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.
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