Wednesday, December 3, 2008
There are few things that say "home-cooked meal" more than a roast chicken. But let's face it. If there's stuffing on the table, the chicken takes the backseat. I see it as a vehicle to get more stuffing in my mouth.
As promised earlier this week, I give you my mum's stuffing recipe, slightly adapted since my memory is not that great. We always loved our mum's stuffing. The only thing I didn't like about it is that there was never enough. Now that I'm a big girl, I decided I had to figure out a way to make more stuffing, cooking some of it inside the bird cavity, and the rest outside of it.
I was inspired Rachel Ray.
In one of her earliest episodes, she made "stuffin muffins". Genius. They're cute, easy to cook and easy to portion out too.
I'm calling mine "Stuffing Cupcakes" even though there's no frosting. Hmmmm, stuffing and frosting. Maybe?
Stuffing "Cupcakes": Stuffing with bacon, mint, pine nuts and raisins
You'll need this stuff:
6 rashers bacon, chopped into 1/4" pieces
2 medium onions, chopped fine
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1" piece of fresh ginger, chopped
2 serrano chiles, sliced in half and seeded (optional)
1/4 cup pine nuts
1/3 cup raisins
1 small loaf of bread (in this case I used a brioche. It's better if the bread is a couple of days old.)
Splash of brandy or whisky (optional)
2 cups chicken stock
Handful of mint leaves, minced
1) Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Prep your muffin pan with cupcake liners, spray them with a little cooking spray.
2) Put a big skillet over medium heat, and add the bacon. Don't let it burn! If it's browning very quickly, turn the heat down; you want to render as much fat out of the bacon as possible before it turns a dark caramel brown. Once it's cooked, remove the bacon from the pan. Return the pan (and delicious ambrosia aka bacon fat) to the fire.
3) Add the chopped onions, garlic and ginger. Let them pick up some colour so that they're soft and slightly browned. While it's browning, cut the crusts off the loaf of bread and cut it up into very small cubes. You can use the crusts too if you like.
4) Add the raisins and the pine nuts to the skillet, cooking until the pine nuts have picked up a little color too.
5) Now add the bread and toss, trying to cover each cube of bread in the yummy bacon-fruit-nut mixture. Turn the heat off. Add the bacon bits, a splash of brandy/whisky and the mint. Stir. Taste and season according to your palate.
6) In a bowl, beat the two eggs lightly, and add the chicken stock. Make sure your skillet is still off the heat and has cooled slightly, because you don't want the eggs to cook in the next step.
7) Pour the egg mixture over the bread mixture and stir thoroughly.
8) Divide the mixture evenly between the muffin cups. You can press the stuffing down into each cupcake liner so it'll hold together after baking, but don't overload them.
9) Put the muffin pan in the oven and bake for 15-20 minutes, until the top is browned and your kitchen smells goooooooood. Serve!
They're great alongside a roast chicken, roast meat of any kind really... or like we did tonight, you can eat them on their own.
at 8:34 PM