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Herbed Crock Pot Stuffing

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Every Thanksgiving I’m plagued by the same challenge: I only have one oven. It’s all about getting everything heated up and on the table without food drying out or cooling down. Just thinking about it usually gives me Turkey day anxiety, but this year I have one less thing to worry about. This year I’m making my stuffing in my brand spanking new crock pot! (Compliments of my friend, John, who was mortified by this rice cooker post [2].)

What’s genius about making stuffing in the crock pot is that it a) doesn’t take up any space in the oven b) cooks all day making the house smell awesome c) doesn’t dry out d) can be served directly out of the crock if you are so inclined.

Plus, my kid gets really excited about the “magic pot” – bread goes in and it magically turns into stuffing. Now for the recipe…

Herbed Crock Pot Stuffing
adapted from this Slow Cooker Stuffing recipe [3]

Thanksgiving Planning: Start cooking Thanksgiving morning

Prep Time: 25 mins  Cooking Time: 4 to 5 hours

2 loaves french bread
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion chopped
2 cups celery chopped
12 oz mushrooms chopped
1/4 cup chopped parsley
sprigs fresh thyme (leaves removed, stems discarded)
6 fresh sage leaves (leaves removed, stems discarded)
salt & fresh ground pepper
2 eggs, beaten
2 to 3 cups vegetable broth (or chicken broth if you aren’t married to a vegetarian!)

Cut bread into cubes, spread out on cookie sheets and toast them in the oven at 400 degrees until they are brown and crunchy. Melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Cook sage leaves in butter until soft. Remove sage leaves and add olive oil, onions, celery, thyme and parsley. Cook for a few more minutes and then add mushrooms. Cook until vegetables soften. In a large bowl toss together bread crumb and sauteed vegetables and add salt and pepper to taste. Pour enough broth over bread crumbs to moisten the mixture. Mix in eggs and toss again. Transfer to a slow cooker and cover. Cook on high for 45 minutes and then reduce heat to low and cook for 4 or 5 hours checking a few times to stir and add more broth when/if needed.  If you like your stuffing on the toasty side, take the lid off the crock pot 30 to 40 minutes before serving and allow the stuffing to cook. Stir a few times while cooking this way to get it evenly browned. Serves a crowd.
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[2] this rice cooker post: http://www.cookingwithmykid.com/dinner/rice-cooker-risotto/

[3] Slow Cooker Stuffing recipe: http://allrecipes.com//Recipe/slow-cooker-stuffing/Detail.aspx

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