Miles Standish Stuffing
Her mother is acclaimed cookbook editor Maria Guarnaschelli, but when we asked Alexandra Guarnaschelli of NYC’s Butter for her favorite Thanksgiving dish, it was her father’s recipe for this savory stuffing that she shared with us. “My father calls this the Miles Standish stuffing,” she told us, “because it contains pepperoni and mozzarella, two ingredients he jokingly insists they were eating on the Mayflower.” Guarnaschelli suggests wrapping any excess stuffing in aluminum foil and putting it in the bottom of the roasting pan so the turkey drippings flavor it as it cooks—another technique she learned from her dad.
- 8 slices white sandwich bread, cubed
- 1/4 pound (1/2 cup) unsalted butter
- 2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves
- 10 fresh sage leaves, cut into thin strips
- 1 teaspoon dried rosemary
- 3 medium yellow onions, thinly sliced
- 8 stalks celery, thinly sliced
- 10 ounces pepperoni, skin removed, cut into small cubes
- 1 pound pork breakfast sausage, casings removed,
- broken into small pieces
- 1 turkey heart, cut into small pieces
- 1 turkey gizzard, cut into small pieces
- 1 pound mozzarella cheese, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
- 1 cup chicken stock
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground white pepper
Preheat the oven to 325ºF. Arrange the bread in a single layer on a baking sheet and toast until light brown, about 15 minutes. Remove from oven and spread 3 tablespoons of the butter on both sides of the bread. Cut into 1-inch squares and transfer to a large mixing bowl. Add thyme, sage, and rosemary. Toss well to combine and set aside.
Melt 3 tablespoons of butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onions and celery and cook until translucent and tender, about 7 minutes. Remove from heat and transfer the contents to another bowl. Set aside.
In the same skillet, melt another tablespoon of butter and sauté the pepperoni and sausage over medium-high heat until browned, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towel.
In the same skillet, melt the remaining tablespoon of butter. Sauté the turkey heart and gizzard pieces for 30 seconds. Add this mixture, along with the onion mixture, pepperoni mixture, mozzarella, chicken stock, salt, and pepper to the bowl of toasted bread and herbs. Toss to combine.
Loosely fill the cavity of the turkey with the stuffing and tie the legs together with a strong piece of kitchen twine to prevent the stuffing from falling out. Wrap any remaining stuffing in foil and put in the bottom of the roasting pan for the last hour of cooking.