It's that time of the year again, where you will find the most magnificent dishes on a dinner table. And even though there would be a variety of appetizers, main courses and desserts to enjoy, the roast will always steal the show. But can we even imagine a roast without a fresh stuffing complimenting to its extraordinary flavour?
This year we have it all covered for you, read through our tips and recipes to make a perfect roast stuffed bird!
A little about stuffing
Stuffing or filling is a seasoned mix of vegetables, starches, potatoes, eggs or crumbled bread combined sometimes with bacon, sausages, oysters and minced meat. This mixture is either cooked separately or cooked with in the body cavity of a bird; Turkey, chicken, goose or duck. However itīs also used with beef and lamb dishes.
Stuffing actually has a long history and tradition behind it.The word stuffing was known as Farce or Farcire (Latin) in the Middle Ages, meaning to simply stuff. Though the Roman cuisine is credited for a collection of stuffing recipes called the De re Coquinaria, the French were the ones who really gave stuffing the status it has today. The term stuffing was first mentioned in English print in 1538. It is now also sometimes referred to as dressing.
Itīs almost impossible to state here the number and variations of stuffing recipes across the globe. Every culture has its own unique set of recipes when it comes to stuffing.
Main Components of a Stuffing
It is about time that you stop neglecting the idea of stuffing and give it a little attention that it deserves. And we are not talking about buying a stuffing kit from the super market, we are referring to that herby, fresh, aromatic and somewhat spicy mixture that might not seem to be as significant as a whole but it is what gives a roast a unique extra flavour.
Preparing a stuffing is actually not that hectic and time consuming. A little effort would transform your roast into something amazing. Start off by keeping in mind these four basic parts of a stuffing:
- Basic foundation: this basically makes the most part of the stuffing. It can be bread, potatoes, rice, pasta, grains and even vegetables. The ratio between the foundation and other ingredients can be according to personal preference but ideally it is 4 parts the basic foundation and 1 part other ingredients.
- Additions: these are extras that add to the flavour, texture and colour of the stuffing such as nuts, dried fruits, sausages, oysters, and meat. These also include vegetables such as onions, celery, carrots and courgette.
- Seasoning: this part comprises of the spices and herbs that are to be used according to the recipe for instance, black pepper, thyme, parsley etc. this may also include soy sauce or other flavourings.
- Stock or Liquid: the stuffing requires a little moist which can be added either in the form of chicken/turkey stock, eggs, wine, milk, cream, juice or simply water.
Photo source: Istockphotos: evgnyb and kajakiki