Chef Rich Mead’s Thanksgiving Stuffing

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• 1 cup diced carrots
• 2 cups diced celery
• 2 cups diced onions
• 1 cup chopped leeks
• 3 cups sliced shiitake mushrooms
• 2 cups cubed roasted butternut squash
• 1 cup cooked wild rice
• 2 TBS minced garlic cloves
• (optional 2 tsp crushed chiles)
• ¾ cups unsalted butter
• ¼ cup olive oil

• 4 cups turkey stock (can also use chicken broth or vegetable broth to keep dish vegetarian)
• 1 cup white wine
• 14 cups of Toasted Seasoned Bread Cubes

Fresh Herbs:
• ½ cup chopped sage
• 2 TBS chopped thyme
• ¼ cup chopped rosemary
• ½ cup chopped Italian Parsley

Salt and Fresh Ground Pepper

Toasted Seasoned Bread Cubes:

• 2 LBS. or 16 cups of cubed ciabatta bread (you can use sourdough if you would like)- makes about 14 cups toasted seasoned bread cubes.
• ¼ cup olive oil

Seasoning Mix:
• 1 1/2 TBS ground sage
• 1 1/2 TBS ground rosemary
• 1 ½ tsp ground marjoram
• 1 ½ tsp dried thyme
• 1 ½ tsp onion powder
• 1 ½ tsp garlic powder
• 1 1/8 tsp kosher salt
• 1/4 tsp white pepper
• 3/4 tsp black pepper

• Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
• Cut bread crumbs into cubes, place in a mixing bowl and drizzle olive oil lightly over bread cubes.
• Sprinkle with 2 heaping TBS of seasoning mix and toss.
• Mix thoroughly so seasoning mix coats bread cubes.
• Place on a parchment paper covered cookie sheet and bake at 350 degrees until lightly toasted, stirring occasionally.
• Remove from oven and set aside to cool.

Roast Butternut Squash Cubes:
• Peel butternut and slice in half split lengthwise.
• Scrape out seeds and cut into half circles about an inch thick.
• Proceed to cut the half circles into 1 inch by 1 inch cubes.
• Put cubes into bowl and toss with olive oil, salt and fresh ground pepper.
• Place on parchment paper covered sheet pan and place in preheated 350 degree oven and roast, stirring occasionally until soft and turning lightly brown.
• Remove from pan and let cool.

• Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
• Place butter and olive oil in a preheated medium high sauté pan and allow butter to begin melting.
• Coat pan with oil and butter and add carrots, celery, onions and leeks.
• Begin sautéing, season lightly with salt and fresh ground pepper, and when vegetables begin to soften, add garlic ( and crushed chiles if desired) and stir.
• Continue cooking and reduce heat to medium and add mushrooms. Cook while stirring until mushrooms soften.
• Add white wine—stir and allow to reduce by at least half.
• Place bread cubes in a mixing bowl and add sauté pan mixture over bread cubes and begin to mix.
• Add half of the herbs, 2 cups of stock and season with salt and fresh ground pepper. Continue to mix, add rest of herbs and stock and cooked wild rice—taste and finish seasoning with salt and fresh ground pepper.

• Oil a baking pan / La Creuset (casserole pan) and scoop mixture into dish.
• Cover with foil and place into pre heated 350 degree oven and bake about 40 minutes—until hot throughout. Test by inserting knife blade into middle of stuffing. Stuffing is cooked through when knife is very hot to touch.
• Melt ½ cup of butter, remove stuffing from oven and uncover and drizzle butter over top of stuffing.
• Place back in oven and bake until browned on top—about 25 more minutes.

Remove from oven when brown, let cool slightly and serve.

Makes about 6 qts. or 20 servings.

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