Like – I assume – most kids, the bit I liked best about the roasted chooks that Mum would occasionally buy was the deliciousness that was stuffed inside. If I had been allowed to, I would have completely ignored the chicken and just gorged myself on the herbed, bready stuffing from within. It helped that I thought it was hilarious that it was technically arse bread.
For some reason, Mum stopped buying them – explanation please, Heather? – and stuffing became a thing of legend. Last year we had a Thanksgiving feast at an Aussie friend’s house (no Americans present but we did our best) and one of the guests brought two pans of stuffing – none of which I could eat, of course, as they had wheat bread in them but they smelt ah-mazing. I was drooling and it took all of my strength to resist. The room I spared in my stomach for dessert was the main factor behind my determination; look at the bright side, right?
This year, Ev and I held a belated Thanksgiving dinner after his brother arrived from Australia and there was no question about it, we both wanted stuffing on the menu. After browsing some recipes, it seemed simple enough. Bread as a base, saute some veggies and add in stock and herbs. Then bake. It really was that easy! Hooray! It can even be made ahead of time and then baked before it’s required.
- I added in a little garlic and onion to this, as I can tolerate them. If you can’t, then either omit them or add in the green parts of chives and a pinch of asafoetida powder.
- Asafoetida powder is an Indian spice that replicates the flavours of onion and garlic.
- The green parts of chives and leeks are lower FODMAP than the white, and easier to tolerate fructans-wise.
- Mushrooms contain mannitol, so beware if you are sensitive. The half cup split between eight portions should help to soften the FODMAP load.
- This is an egg-free stuffing, if you choose to use a bread that doesn’t contain eggs – my corn bread does but some commercial GF breads, or 100% rye breads, do not.
Corn Bread Stuffing
Serves 6-8 as a side dish, works well in a 12″ skillet.
- 1/2 a loaf of my cast iron cornbread recipe, or a small loaf of your favourite GF bread
- 1 tbsp. garlic infused olive oil.
- 3 cups of finely diced vegetables that you can tolerate – I used 1/2 cup green leek tips, 1/2 cup diced mushrooms, zucchini, celery, grated carrots
- 2 cups of fructose friendly stock – you can make it fresh from the neck and giblets of the bird you are roasting
- 1/8 cup fresh minced rosemary
- 1/8 cup fresh minced thyme
- Salt and pepper to taste
Cut the bread into 2 cm cubes (or there-about) and leave it out overnight to harden. The drier the bread, the more liquid – and thus flavour – it will soak up when the stuffing is baking. If you forgot, or don’t have the time to let it dry out naturally, bake it in the oven at 180 C/350 F for 20 to 30 minutes, checking it periodically.
Seal your pan with the garlic infused olive oil and saute the finely diced veggies and fresh herbs for 20 minutes or so – you want them to reduce by at least 50%, 75% is ideal. It doesn’t matter if the bottom of the pan browns a little – this is called a fond and is like a flavour bomb, as long as you don’t let it burn and become bitter. It will “deglaze” itself when you add in the liquid stock later on.
Preheat the oven to 180 C/350 F.
Once the veggies have reduced, add in the bread chunks and mix them around. The bread will crumble – this is okay. Next, add in 1 cup of the stock and stir it through. Add in more stock and stir through if required. You may not need the entire 2 cups of stock, depending on how dry the bread was or how much liquid was left in the veggies; just play it by ear. The stuffing shouldn’t look soupy but it should definitely be moist before it is baked, like a dough. Add in salt and pepper to taste.
Bake it for 30 to 40 minutes, until the top has browned a little and formed a slight crust. It should still be moist but much of the squishiness it had pre-baking should be gone.
Serve it in the skillet on the table, along with the turkey (or chook) and accompanying dishes. Simple, tasty and low FODMAP! Can’t beat that.