Thursday, 13 December 2012

Tarragon and fennel stuffing

 Sometimes it's nice to switch things around a little. Tarragon is one of those lovely herbs rich in aniseed flavour, it always works so well with poultry. I know that Sage and onion has become synonymous with the Christmas dinner, but I want to put it out there that you don't have to follow convention, sometimes breaking the rules can work and in this case I know it does. Stuffing does not have to be daunting, and it does not have to be that very well known brand that most succumb to. I always cook my stuffing separately, if you stuff the turkey with a sausage stuffing you can guarantee that by the time the stuffing is cooked the breast is dry, and also when you cook the stuffing separately you achieve a wonderful crust on the outside that would not get by trying to cook the stuffing inside of the bird. I have used Sicilian sausages in this stuffing because it is flavoured with fennel seeds that compliments the tarragon and aniseed flavours really well. Have a go at making your own stuffing, it is well worth the effort.

You will need:

1 fennel bulb finely chopped
3 chopped shallots
50g of butter
300g of fresh white breadcrumbs
20g of fresh tarragon
1200g of  de-skinned sicilian sausages

Start by frying the shallots and fennel in the 50g of butter and cook on a medium heat until softened. Once softened set aside to cool. In a bowl mix the de skinned sausages (they have to be sicilian sausage flavoured with fennel seed) with the cooled shallots and fennel, mix the breadcrumbs through carefully, followed by the tarragon. Decant the stuffing into a roasting tray roughly 20cm x 30cm pressing it down until it is even. Cook in the oven for 45 minutes at 190 degrees c. If the top begins to brown too much cover with tin foil.

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