Tuesday 20 March 2018

Getting stuffed: Christmas stuffing

Derry Clarke's orange and chestnut stuffing

400g white breadcrumbs
2 oranges
120g butter
2tbs chopped sage
2tbs chopped thyme
2 packets of cooked/tinned, chilled chestnuts (200g)
Sea salt and pepper
1 onion, peeled and diced

METHOD Heat a medium-sized saucepan. Melt butter, add onion and simmer for five minutes over low heat. Add the sage and thyme and grate the rind of the oranges into the mix. Add the breadcrumbs, the juice of the oranges and simmer for two minutes. Add the chestnuts and season with sea salt and pepper. Remove and cool. Place in freezer bag and freeze if making in advance of Christmas Day.

Catherine Fulvios's orange, cranberry and ginger stuffing

Serves 6


175g loaf sliced bread with crust, made into breadcrumbs
3 shallots, finely chopped
3 celery stalks, finely chopped
50g butter
2cm piece fresh ginger, grated
2 sprigs thyme
3 tbsps cranberries
Zest and juice of 2 oranges
50ml chicken stock (optional)
Salt and pepper

METHOD: Sauté the shallots with the ginger and the butter in a large frying pan over a medium-high heat until almost cooked, add the celery and cook for a further 2-3 minutes. Add the thyme, cranberries and the breadcrumbs. Add the orange zest and juice. Season with salt and pepper. Place any remaining stuffing mix into a greased baking dish. Drizzling with a little chicken stock if it is too dry. Cover with foil. Place in a preheated oven to 180C and bake the stuffing covered until fully heated through (allow 40 minutes to 1 hour for this). Remove the foil and bake until the stuffing is beginning to brown.

Kevin Dundon's sausage meat and apricot stuffing

This is a wonderful way of making and serving stuffing, particularly if you are not a fan of stuffing the actual cavity of a goose. The beauty of this stuffing is that you can have it prepared in advanced and just cook on Christmas day.

8 slices Parma ham
1 small onion, diced
3oz/75g butter
1/2 medium sized onion
5oz/150g dried apricots-diced
3/4 lb/350g sausage meat (approx 10-12 sausages)
7oz/200g fresh white breadcrumbs
4 tbsps of chopped mixed herbs (parsley, sage, thyme etc).

METHOD Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas Mark 4.Heat the butter in a medium sized saucepan and gently fry off the diced onion for 4-5 minutes until it has softened but yet not coloured. At this stage add in the apricots and the chopped mixed herbs and immediately turn off the heat. Allow this mixture to cool completely. Add this 'buttery onion' mixture to a large mixing bowl and add in the breadcrumbs and sausage meat. Mix well and season with salt and pepper.

Lightly oil a piece a tin foil and place the eight slices of parma ham across the tin foil. Mould your stuffing into a cylindrical shape and place it along the middle of the parma ham slices. Wrap the parma ham all the way around the stuffing and then roll up in tin foil, retaining the long cylindrical shape.

Place onto a flat baking tray and bake in the preheated oven for one hour.

Ensure the stuffing is cooked by piercing it with a skewer to ensure that the juices run clear. Allow the stuffing to rest for 15-20 minutes in the tin foil before carving and this 'resting' will make the stuffing easier to carve.

Irish Independent

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