Saturday, November 9, 2013

Gluten Free Crock Pot Stuffing Recipe

Thanksgiving day can be a huge challenge for the cook.  Trying to balance what goes in the oven when, and how to keep things hot so everything can be served at dinner time is a huge part of the challenge.  Whether you are gluten free, have a gluten free guest, or want to use gluten-filled croutons to make this recipe, the convenience of making stuffing in the crock pot can't be beat.  I like to make my croutons up to 2 weeks ahead of time, but for the gluten-filled version, I would just buy croutons.  The day before Thanksgiving I will saute the veggies and pork and set it aside in the fridge so I'm not in the way in the kitchen on Thanksgiving day.  When I wake up on Thanksgiving morning, I'll throw all of the pieces into the crock pot and cook on high for 2 hours or low for 4-8, depending on when you'd like to serve dinner.  Then, whether you're in your own kitchen or bringing stuffing to your family's Thanksgiving feast, your stuffing is easily portable and will stay warm while the turkey, mashed potatoes, and pies hog the oven.

Gluten free crock pot stuffing with raisins
As a gluten free girl, I like to bring the stuffing and gravy to Thanksgiving gatherings because many of the other things on the list are naturally gluten free.  Mashed potatoes, turkey, sweet potatoes, all of these things are naturally gluten free if not tainted by gluten-filled gravy.  The only other thing to worry about being gluten free is green bean casserole and the pie!  (More on that in another post.)

This year I will be in New Jersey for Thanksgiving like we did last year.  If Dave can't find any gluten free bread near his place in NYC, I might just bring pre-made croutons in my suitcase!

1 loaf gluten free bread (I like Udis whole grain, frozen or fresh) or you can buy gluten free croutons at places like Whole Foods.  My best stuffing yet had a package of whole foods croutons and gluten free corn bread croutons combined.
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp+ sage
(If doing gluten-filled version, skip these three and just buy onion and sage croutons)

1 large onion or 2 medium
1 stalk celery (~2 cups when chopped)
1/4 cup parsley
1 package mushrooms
1/2 cup butter (1 stick, sub olive oil for a healthier version)

1 lb ground pork

4 tsp chicken bullion (I like the gluten free "Better Than Bullion" pictured below
4 cups water
2 eggs
1 tsp sage
1 cup raisins (optional)

Ingredients.  Not pictured, 2 sticks butter
Making croutons up to a week ahead of Thanksgiving
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.   Cube your gluten free bread into small cubes and lay out on a cookie sheet.  Sprinkle with onion powder and sage, then toast in the oven for 15 minutes before stirring them up and toasting for another 15 minutes.  Store the croutons in a gallon zip lock until Thanksgiving morning.

Preparing your veggies and pork the day before Thanksgiving
My aunt Darcy and mom always just food processes their celery and onion, which is super easy.  This time around, I decided to make use of my new knives and do some of the work myself.  Start melting 1 stick of butter in a saute pan.  Cut up enough celery for ~2 cups and add to butter.  Cut up your onion(s) and throw in the pan.  Cut up the mushrooms and add to the veggies.  Finally, cut up enough fresh parsley for 1/4 cup and add to the saute pan.  I usually use a little more than this.  Stir the veggies a few times while they saute in the butter.  The goal is for soft celery and clear onions.  Set the saute mix aside in a storage container when it is done.

Brown your pork in the saute pan, remove any excess fat, and add to the veggie mix in your storage container.  Throw this all in the fridge until Thanksgiving morning!

Thanksgiving Day
Warm up 4 cups of water and add 4 tsp chicken bullion to the water.  Whisk 2 eggs in a bowl.  Spray your crock pot with cooking spray to keep the stuffing from sticking.  Dump your croutons, veggies, raisins (optional), sage, and pork mix into your crock pot.  Mix them up a bit so the flavors can meld while they cook.  Pour the 4 cups chicken broth over the top and the 2 eggs.  Cover.

Cook on high for 2-4 hours or cook on low for 4-8 hours.

When ready to serve, stir and serve with gluten free turkey gravy.  I prefer Simple Organic's roasted turkey gravy.

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