Portable Feast for a Crowd: Thanksgiving Turkey (or Chicken) & Dressing in the Slow Cooker
Posted Nov 23 2012 9:14pm
I've made turkey and dressing in the crockpot before but this time I hit the jackpot for texture, taste, and convenience to feed a crowd. This recipe got rave reviews at work and easily fed twenty people with enough leftover for a couple of servings for Gene and I later. I served it with turkey gravy on the side and the my work-mates brought all the fixings: mashed potates, corn casserole, pumpkin pies, and appetizers.
I'll also make it again, not onThanksgiving, using rotisserie chicken or pork loin as the meat, maybe other dressing/stuffing flavors, but definitely keeping the sauteed veggies, fruit, and nuts. The recipe can easily be halved or maybe even thirded if you use the "about a" method: For example: "about" 1 1/2 cups of diced meat, "about" 1 Tbsp butter and "about" 1 Tbsp olive oil...etc.)
1) Pour stuffing mix, spices, and diced, cooked meat into an extra large mixing bowl (big enough to be able to really mix all the ingreidients together. Set aside.
2) In a large heavy-bottomed skillet or dutch oven, saute onion, celery, pepper, and garlic in the melted butter and olive oil and saute until onions and celery are tender. Add apple and pecan pieces and cook for a couple of minutes longer, enough for the apple to start to tenderize but not so long it cooks to mush. Add chicken broth and allow to come to a boil. Remove from heat.
3) Pour broth and veggies over stuffing/meat/spice mixture and fluff with a spoon, wetting all ingredients. Let stand 15 minutes and check. Stuffing should be doubled in size with all the stuffing moistened but not soggy. If too dry add a few Tbsp of hot waterr until stuffing is uniformly moistened but not soggy.
4) Spray the bowl of a 6-qt slow cooker/Crock-pot and spoon turkey and dressing mix into it. At this point, it can be stored in the fridge overnight or until ready to heat.
5) To heat, let bowl of slow cooker sit out for a half hour to take the chill off before placing in the cooker. Turn slow cooker to "low" and warm up for approximately 3 hours (less if heating immediately after mixing) before serving. Once it has reached serving temp, turn to "warm" to keep casserole from drying out or sticking to the sides.