Stuffing Preparations for Specialty Diets from Bill Ford Jr.'s Chef

Dressing for the Occasion: In the cozy confines of his farmhouse kitchen, ‘Mustang Chef’ Greg Upshur prepares a smorgasbord of Thanksgiving stuffings for a variety of tastes



Greg Upshur and his wife, Therese, in the kitchen of their home in Stockbridge. While he prepares food, she records some of his recipes.

 

"Mustang Chef” Greg Upshur, private chef for Bill Ford Jr., prepares both a traditional stuffing and a surprise stuffing for his family’s annual Thanksgiving dinner. He also makes a regular, “straight-up” turkey gravy and a mushroom gravy.

“The only thing I put in the bird is garlic, apples, onions, salt, pepper, and herbs — all just for flavoring the bird,” he says. “If you do stuff the turkey, it’s best to put it in a warm or even hot oven just before setting the turkey in the oven. A cold stuffing works like an insulator and keeps the bird from roasting properly; this is where people get into trouble with food poisoning.”

Upshur also recommends roasting turkey parts the night before to make a broth to use for stuffing preparation the next day. “That way, you get the real turkey flavor in the stuffing,” he says.

Because Thanksgiving dinner is, by definition, usually too much of a good thing, Upshur says he roasts an additional “breast only” to accommodate the crowd and to provide leftovers for take-homes.

 


 

Gluten Free

(Serves 4)

Olive oil for sautéing
1 onion, finely chopped/diced
3 stalks celery, finely chopped/diced
2 cups gluten-free bread
(brown rice and potato starch), cubed
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup cooked red and gold quinoa,
amaranth, brown and wild rice mix
1 tablespoon sage
1/4 cup chopped parsley
Salt and pepper to taste
1 unpeeled apple, diced

 

Sauté vegetables in olive oil.
Fold in the bread cubes. Add water.
Add quinoa mixture and seasonings. Fold in apples.
Place mixture in a pre-oiled vessel and cover with foil.
Bake at 350 for least 40 minutes.
If possible, make your stuffing early in the day on the same day as the dinner.
Uncover when done and re-cover for reheating.

Autumn Suzani crewel napkins, $59.95/set, Williams-Sonoma, Somerset Collection South, Troy; 248-637-0672, williams-sonoma.com. Linen-and-lace kitchen towel, $30 each, Anthropologie, Birmingham; 248-593-5653, anthropologie.com. Vintage plates, $8 each, Silver Quill Antiques and Gifts, Warren; 586-756-8180, silverquillantiques.com. Antique tea tin, $35, Silver Quill Antiques and Gifts, Warren; 586-756-8180, silverquillantiques.com. Cream fringe napkins, $45 each, Ralph Lauren, Somerset Collection South, Troy; 248-637-7656. ralphlauren.com. Washed-linen table runner, $69.95, Williams-Sonoma, Somerset Collection South, Troy; 248-637-0672, williams-sonoma.com. Antique ceramic bowls, $98 (small), $145 (large), Betty Mason Antiques, Birmingham; 248-258-5140, bettymasonantiques.com. Wooden serving spoon, $8, Silver Quill Antiques and Gifts, Warren; 586-756-8180, silverquillantiques.com. Small ceramic bowl, $15, Oddfellows Antiques, Berkley; 248-399-6098, oddfellowsantiques.com.

 

Vegan

(Serves 4)

Olive oil for sautéing
1 cup shiitake mushrooms, finely
chopped/diced
1 small poblano pepper, finely
chopped/diced
1 sweet potato, cut in small cubes
(almost diced)
1 onion, finely chopped/diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 stalks celery, finely chopped/diced
6 slices bread with veganically grown grains (no animal-derived fertilizers used)
Water, enough to moisten the bread
(about 1/2 cup)
1/4 cup smoked almonds, chopped
Pink Himalayan sea salt
Soy sauce, to taste
Splash of truffle oil
1 handful spicy baby greens mix

Sauté vegetables (except greens) in olive oil. Fold in the bread cubes. Add water. Add nuts, salt, soy, and oil. Fold in greens. Place mixture in a pre-oiled vessel and cover with foil. Bake at 350 for least 40 minutes. If possible, make stuffing early in the day on the same day as the dinner. Uncover when done and re-cover for reheating.

