Thanksgiving is around the corner again. Turkey time! But, as we all know, it’s the stuffing that makes the bird memorable. If the stuffing sucks, so does everything else. Thus I’m again posting a recipe that I did on 2013 for Thanksgiving. It was Puerto Rican Turkey Stuffing. My mom’s hallowed recipe, which is in my first cookbook, Puerto Rican Cuisine in America (Running Press – Perseus Books Group). And, believe me, it’s a winner. Its the stuffing that I still use to this day when cooking the bird.

Note that our stuffing is more seasoned than its Anglo counterpart. And we add rum to the recipe. The rum is boiled away in the cooking, and only the flavor remains. As I noted in the initial post, it’s one of the components that makes this stuffing unique

There’s no leftovers with this one. And, if you do happen to have leftovers, the stuffing goes great with any dish, be it seafood, beef, pork, or chicken. Enjoy!

(Turkey Stuffing)

2 tablespoon olive oil
2 pounds lean ground beef or 1 1/2 pounds bulk pork sausage (for a spicier variation, Spanish chorizo can
be used), coarsely chopped
1 medium onion, peeled and chopped
1 pound mushrooms, washed and chopped
1 medium apple, peeled and chopped
Salt and ground black pepper to taste
Poultry seasoning to taste (optional)
1 cup seeded raisins, soaked in 1/2  cup warm water for 10 minutes
1 cup walnuts, chopped
8 cups bread crumbs
1/2 cup white Puerto Rican rum
1/2 cup chicken bouillon or broth

1. In a large skillet or kettle, heat olive oil and cook meat, stirring frequently until it loses its red color. If using sausage, it should be cooked until browned. Drain but reserve fat.
2. Add onions, mushrooms and apple. Season to taste with salt, pepper and poultry seasoning (if using), and sauté until apples are slightly softened. It may be necessary to add some of the reserve fat to keep mixture from sticking. Add drained raisins, walnuts and bread crumbs. Cook for about 3 minutes. Stir in white rum, chicken bouillon or broth and sauté for about 5 minutes more.
3. Remove from heat. When cool, stuff turkey about three-quarters full, and follow roasting instructions.
Yield: about 10 cups.

Note: Any extra stuffing can be placed in a covered glass casserole and baked along with the turkey for the last 45 minutes of cooking. Or it can be saved for later use and heated up with the leftovers. (I recommend baking at 350 degrees F. for 30 minutes).

Picture: courtesy of Fashion Belief

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