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Gobble, Gobble: Grandma’s Stuffing, from Chef Chris Svalesen of Central Market

This is the recipe for my grandmother’s turkey stuffing. Unlike a southern cornbread recipe, this recipe , which was handed down to my mother then me, is more German/Yankee style. As a kid, my brothers and I would be in the kitchen trying to steal a bite before anyone noticed, but we always got caught. The recipe is is best made the day before, then stuffed in you turkey the next day. The recipe makes plenty, so there’s extra to put in a Pyrex dish to bake seperately.

In my home, we eat the leftovers on a cold turkey sandwich with Hellman’s mayo and cranberry sauce.

I hope you enjoy it as much as we do.

Nana’s Turkey Stuffing

Servings: a lot!


1 turkey neck from your turkey, plus 3 more

1 1-pound container of turkey gizzards, plus the gizzards from the turkey

1 1-pound  container of fresh chicken livers, washed and cleaned

2 large onions, chopped

1/2 bunch celery, washed and chopped

2 pounds of cooked,  Jimmy Dean’s sage sausage (retain the drippings from cooking)

1 pkg Peppridge Farm herb stuffing mix, plus 4 cups stale bread, soaked in hot water and strained

2 tbs poultry seasoning

1 tbs rubbed sage

1 tbs seasoned salt

1 tbs seasoned pepper

3 tbs fresh thyme leaves

2 tsp allspice

1/2 pound unsalted butter

4 qts chicken or turkey stock

3 tbs Maggi seasoning (available at most grocery stores)

3 whole eggs

In a large sauce pot over medium, melt butter, then add celery and cook until the vegetables are soft, being careful not to brown them. Add gizzards and livers, cooking another 5 – 8 minutes until cooked through. Add turkey necks, seasoning and stock. Bring to a boil then simmer for 40 minutes. This will make plenty of stock, so you can use some of the extra your gravy. Remove turkey necks (they are great for munching on while waiting for dinner). Strain stock, then puree solids in food processer until fine. Place in a large mixing bowl, add stuufig mix and softened bread , mix well. Add enough stock (up to 2 quarts) to make a moist stuffing. Mix well,  then add the cooked sausage and retained drippings,  then mix in the eggs, beating the mixture quickly so the eggs don’t cook. Refrigerate the stuffing if you are not going to stuff and cook your turkey immediately. To cook the stuffing seperately, place the stuffing in a Pyrex dish, cover with foil, then bake at 350F for 30 minutes

Chris Svalesen is the Executive Chef of the Cafe at Central Market-Lover’s Lane in Dallas. During the week of Thanksgiving , he’ll also be answering the CM holiday hotline.



  1. Mike Hiller    12/4/2011

    I just talked to Chris last week–he’s doing well. I’ll pass along your note.


  2. Bart    12/3/2011

    Chef Svalesen is extremely talented. And a wonder person to boot! I worked for him back in the 80′s at Shucker’s. He taught me so much. He is a hidden talent that needs to be propelled to the national scene.

  3. BEAR    11/30/2011

    I am looking for Chris Svalesen also. I helped open Fish in downtown Dallas.

  4. Acie Nobles    7/23/2011

    Karen and I attended a cooking class Chris taught at Fish. Karen is the, very talented, cook, I’m just the dish washer in the family. But Chris brought me along and treated me as though I knew how to cook…. It was a great class and great experience. Chris, teach again!

  5. Mike Hiller    1/7/2011

    Hi Barbara–I’m sure he knows. He says he reads the Hatch every day.

  6. Barbara Bryan    1/6/2011

    There are those of us who are constantly searching for Chris. Mike – get him to set up a web-site so that we can keep tabs on him :-) Let him know that Barbara, his favorite ‘Director of Operations’ from FISH Restaurant is tracking him.

  7. Mike Hiller    11/29/2010

    I agree, Ramon. Chris is amazingly talented.

  8. ramon alverez    11/29/2010

    To Mike Hiller,

    This is the best stuffing recipe my family had the great chance to try. Please let this very talented Chef that he needs to send in more recipes, or better yet write a cookbook!

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