Say farewell to soggy, bland Christmas stuffing – this one is crispy, delicious and full of flavour! It’s ideal served with roast pork, turkey or chicken… and you can even make it the day before to cut down on your cooking workload on the big day.
6 dried shiitake mushrooms
2 tbsp vegetable oil
200g (7 oz) smoked chicken breast, diced
3 Chinese lap cheong sausages*, thinly sliced
1 leek, thinly sliced
4 sticks celery, finely diced
4 cloves garlic, chopped
¼ cup Chinese shaoxing wine
1 chicken stock cube
3 slices fresh ginger
225g (8 oz) water chestnuts, roughly chopped
450g (16 oz) day-old sourdough bread, ripped into chunks
60g (2 oz) unsalted butter, melted
2 eggs, lightly beaten
2 tsp sea salt
½ tsp white pepper
fresh coriander leaves, chopped
Place shiitake mushrooms in a small bowl and cover with boiling water for around 15 minutes or until they have rehydrated. Remove from water and cut out the woody stems. Thinly slice the mushrooms and throw away excess liquid. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 200°C/347°F.
In a large deep frying pan, add oil and saute the smoked chicken and chinese sausage on high heat until nice and golden brown. Reduce heat to medium-low. Add in leek, celery, mushrooms and garlic, and cook for 10 minutes until the leek becomes soft and tender without browning.
Meanwhile, in a small saucepan place 1 cup of water and crumble in the stock cube. Add the slices of ginger and bring to the boil. Once boiling, turn off the heat and allow ginger to infuse for 10 minutes, then remove ginger slices.
Back to the pan. By this point, the edges of the pan will show signs of caramelisation – in other words, pure flavour! Deglaze the pan by adding in the Chinese cooking wine and scraping down all the edges. Now add in the chicken and ginger stock and stir through. Simmer for a couple of minutes to allow the flavours to mingle.
Add in the water chestnuts, sourdough chunks and melted butter. Give everything a good mix so that the bread starts to take on the liquid and soften. Turn the heat down and allow things to cool down slightly, then add in the eggs and mix through. Season with salt and pepper.
Give it a really good soak for a minute to soften bread some more, then transfer stuffing mix into a baking dish.
Bake in the oven for 30 minutes or until golden and crispy on top. Sprinkle with coriander and serve.
– Chinese sausage, also known as lap cheong, is a sweet preserved pork sausage. It can be bought online or from an Asian grocery store.
– You could also make this stuffing the day before you need it. If so, once you’ve finished baking it in the oven, remove and allow to cool in the oven dish. Cover with foil, then reheat it the following day when needed.