Monday, 21 November 2011

Recipe XXXIV - Stuffing Your Bird

In the run-up to Yuletide, I would like to suggest some ways to make your own traditional Christmas dinner. This week, we're looking at stuffing birds. There are many ways of doing this, without having to rely on ready-made material.

A small loaf or a thick slice of white bread
2-3 eggs
A splash of milk
Some dried herbs (sage, oregano, rosemary, etc., or whatever you choose)
Some dried fruits (dried apricots, raisins, etc., or something similar)
Some crushed almonds or walnuts
An onion, cut into small squares
4 cloves of garlic
Ground black pepper
Salt to taste, and of course...
...a bird to put it in! I chose a pheasant, because it needed cooking.

Notes on game birds:
Don't forget to get your game bird off a good huntsman. Hang it up in a cool, dry place for several weeks if you can. The longer you hang it up for, and the worse it stinks, the better it will taste on your plate. I couldn't, because the finicky Germans have banned game birds due to avian flu, so I had to import mine from the UK frozen.

Take the bread and break it up into a bowl. Crack the eggs on top (two should do, but with a big bird, you will need more bread and more eggs) and pour on some milk. With a potato masher, work the ingredients into each other. Leave it whilst you cut up the onion and garlic, and crush your pepper.

Add all the other ingredients into the mixture and mix wekk using a fork or the potato masher.

Take the bird, spread it out and open up the space where the innards normally are. Stuff the mixture inside. Follow the recommended cooking instructions for your bird, with the stuffing.

Once you remove the bird from the oven, your stuffing should have a thick crust (see the photo below).

Finally, cut up your bird into (un)equal portions, making sure everyone gets some, but the cook gets the most!

Above is how the stuffing looks across the middle.

Point of interest:
You don't have to have a bird to make stuffing. You can put it into roulades of beef or pork, or you can roast or steam the stuffing as a dish on its own. It is so heavy, it makes an ideal vegetarian meal.

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