Marc Vogel is a larger than life chef who can cook. He has been a proponent of high heat cooking for many years. Part of the fun of cooking with him is watching him interact with guests (ladies especially), using his big voice and easy laugh. Chef Marc has managed the Pointer Sisters, worked with Francis Ford Coppola on his Francis Cooks events, and cooked for heads of state.
Helping prep and cook his Turkey Stuffing for KGO radio personality Gene Burns's San Francisco holiday fiesta a few years back, and again at a private holiday soiree, gave me practice peeling casings off sausages, toasting pecans, and coring apples. The fun part is stirring and folding hot stuffing by hand, although those food safety gloves can make fingers feel like they're cooking, too.
Tip: use Swanson's reduced sodium broth, to avoid the blue vein arms and mild headaches that Swanson's normal chicken broth may bring. Also, don't skip toasting the pecans. Five minutes of time in the oven gives the final dish added crunch and deeper nut flavor. I agree with Chef Marc that it's best to cook the stuffing outside the bird, rather than in the cavity. The stuffing is more likely to achieve an ideal moist texture with a slight crunch on the edges.
Chef Marc's Turkey Stuffing
Giblets and neck from turkey, approximately 1 lb. No livers.
2-3 large cans low sodium chicken broth
1 1/2 lbs. mild Italian sausage
2 sticks unsalted butter
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 lb. fresh mushrooms, sliced
3 cups coarsely chopped carrots
2 cups finely chopped onions
1/2 cup celery, cut in 1/2 inch diced pieces
1 leek, white part only, chopped fine
2 bags stuffing mix (1 mix cornbread and 1 herb)
2 cups chopped toasted pecans (put on cookie sheet and heat at 400 degrees for five minutes)
1 large Granny Smith apple, peeled and diced in 1/2 inch pieces
1 cup chopped dried cranberries (craisins)
2 generous tablespoons of Herbs de Provence
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1. Cook giblets and neck in 1 can chicken broth on a low simmer for approximately 3 hours. Cool, pull meat off neck bone, and chop giblets in small cubes; discard bone, but reserve broth.
2. Remove casing from sausage. Saute in a medium pan over medium heat until browned. Break up chunks (can be done in food processor). In a pre-heated medium saute pan melt 1/2 cup butter and 1/8 cup olive oil, and cook mushrooms over high heat until lightly browned. Transfer to a plate and set aside. Add remaining butter and oil to saute pan and saute carrots, onions, celery and leek over medium-high heat for about 10-12 minutes or until lightly browned.
3. Immediately: in a large mixing bowl, combine the dry stuffing mix, cooked sausage, vegetables, pecans, apples, cranberries, herbs and salt. Boil the reserved chicken broth and add to mixture, stirring and folding, in gloved hands, until dry stuffing mix is moist. (You may want to add more hot chicken broth if needed). Put in baking pan and cover with foil and bake at 350 degrees for 35 minutes.