Ciabatta Dressing

Here in Canada we already had our thanksgiving, so I’ll have a couple of seasonal recipes coming your way.  The first one is some Ciabatta Dressing.  I chose to go the dressing (baked separately) route as opposed to the stuffing (stuffed in the turkey) route because after some heavy reading on the debate between which is better I sided with the dressing.   Stuffing is said to dry the turkey out because the bread is so porous that it absorbs a lot of the juices that attribute to the turkey being moist.  This of course flavours the stuffing really nicely, but I figured it was much easier to mimic the turkey flavour in the stuffing than it was to fake a moist turkey.  This recipe will work just fine for stuffing the turkey as well if that is what you would like to do, just make that it reaches a temp. of 165º if that is what you decide to do.

Initially I wanted to go a super basic white bread and traditional ingredient dressing with celery and onion, but after a trip to Whole Foods to pick up some ingredients that changed a little bit.  Whole Foods of course didn’t have even 1 loaf of white bread…seriously Whole Foods? Not trendy enough for ya?  Anyways, I didn’t want to do whole wheat stuffing, because it was thanksgiving and this means you can forget about the healthy grains for a day, so I grabbed some herbed ciabatta that they had.  It was local (from Uprising Breads), which I really liked and I gotta tell you, I think I’ll be using it in my dressing from now on!

I really liked the texture of the ciabatta, it held on to moisture well and the fact that it was already herbed added some extra flavour to the dressing.    

Ciabatta Dressing

4-6 herbed ciabatta buns, cubed

¾ cup butter

1 onion, diced

4 celery stalks, diced

1 tsp dried sage

salt & pepper to taste

1 cup chicken broth

1.  Let Ciabatta cubes air for 1-3 hours.

2.  Preheat oven to 350°.  In a saucepan, melt butter over medium heat.  Add celery and onion and cook until soft.  Season with sage, salt & pepper.  Stir in the ciabatta cubes, moisten with chicken broth.  Mix well

3.  Bake in a greased casserole dish for 30 mins.

*If using to stuff a turkey, chill before use and make sure that it reaches a temp. of 165º

Makes approx. 8 servings

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