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Published November 25, 2009, 12:00 AM

STUFFING RECIPES: Megan’s Mom’s Cornbread Stuffing . . . Rich Chestnut Stuffing

By: Herald Wire Reports,

Megan’s Mom’s Cornbread Stuffing

3 boxes Jiffy cornbread mix

3 eggs

1 cup milk

1 package turkey wings and parts (necks and gizzards if you can find them)

1 tablespoon cooking oil

3 to 4 stalks of celery

2 to 3 carrots

1 onion

2 to 3 whole cloves (optional)

1 bay leaf

1 teaspoon salt

Pepper to taste

8 to 10 stalk of celery

1 onion

½ to 1 stick butter

Poultry seasoning (optional)

Mix together cornbread mix, eggs and milk. Let it sit on counter for about 1 minute, then fold it into a greased 9-by-12-inch baking dish. Bake for approximately 18 to 20 minutes at 400 degrees or whatever the box says. (Try to make it at least two days ahead, so that it gets stale.)

After it’s nice and stale, cube it and flip it into the largest mixing bowl or pot you have.

Brown turkey parts in oil. Add about 3 or 4 stalks of celery, about 2 or 3 carrots and 1 onion. Stud the onion with whole cloves.

Fill the stock pot with water and bring to a light boil. If there is any foam on the top, skim it off. Add bay leaf, about 1 teaspoon salt, a little pepper and cover pot. Simmer for at least 2 hours or up to 4 hours. (The longer it simmers, the better it will be.) When you are happy with the taste of the turkey stock, remove the parts and vegetables and then strain the stock into another pot. (This step is best done at least one day before you actually need it.)

Chop about 8 to 10 stalks of celery and one onion. Saute gently in batches, if necessary, in about half a stick of butter for each batch. Add this mixture to the cubed, stale cornbread. Add a pinch of poultry seasoning.

Moisten the mixture with your homemade turkey broth, a ladle at a time. This is the tricky part because too little, and it will be dry; too much, and it will turn to mush. You want it moderately moist. If your cubes are starting not to look like cubes, don’t add anymore broth.

Put the stuffing in a lightly greased tinfoil pan, cover it and bake it for about 30 to 40 minutes at 325 to 350 degrees. Serve.

Refrigerate any leftovers fairly promptly.

Rich Chestnut Stuffing

15 fresh Brussels sprouts

1 8-ounce jar cooked chestnuts

2 tablespoons olive oil, divided

1 pound bulk mild Italian sausage

1 medium onion, peeled and finely chopped

2 medium cloves garlic, peeled and minced

8 cups French or Italian bread cubes, day old

½ cup chopped Italian parsley

1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves

1 tablespoon minced sage leaves

½ teaspoon kosher salt

¼ teaspoon ground black pepper

1½ cups chicken or turkey broth

Nonstick cooking spray or oil

4 tablespoons melted butter or ¼ cup turkey drippings

Trim the stem ends from Brussels sprouts and remove any tough or yellowed outer leaves. Cut a cross in the bottom of each. Bring a medium pan of water to the boil. Add the sprouts and bring back to a boil. Time 5 to 7 minutes or until just tender. Drain and rinse with cold water to stop the cooking. Pat dry and chop coarsely; set aside. Coarsely chop chestnuts and set aside.

Heat a tablespoon olive oil in a skillet on medium heat. Add sausage, breaking it up with spatula and saute until cooked through and no longer pink. Remove from pan; pour off fat. Add remaining tablespoon olive oil to pan. Add onion and saute 5 minutes. Then add garlic and saute 2 minutes. Set aside.

In a large bowl, combine bread cubes with Brussels sprouts, chestnuts, sausage, vegetables, parsley, thyme, sage, salt and pepper; mix well. Drizzle chicken broth over the stuffing and mix with a large spoon. Spray a 2½-quart baking dish with cooking spray or oil lightly. Spoon stuffing into dish and drizzle melted butter or turkey drippings over the top. Cover with aluminum foil and bake in preheated 325-degree oven 30 minutes. Uncover and continue baking 15 minutes.

Yield: Serves 10 to 12.