been cooking for 3 1/2 hours remove the chicken and transfer to a plate. Add the mushrooms and fresh thyme. If you left this to cook for 8 hours on low you’d pull the chicken out at 7 1/2 hours and do the same thing.

For a slightly thicker gravy, remove a ladle full of the cooking liquid and whisk in 1 heaping tablespoon of flour. Whisk until it becomes paste-like with a somewhat smooth consistency. Add it right back into the Crock-pot, stir to combine.

Carefully add all the chicken pieces back into the Crock-pot. Cover and continue to cook for another 30 minutes. The heat from the hot liquid and the chicken on the top will cook the mushrooms.

To go along with this dish I made my Semi-homemade Cheddar And Chive Drop Biscuits for dipping. The link for this recipe is at the bottom of this post.

To serve, ladle a good helping of the stew into a large porcelain bowl, making sure to get a little of everything. Garnish with Italian flat-leaf parsley. This is my Slow Cooker Citrus Chicken And Mushroom Stew.

Semi-Homemade Cheddar And Chive Drop Biscuits

Mocha Chili Spiced Roasted Asparagus

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Coq Au Vin

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To be honest, I haven’t had the opportunity to be able to travel to France, but I can dream right?. If I ever had the opportunity it would be during my favorite season, Autumn. I thought how can I get to experience a taste of Paris during the fall season, then it came to me, Coq au vin, chicken cooked in red wine. It’s a comforting dish that’s perfect when you want the best of French comfort food.

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Cremini Mushrooms

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Whenever you’re cooking something for a long time all the flavors tend to get slightly dull. People way smarter than I figured out how to bring braised dishes back to life, make them pop! They top braised dishes right before serving with what’s called a *Gremolata.

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Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 40 minutes
Yields: 4 servings
Equipment: 6-quart Dutch oven with a tight-fitting lid, large mixing bowl

Ingredients:
6 to 8 bacon slices, cut into lardons
4 chickens breasts, bone-in, skin-on, cut in half
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon Kosher salt
1 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
2 tablespoons of olive oil
1 medium-size onion, small dice
1 tablespoon of garlic, minced
3 leafy-top carrots, cut diagonally into 1-inch pieces
1 pint of Cremini mushrooms, quartered
8 baby Yukon gold potatoes, halved
1 cup chicken broth, unsalted
3 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves, chopped
1 tablespoon fresh rosemary leaves, chopped
1 cup of Cabernet Sauvignon

Ingredients For Gremolata:
1 cup of Italian flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 lemon, zested
pinch of Kosher salt
pinch of fresh ground black pepper
pinch of crushed red pepper flakes (optional)

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350-degrees F.
Preheat a Dutch oven over medium-high heat for 3 to 5 minutes until hot. Add the *lardons. When the fat begins to melt reduce the heat to medium. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes. As more fat gathers in the pot reduce the heat to medium-low. Cook for another 2 to 3 minutes. Using a pair of tongs, flip the *lardons and cook for another 2 to 3 minutes. Remove any crisp lardons onto a plate lined with a paper towel and move any lardon that needs additional time to the center of the pot to continue cooking until the remaining lardons are all crisp.

Meanwhile, lay the chicken out on paper towels and pat dry. Sprinkle with 1 tablespoon of Kosher salt and 1 teaspoon of fresh ground black pepper. Set aside.

In a large mixing bowl add the all-purpose flour, 2 tablespoons of Kosher salt and 1 tablespoon fresh ground black pepper, whisk to combine. When the bacon is all removed from the pot, turn up the heat to medium. Dredge the chicken pieces into the seasoned flour, shake off any excess, carefully arrange the pieces, skin side down in the pot, do not overcrowd. Cook the chicken pieces in batches for around 5 minutes, turning to brown both sides evenly. Transfer the first batch to a plate the plate, continue to brown the remaining pieces. Set aside.

To the pot add olive oil, onions, carrots,  Kosher salt, and freshly ground black pepper, cook over medium heat for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until onions are lightly browned. Add the garlic, cook for 1 minute more. Put the bacon (lardons) and chicken back into the pot. Add the wine, chicken broth, fresh thyme, fresh rosemary, mushrooms, and potatoes and bring to a simmer. Cover with a lid and place into the oven for 35 to 45 minutes, until the internal temperature of the chicken reads 165-degrees F. and the potatoes are fork-tender.

Whenever you’re making a stew or braising some type of meat where it needs to cook for a long time, all the flavors tend to get slightly dull. People much smarter than me figured out how to bring braised dishes back to life, make them pop! They top braised dishes, right before serving, with a *Gremolata.

Directions For The *Gremolata:
Start with lemon zest, garlic, flat-leaf Italian parsley, Kosher salt, black pepper, and crushed red pepper flakes. Place all the ingredients on a cutting board and chop them up together as finely as possible. Place into a bowl. Spoon on top of the finished dish. This way you can stir it in right before you eat. *Gremolata brings all the flavors back to life from any long cooking process.

To Serve:
Ladle the Coq Au Vin into a porcelain serving bowl with a dollop of that amazing Gremolata on top. Alongside, a good loaf of crusty French bread for dipping. You must give this dish a try, it’s so delicious.

*Lardons, also called lardoon or larding, are small 1/4″ strips of fatty bacon used in a wide variety of cuisines.

*Gremolata or Gremonlada is a chopped herb condiment classically made of lemon zest, garlic, and parsley. It’s a traditional accompaniment to many braised dishes., Gremolata is also used as a garnish.

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