This stuffing, adapted from Jack Czarnecki's, Joe's Book of Mushroom Cookery (Atheneum, 1986), is best cooked separately, rather than inside the bird.
- 1⁄2 oz. dried morels
- 2 (1-lb.) loaves country bread, crusts removed
- 8 tbsp. butter
- 2 medium yellow onions, peeled and diced
- 4 ribs celery, finely chopped
- 3 cups coarsely chopped assorted fresh mushrooms
- 1 cup chicken stock
- 3 eggs, beaten
- 1⁄4 cup finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
- 2 tsp. finely chopped fresh tarragon
- 1 tsp. finely chopped fresh sage
- 1⁄4 cup finely chopped celery leaves
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Pinch freshly grated nutmeg
Preheat oven to 300°. Rinse morels, then place in a small bowl. Cover with 2 cups hot water and set aside for 20 minutes. Drain morels, straining and reserving soaking liquid. Chop morels and set aside. Tear bread into large pieces, place on a cookie sheet, and dry in oven for 15 minutes. Set aside.
Melt butter in a large skillet over medium-low heat. Add onions and celery, stirring occasionally, until onions are soft, about 30 minutes. Add morels, fresh mushrooms, 1 cup reserved soaking liquid and stock. Cook until mixture is almost dry, approximately another 30 minutes. Set aside to cool.
Raise oven heat to 350°. Combine bread, eggs, parsley, tarragon, sage, and celery leaves in a large bowl and mix well. Stir in cooled mushroom mixture and season with salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Transfer to a greased 9'' × 12'' baking dish and bake uncovered until top browns, about 35 minutes. Serve warm.
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