Thanksgiving in a muffin

It’s that time of year again. When everybody goes home for the long weekend, stuffs themselves with home-cooked turkey goodness, and comes back with lots of leftover freezer packs. And the rest of us get to stick around and work, “read,” and not eat turkey.

If there’s one thing I’m always choked about missing on Thanksgiving, it’s the stuffing. I mean, turkey is meh, and I was never really got into cranberry sauce, but stuffing. Kudos to whoever thought to stuff bread into a bird to soak up all the flavours. The problem is, who has time to roast a turkey? Or even a chicken. Then when stuffing it, you get raw meat all over your arms and all over your kitchen; it’s pretty gross.

Ladies and gentlemen, I introduce you to the next best thing: stuffing muffins. My mom and I discovered this recipe in Ontario’s Food and Drink magazine as a fix to making our Christmas turkey gluten-free. It’s fantastic. Perfect little portions so that you don’t overstuff yourself. These muffins allow you to keep the bird free of gluten for all your celiac and wheat-sensitive friends, and you don’t need a bird to cook them! Just in case you get those late-July hankerings for stuffing, but maybe that’s just me.

In the spirit of expending no effort to whip up a legit turkey dinner, pair your stuffing muffins with a chicken roasted for you by your local grocery store, some stovetop gravy, good company, and the rest of the white wine left over from cooking.

Bacon Mushroom Stuffing Muffins

(Inspired by a recipe from the Food and Drink Holiday 2012 issue)

(Makes eight muffins)

  • 4 slices of thick cut bacon
  • 2 stalks of celery, chopped
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 cup of sliced mushrooms
  • 1 tsp dried sage
  • ½ tsp dried rosemary, crumbled
  • ¼ cup of dry white wine
  • 5 cups of cubed, preferably stale, bread
  • ¼ cup fresh parsley, chopped
  • Approx. ½ cup of chicken broth

Put eight muffin wrappers into a muffin tray. Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C), if you plan to bake them right away.

Fry up the bacon on medium heat until crisp, then set it aside on a paper towel to soak up some of the extra grease.

In the bacon pan add celery, onion, and some salt and pepper. Sauté until they start to soften.  Add mushrooms, sage, and rosemary until the mushrooms start to brown, then pour in the wine and scrape up the brown bits.

Transfer the veggies into a large bowl and mix with the bread and fresh parsley. Crumble the bacon and add it to the mix. Add enough chicken broth to moisten the stuffing (when you squeeze it, a handful should just hold together). Season with some more salt and pepper.

Divvy the mixture up among the muffin wrappers, packing lightly. Bake immediately, or cover and set aside in the fridge for up to eight hours.

When you are getting ready to eat, bake them for about 20 minutes, or until the tops are golden and crisp and the stuffing is hot in the centre. Let them cool for about five minutes, then remove from the pan and have at ’em.

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