The Thanksgiving Queen's Stuffin' in a Punkin'

This recipe is so amazing that I want to make it next year for Thanksgiving, but it's not the simplest thing in the world to make. So if you're thinking of making it for company, it might not be a bad idea to try it out once first. Also, it makes a really, really LOT of stuffing, so unless you're feeding a very hungry, stuffing-loving crowd, you might want to consider cutting the recipe in half.

You'll have to go to the end of this post to see the picture of the stuffing actually in the pumpkin, but it is. I promise.

Okay, so here's what you need. Next time I do this, I'll put the ingredients in larger groupings, and show them to you in fewer pictures. Oh, well. Live and learn. (Plus, I was having fun practicing with my new Nikon D90. If you're in the market for a camera you can't go wrong with this one!)

Okay, back on track. First you need a nice pumpkin, between 4-5 pounds.

16 oz of cornbread stuffing mix

Celery seed and fennel seed

Heavy cream. If anybody out there can tell me the difference between heavy cream and heavy whipping cream, I'd love to know. Karenpie says they're interchangeable, and I believe her.

Olive oil...

Salt and pepper. See what I mean about maybe using fewer pictures next time?

Granny Smith apples, an onion, an orange and garlic. Please disregard the second orange. Two turned out to provide too strong of an orangey taste. Please also disregard the lovely scallion. That was for the chicken recipe I was making, but I got confused.

Some lovely Sauvignon Blanc. Or if you are freaking out at the grocery store because this recipe calls for a lot of groceries and your budget is stretched to its breaking point, then some cheap Sauvignon Blanc. I'm pretty sure you won't be able to tell the difference when all is said and done.

Chicken broth...

Eggs and butter. The cream got included again because it is a dairy product and I kind of had a theme going in this picture. Do eggs count as dairy? If not, just pretend, okay?

Sausage. I would have liked to have used turkey sausage, but my grocery store didn't have any. What's up with that?

Okay, let's begin, shall we?

Time for your lobotomy, Jack! Bonus points if you can tell me where that quote is from.

When you cut off your pumpkin's lid, it will look like this...

When you are done cleaning it out, it will look like this...

That step is a pain, and it almost had me bailing on this project before I even started. But don't bail! You'll be glad you stuck it out.

Brush the inside of your nice, clean pumpkin with melted butter. Then sprinkle it with salt and pepper. I didn't take a picture of that step. Even I have my photographic limitations.

Put the lid back on the pumpkin and place it on a roasting rack inside a roasting pan. If you do not have a roasting rack, try putting it on a cooling rack on a cookie sheet. It worked for me. Stick it in the oven and bake it for 15 minutes at 350 degrees. Then, remove it and set it aside. You've got alot of work to do.

First, chop up one medium onion.

Then mince three cloves of garlic.

Then peel, core and chop two Granny Smith apples. The size of the pieces is up to you. I made mine kind of big. I think I'll make them smaller next time. Mason thought the big bites of apple were kind of weird, but, hey, he's eleven. He thinks lots of things are weird.

Zest an orange. This time around I zested two, but it was too much. It's up to you though. If you like a nice strong orange flavor, go for it!

I've never zested anything before. I thought the oranges looked kind of funny, so I included an after shot of them, post-zest.



That's it. There is no rosemary or thyme. You're singing it, though. You know you are.

Anyway, chop about 1/8 of a cup of each herb. I used more, but again, too much.

Pour about 2 Tablespoons of olive oil in a nice, big frying pan. Turn the heat up to medium.

Now take all that stuff you chopped and minced and diced and zested and throw it in there, along with 1 teaspoon each of fennel and celery seed. Season the whole deal with salt and pepper, and then cook until fragrant. That'll take about 3 minutes and your whole kitchen will smell amazing.

Throw in 2 pounds of ground sausage and cook for about 10 minutes. Please make sure your sausage is no longer pink. Pink sausage is not your friend.

Then you're going to deglaze your pan. Deglaze is a fancy word, which in this case means throw 1 cup of Sauvignon Blanc in and stir it around really well to loosen up any cooked on bits that are stuck to the bottom of the pan. As my friend Karenpie says, those bits are the Fort Knox of flavor. You don't want to miss out on that! After you've loosened up all the yummy bits, let everything cook for about 2 minutes to allow the alcohol to evaporate.

Then stir in 1 cup of heavy cream. Now your mixture will look lite this, and it will smell like heaven.

Dump everything into a really big bowl.
Add 16 oz. of cornbread stuffing mix. Fold it all together. Gradually add 2 eggs (beaten) and 3 cups of chicken broth. Now everything will be nice and moist, and more importantly it will also be very close to being finished!

Now go get your baked pumpkin. I'll wait.....
Okay, now fill it with stuffing, put the lid back on and bake it for 20 minutes. When it's done, the eggs should be cooked and the lid should just be starting to lift off the pumpkin. I was worried about overfilling my pumpkin, so I didn't really pack the stuffing in there and the lid never did rise. Oh, well. You can't have everything. You can bake the leftover stuffing in a buttered casserole dish. Trust me. You'll have plenty!

1 comment:

  1. AWESOME POST! Your pictures are wonderful! Food blogging is fun, huh?
    BTW - like your new look here at GBF!


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