Thanksgiving Turkey à la Szucs

Stuffing Szucs

            This stuffing is an old Koerner family favorite which was created by my maternal grandmother, Barbara (Szucs) Bori, who came to the United States in the early 1900’s from Hungary.  Originally it was an all-bread stuffing which my grandmother converted to saltine crackers because of the lighter consistency, which is comparable to that of a thick souffé.  To produce the extremely light texture and the heavenly understated flavor, the stuffing must be made in a tightly sewn turkey.   Mincing the vegetables and the turkey liver very finely avoids the chunkiness often found in most stuffings.  Surprisingly, even those who detest the flavor of liver (myself included) love the taste.  My family likes it so much that my sister has been known to eat it in sandwiches the next day.  I am the only male member of the family to recreate this family recipe and my wife flatters me by insisting that mine is the best version.  My mother has consistently told me that I do not season (salt and pepper) it enough! 

Here is the recipe:

Grandma Bori’s Turkey Stuffing (Stuffing Szucs)

 (10-12 lb. turkey)

1 stick butter                                                 

4 slices white bread

1 cup finely chopped onion                         

6 eggs

1/2 cup minced parsley                               

about 1 tsp. salt

1 cup finely chopped celery                        

pepper to taste

puréed turkey liver (from giblet bag)          

2 1/2 stacks saltine crackers  (app. 1/2 box)

Do the following, then set aside:

Use the food processor to finely chop the following vegetables, then set aside:  onion, parsley, celery.  Purée the turkey liver.  Melt the butter in a large skillet and sauté the onions until translucent.  Immerse and soak the saltine crackers and bread in warm water.  When thoroughly moistened, squeeze as much water as possible out of them. 

 Beat the eggs until frothy.   To the egg mixture, add the chopped vegetables, liver, crackers, bread, and salt and pepper.  Stir until completely mixed.  The consistency will be similar to that of cooked oatmeal.

Take the stuffing mixture and spoon into the turkey.  It must be carefully sewn to prevent the soupy mixture from escaping.  Extra stuffing fits nicely between the skin and breast meat which I gently stretch apart.  Not only does this allow you to put more stuffing in the turkey, it also seems to keep the breast meat moist.  Roast the turkey as usual.


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