Batik textile (under dishes and vegetables), $795, Judy Frankel Antiques Centre of Troy; 248-649-4399, judyfrankelantiques.com. Yellow cashmere throw (under dishes), $613, A Touch of Lace, Bloomfield Hills; 248-645-5223, atouchoflace.com. Ribbed yellow bowl, $12, Oddfellows Antiques, Berkley; 248-399-6098, oddfellowsantiques.com. Sterling-silver forks, $550/five-piece place setting, Ralph Lauren, Somerset Collection South, Troy; 248-637-7656, ralphlauren.com. Antique Belgian pottery, $295 and $395, Judy Frankel Antiques Centre of Troy; 248-649-4399, judyfrankelantiques.com. Paisley napkin (under stuffing), $39.95/set of four, Williams-Sonoma, Somerset Collection South, Troy; 248-637-0672, williams-sonoma.com. Small yellow bowl, $4, DeVries & Co. 1887, Eastern Market, Detroit; 313-568-7777.

 

Vegetarian

(Serves 4)

1/4 cup olive oil for sautéing
1 onion, finely chopped/diced
3 stalks celery, finely chopped/diced
1 small bell pepper, finely chopped/diced
8 slices whole-wheat bread, cubed
1/2 cup vegetable broth, more if needed
1/2 teaspoon sage
Italian seasoning to taste
Salt and pepper to taste

Sauté vegetables in olive oil. Fold in the bread cubes. Add the broth, using more liquid, if desired. Add seasonings. Place mixture in a pre-oiled vessel and cover with foil. Bake at 350 for least 40 minutes. If possible, make stuffing early in the day on the same day as the dinner. Uncover when done and re-cover for reheating.

Mixing bowl, $14, DeVries & Co. 1887, Eastern Market, Detroit; 313-568-7777. Sterling-silver forks, $550/five-piece place setting, Ralph Lauren, Somerset Collection South, Troy; 248-637-7656, ralphlauren.com. Vintage spice container, $38, Oddfellows Antiques, Berkley; 248-399-6098, oddfellowsantiques.com.

 

Traditional

With bacon and oysters

(Makes 6 large servings)

Olive oil for sautéing
1 cup crisp bacon, chopped
1 cup oysters (about 8) steamed, shucked, steamed, and chopped
1 onion, finely chopped/diced
3 stalks celery, finely chopped/diced
4 cups French bread, cubed
1/2 cup turkey broth, or more if needed
Splash habanero sauce
1/2 cup combined fresh parsley and chives, chopped fine, and dried sage
Salt and pepper
1 cob of corn kernels, uncooked

Fry bacon. Steam oysters. Sauté vegetables in olive oil. Combine. Fold in the bread cubes. Add broth and seasonings. Fold in corn kernels. Place mixture in a pre-oiled vessel and cover with foil. Bake at 350 for least 40 minutes. If possible, make stuffing early in the day on the same day as the dinner. Uncover when done and re-cover for reheating.

Juliska bowl, $32, Stacey Leuliette Gracious Living, Birmingham; 248-593-9180, staceyleuliette.com. Mini-latte bowl, $2.50, Anthropologie, Birmingham; 248-593-5653, anthropologie.com. Vine floral boutis table runner, $69.95, Williams-Sonoma, Somerset Collection South, Troy; 248-637-0672, williams-sonoma.com. Juliska salad plate, $39, Stacey Leuliette Gracious Living; Birmingham, 248-593-9180, staceyleuliette.com. Mini Le Creuset baking dish, $20, and Le Creuset Dutch oven, $265, (both containing stuffing), Williams-Sonoma. Sterling-silver fork, $550/five-piece place setting, Ralph Lauren, Somerset Collection South, Troy; 248-637-7656, ralphlauren.com. Bamboo-and-horn spoon is stylist’s own.

 

Stuffing or Dressing?

What may be the second-most important element of Thanksgiving dinner is also the subject of much debate, as comments posted in our global neighborhood reveal.

> “My family is a combination of various ancestries, and we have always differentiated between what goes in the turkey, calling it stuffing, and what is baked outside the turkey, calling it dressing.”

> “I think the stuffing/dressing dilemma is similar to the sprinkles/jimmies dilemma.”

> “Always dressing in my family, whether it was stuffed into the bird or not. It was a side to dress the bird.”

> “A few years ago, while in Lancaster County, Pa., I heard it called filling, even though it was baked in a casserole dish. Whatever you call it, it’s my favorite part of the meal.”

> “The terms are synonymous, the way icing and frosting for a cake are synonymous.”

Sources: chowhound.com, separatedbyacommonlanguage.blogspot.com.

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