How Brian McBride Does Thanksgiving Stuffing

The Blue Duck Tavern chef's chanterelle mushroom and pear stuffing.

In the November issue of the magazine, Blue Duck Tavern chef and roasting master Brian McBride gave us his tips on cooking a turkey (Click here to read the article). But how does he stuff the bird? Turns out, he doesn’t. For safety reasons, he bakes this terrific chanterelle mushroom and pear stuffing in a gratin dish alongside the turkey. It’s made with torn croissants instead of bread, and has a creamy, eggy decadence. Let the carbo-loading begin!Serves 6

4 tablespoons butter
1 cup chanterelle mushrooms
2 stalks celery, diced
1 onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, diced
1 cup peeled diced Anjou pears
4 ounces sausage meat, casing removed
1 cup chicken stock
3 eggs
1 pint cream
1 teaspoon fresh sage, chopped
6 to 8 croissants, torn into pieces
Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Melt the butter in a large saucepan set over medium heat. Add the mushrooms, celery, onion, and garlic. Slowly sauté until vegetables become translucent.  Season with salt and pepper. Combine the pears with the vegetable mixture. Reduce the heat to low. Add the sausage meat and let saute for 8 to 10 minutes. Add the chicken stock, raise the heat, and when the stock comes to a boil, take the pan off the heat and let the mixture cool.  

Mix the eggs, cream, and sage in a bowl. When the vegetable-sausage mixture is cool, add the torn croissants, then fold in the cream mixture. Place the stuffing in a buttered casserole dish . Bake for 1 hour.

Ann Limpert
Executive Food Editor/Critic

Ann Limpert joined Washingtonian in late 2003. She was previously an editorial assistant at Entertainment Weekly and a cook in New York restaurant kitchens, and she is a graduate of the Institute of Culinary Education. She lives in Petworth.