By Michèle Bosc

With the holiday season just around the corner here is one of my favourite turkey stuffing recipes, which I adapted from The Complete Cook by Pat Jester (HP Books, 1985). Using the principles detailed on the previous pages, I suggest there are at least three different wines that we can nicely pair with turkey, all in the middle range for weight, texture and flavour. Assuming the bird is prepared the same way, simply change some of the components of the stuffing, as shown at right, to pair the different wines. Note that you can vary the proportion of each vegetable, nut and/or seed, and herb and/or spice according to your own preferences. There are no hard and fast rules when cooking, either.

Makes 8 cups

3/4 cup unsalted butter (I prefer Organic Meadow)
3 ½ cups chopped vegetables and fruits (see options for each wine choice, below)
2/3 cup chopped nuts and/or seeds (see options for each wine choice, below)
3 tsp herbs and/or spices (see options for each wine choice, below)
6 cups cooked long-grain rice (not instant)
2/3 cup dry white wine (Ontario VQA wine, of course!)
2 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper

In a large sauté pan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the vegetables, increase the heat to medium-high and cook, stirring often, until vegetables are tender, 7 to 9 minutes. (Add garlic and green onions, if using, only during the last minute of cooking.) Add the dried fruit (if using), nuts and/or seeds, herbs and/or spices, cooked rice, wine, salt and pepper. Toss gently to combine well. Taste and adjust seasoning, as necessary. Stuff the turkey while the stuffing is still hot. Transfer the stuffed turkey to a rack in a large roasting pan. Immediately place the turkey into a preheated 400° F oven. Roast according to the recipe for The Perfect Roast Stuffed Turkey Every Time.

Hillebrand 2010 Showcase Ghost Creek Riesling
($25, at the Niagara winery; www.hillebrand.com).

“Lovely aromatics of grapefruit, wild honey, citrus, orchard fruits and a distinctive core of wet stone minerality. It’s finished at a light 8% alcohol in an off-dry style but it shows its fruit brilliantly on the palate with just enough zest to make the mouth water for more. 91 points.” (Rick VanSickle, www.winesinniagara.com)

Stuffing variations:

• Vegetables: onion, leeks, carrots, celery, garlic

• Nuts/seeds: almonds

• Herbs/spices: grated lemon rind, sage, thyme

Cattail Creek 2010 ‘Serendipity’ Rosé, Estate Bottled
LCBO #118059 ($14.95 at the Niagara winery: www.cattailcreek.ca; and at select LCBO Vintages locations)

“A clean, clear, rosy colour, the wine appeals with summertime aromas of watermelon, fresh red berries and just a whiff of spice. Light-medium bodied, sweetly fruity with good moderating acidity.” (Susan Desjardins, www.winecurrent.com)

Stuffing variations:

• Vegetables and dried fruit: garlic, green onion, dried cranberries or cherries or figs

• Nuts/seeds: almonds or hazelnuts

• Herbs/spices: cardamom (use up to 1 teaspoon only)

Château des Charmes 2008 Gamay Noir, Estate Bottled
LCBO #057349 ($12.55 at the Niagara winery and Château des Charmes’ two Ottawa locations: www.chateaudescharmes.com; and at LCBO)

“A juicy, fruity, and varietally correct light red with delicate strawberry and red cherry aromas and flavours. The palate is fruity with vibrant acidity that makes it very moreish… Serve it with a slight chill to enhance the fresh berry flavours.”
(Steve Thurlow, www.WineAlign.com)

Stuffing variations:

• Vegetables and dried fruit: leeks, wild mushrooms, artichoke hearts, garlic, dried cherries

• Herbs/spices: tarragon

• Other: Lakeland Meats garlic venison sausage (baked, then sliced into stuffing). You can also use brown rice instead of white.

 

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