As part of my Thanksgiving feast, I wanted to make the traditional mashed potatoes and stuffing, but with a twist. Since I was not making a whole turkey, it was important to impart flavor in both the stuffing and potatoes. Nothing bores me more than a table full of beige food, both in color and flavor. Shy of using food dye, there is not much that can be done to potatoes to make them prettier. Instead, I focused on taking the beige out of potatoes and stuffing by infusing both with flavors from my Simple Garlic Broth.
The timing on this is near perfect: Prepare and begin cooking the turkey, then begin the stock. While the stock cooks, peel potatoes. Once the stock is complete, begin cooking potatoes. While potatoes cook, prep for the stuffing. Prepare stuffing and finish potatoes while turkey is resting. There will be downtown in between the steps to do other things as well.
You’ll notice there are no pictures to this post, but potatoes and stuffing are just not the most photogenic foods out there.
Simple Garlic Broth is my go-t0 homemade stock, which I love to use in everything from soups to couscous to hummus. Over time, I have altered the recipe slightly, but it still remains fairly easy, as the title implies:
Simple Garlic Broth
5 cups cold water
2 heads of garlic
2 tbsp olive oil
2 bay leaves (fresh or dried)
3-4 sprigs fresh thyme
salt, to taste
Break apart and peel the cloves of garlic, crushing each clove slightly with a knife. Combine garlic cloves in a large pot with water, olive oil, bay leaves, and thyme sprigs. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer for an hour. Makes about 4 cups.
Remove from heat and strain broth through a sieve, reserving the solids. Add salt to taste to broth. Divide broth, reserving about 3 cups for stuffing and the remaining for potatoes.
Remove bay leaves and stems of the thyme sprigs from the reserved garlic solids. Using fingers, slide off any remaining thyme leaves from the stems, then discard stems. In a small bowl, use a fork to mash garlic cloves into a puree. Add salt to taste then add to the broth reserved for potatoes.
Set aside divided broth until ready to prepare potatoes and stuffing.
Garlic-Thyme Whipped Potatoes
5 lb russet or golden Yukon potatoes, scrubbed and peeled
reserved garlic broth, from above
Cracked black pepper, to taste
Cut potatoes into 1-inch cubes, as uniform as possible. In are large pot, cover potatoes with 1-inch of water. Bring to boil, reduce heat, and simmer until potatoes are tender with pierced with a fork, about 30 minutes. Cover and remove potatoes from heat.
Move potatoes to an unused burner on the stovetop to keep warm until turkey as finished cooking and is resting. Drain potatoes (potato water can be reserved to make gravy) and return to pot. Add garlic broth and solids. Using an electric mixer or immersion blender on medium to high speed, puree potatoes until desired consistency (smooth or slightly chunky, depending on preference). Season to taste with black pepper.
1 package herb stuffing
6 tbsp unsalted butter
1 small onion, diced
2-3 ribs of celery, diced
3 cups garlic broth
Cracked black pepper
In a medium to large saucepan, melt butter over medium-high heat. Add onions and celery. Saute 3-5 minutes, until softened. Remove from heat and add about 1 cup of broth and a third of the herb stuffing mix to the pan. Stir until all of the stuffing mixture is moistened, then repeat. Add remaining stuffing mixture to pan and add enough broth to keep stuffing at desired consistency. The package will state 2 1/2 cups of broth, but you may need to use up to 3. Season to taste with pepper.