Pumpkin, Fennel and Raisin Dressing: from Michael Foust of the Farmhouse

11/22/2013 8:00 AM

11/22/2013 3:13 PM

MICHAEL FOUST | The Farmhouse

Don’t even think about throwing out that packet of giblets: In the chef world, the nose-to-tail movement is one of both frugality and flavor.

These offal or organ meats add an “iron-y depth of flavor” to chef Michael Foust’s play on Thanksgiving dressing, which includes the creaminess of pumpkin and the slight licorice flavor of fennel combined with the distinctive combination of sourdough and marble rye.

“My grandma and grandpa used to love offals,” Foust says. “When you went through the ’30s, you learned to cook in your price point.”

The key is to finely chop the turkey heart, liver and gizzard and “hide” them in the dressing to “leave people guessing.”

Incidentally, Foust isn’t the only one to use the often-discarded giblets. Michael Corvino of the American uses the giblets to enrich a jus (pronounced zhoo), the natural meat sauce he serves with the turkey.

Pumpkin, Fennel and Raisin Dressing Makes 12 to 14 servings 4 tablespoons butter, at room temperature, divided 1 head garlic 1 scant cup extra-virgin olive oil, divided 1/2 cup raisins 4 cups sourdough bread cubes 4 cups marble rye bread cubes Salt and pepper 1 cup diced bacon Turkey giblets (the heart, liver and gizzard contained in turkey cavity), removed from bag and rinsed 1/2 cup sliced fennel 1/2 cup peeled and diced fresh pie pumpkin 1/2 cup diced celery 1/2 cup diced carrots 1/4 cup white wine 4 cups homemade or 1 (32-ounce) carton turkey stock, divided 1/3 cup roughly chopped sage 1/3 cup roughly chopped flat-leaf parsley

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Prepare a 9-by-13-inch baking dish by coating bottom and sides with 2 tablespoons butter.

Remove garlic’s papery exterior and slice across the top of bulb to expose the tip of each clove. Place garlic in a small square of foil and drizzle with 2 teaspoons of olive oil. Bunch the foil together to enclose the bulb and roast in oven until cloves are soft, about 30 minutes. When garlic is cool enough to handle, squeeze each clove into the foil and set aside.

In the meantime, plump raisins in boiling water for 30 minutes. Drain water and set raisins aside.

Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees. Place bread cubes on 2 baking sheets and drizzle each with 1 tablespoon of olive oil, then season with salt and pepper. Place baking sheets in oven for 20 minutes, or until the bread is lightly toasted. When cool, place bread cubes in a large mixing bowl; set aside.

Cook bacon in a large skillet over medium heat until crisp; remove with a slotted spoon and reserve on a paper towel. Add 1/2 cup olive oil to the bacon fat already in the skillet and warm over medium heat until the oil shimmers. Dice giblets, making sure to remove the gizzard’s tough silvery membrane. Add diced giblets to pan and saute for 2 minutes or until well browned. Add fennel, pumpkin, celery and carrots; cook for 10 to 12 minutes, or until vegetables are soft. Add reserved garlic, plumped raisins, wine and 3 cups stock; continue cooking until liquid is reduced by half. Add reserved bacon, sage, parsley and 2 tablespoons butter and cook until butter is melted. Season with salt and pepper.

Pour seasoned liquid mixture over bread cubes and mix well, adding more stock if necessary, according to whether you prefer a wet or dry dressing. Spoon dressing into baking dish; bake in a 350-degree oven for 30 minutes or until heated through and golden brown on top.

Per serving, based on 12: 332 calories (66 percent from fat), 25 grams total fat (6 grams saturated), 13 milligrams cholesterol, 22 grams carbohydrates, 8 grams protein, 286 milligrams sodium, 1 gram dietary fiber.

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