Inside or out ? - Get stuffing

Times were when cooks used to do the stuffing inside of the turkeys. The theory was that the stuffing flavoured the turkey. OK, I  accept that, but I was too young back then to do it myself. But my mother´s stuffing always turned out well, was cooked through and very yummy. I was always one for following mother´s method but I wouldn't do it her way now.
I have been watching a lot of TV cooks recently in the run up to Christmas showing great ways to cook the stuffing outside.Whats more, if stuffing is cooked on its own it can become the side attraction to many main dishes other than the turkey, or a dish in its own write.So what better than a Sierra Rica chestnut, fig and sausage stuffing. In an ideal world this recipe uses Organic chestnuts from a farm in Aracena not far from Seville in southwestern Andalucia.

This is a deliciously different stuffing for Christmas.It can be cooked on its own in a dish.If you want to cook it inside the bird, stuff the neck end(not the cavity and roast at 190C/fan170C/gas 5 for 20 minutes per 500g.

225 g Pork sausage meat
3 large shallots chopped
2 stalks celery chopped
Vegetable or chicken stock
170g dried figs,chopped
3 tbsp brandy
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
400g Sierra Rica cooked organic chestnuts or near substitute
cut into quarters
160g coarse breadcrumbs
To cook in its own dish....
Heat the oven to 180C7fan 160C/gas 4 and oil or butter a medium baking tin or dish.
Cook the sausage meat in a large frying pan over a medium heat for 5 minutes until browned and cooked through, breaking it into small pieces with a fork.Add the shallots and celery and cook for a further 5 minutes.Make up 150ml of stock. Add half to the pan with the figs, brandy and thyme. Bring to the boil, reduce the heat, and cook for 5 minutes until the figs are tender.Combine the chestnuts, breadcrumbs and sausage mixture in a large mixing bowl. Stir in the remaining stock and season with salt and pepper.Transfer the stuffing to the baking tin and cover with foil.bake for 25 minutes, then remove the foil and bake for a further 5-10 minutes, until the top of the stuffing begins to brown.Serves 6

Juggling birds.potatoes and stuffing in the oven can be difficult, but here is a solution where you have your stuffing and the added bonus of an extra side dish, and........ you can make these up to two days before then re-heat them when you want them.

Sausage,fig and chestnut stuffed baked onions, 
with tangerine

6 red onions peeled but kept whole
Juice of 5 tangerines, clementines or mandarins
stuffing as above

Heat the oven to 190C/ fan 170C/gas 5. Stand the onions in a roasting tin, pour around the citrus juice, season, cover with foil and bake for 1 hour or until just tender.
Turn the oven up to 200C/fan 180C/Gas 6 Remove the cores from the onions, save the cores and use for gravy.Pack the hollowed onions with the stuffing.dab each with butter or a little olive oil and roast uncovered for 30 minutes until crisped on top. They´ll keep for up to two days and re-heat when you want them.


  1. I really like the red onion idea, especially with the addition of citrus. But if having a bird for Christmas, I will always stuff it. Funnily enough, it's my mother who worries about it and prefers to cook it separately, rather than me.

    Anyway, all moot this year as we're having steak instead. Just thought I'd let you know I'm following your blog and enjoying it. Happy Christmas!

  2. Love stuffed onions . . . all year round. And a Happy Christmas to you and yours. Discovering o cozinheiro este algarve in 2011 has been a delight!


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