Sage and onion stuffing. So quintessentially British and generally loved by all...
...well not quite all, as personally I've never been a fan.
Now, I'm not sure what I disliked - the texture? The flavour?
I like onions and I like sage, but somehow sage and onion stuffing has never had an appeal...
Quite simply I had never made it from scratch before having always used the dried packet mix. Every time I've been offered it by anyone else too, it has been made from a packet. I think that because I rarely ate it myself it had never occurred to me to make it from scratch until that is, last Sunday.
Being only the two of us for Sunday dinner (and coming from the North East where a Sunday roast is seen as obligatory) I didn't feel the need to do a full roast chicken. Having some chicken thighs in the fridge I decided they would do fine as the "roast". Having decided on the thighs I chose to skin and bone them and wrap them in bacon for cooking.
Problem number one came when I went to get the bacon out of the fridge to wrap around the thighs. Uh oh!!! No real rashers left, just a few straggly end bits. So I thought - oh well, I'll pop a bit of stuffing in the centre - sage and onion for hubby and perhaps defrost a sausage from the freezer for myself?
Problem number two: No sage and onion stuffing mix and no sausages. (I've been a terrible housewife lately!).
Then a light bulb moment - how hard can it be to make stuffing? A quick google gave the answer - not very. Once I had the basis of a recipe it also made me think that there was nothing in there not to like - I rather liked the sound of the home made stuff. I also had all the ingredients - a rather forlorn lone wholemeal pitta bread - to make into crumbs, onions, an egg, and plenty of sage in a pot outside.
I began by whizzing up the pitta bread and a dozen sage leaves in the food processor until I had herb flecked breadcrumbs.
.I chopped two small onions and allowed them to gently sweat in a teaspoon of butter for about 15 minutes.
Added the onions and egg to the breadcrumbs and sage.
Seasoned well with salt and pepper and gave it all a thorough mix.
Then stuffed chicken thighs and popped the scraggy bits of bacon on the top just to keep them moist.
I must say they were lovely and made a very frugal alternative to a roast chicken. I used five thighs and there was plenty left to use in sandwiches the next day.
And have I changed my mind about sage and onion stuffing - you bet I have!