When “Fragments: Poems, Intimate Notes, Letters by Marilyn Monroe” was published in 2010, there was much excitement at Silver Screen Suppers Towers, as it contained a RECIPE!  Scribbled out by Marilyn in pencil, it’s a very detailed recipe for stuffing.  I can’t believe that 5 years have passed and I haven’t made this yet, so I hereby make it recipe of the month so that I am compelled to.  

Marilyn Monroe's Stuffing Recipe

So here’s the recipe, as scribbled by Marilyn.  It’s a bit vague, but if you continue scrolling down, you’ll see a more cookable version.

FOR THE STUFFING

  • No garlic
  • Sourdough
  • French bread – soak in cold water, wring out, then shred
  • For chicken giblets – boil in water 5-10 mins
  • Liver – heart then chop
  • 1 whole or ½ onion,  chop & parsley / four stalk celery,  chop together following spices – put in rosemary
  • Thyme, bay leaf, oregano, poultry seasoning, salt, pepper, 
  • Grated Parmesan cheese, 1 handful
  • 1/2lb – 1/4lb ground round – put in frying pan – brown (no oil) then mix raisin 1 ½ cups or more
  • 1 cup chop nuts (walnuts, chestnuts, peanuts)
  • 1 or 2 hard boiled eggs – chopped mix together

TO PREP THE BIRD

  • Salt & pepper inside chicken or turkey – outside same and butter
  • Sew up clamp birds put chicken or turkey in 350 oven
  • Roasting chicken – 3 or 4lbs or larger 
  • Cooks 30 min to 1lbs
  • Brown chicken or pheasant (vinegar, oil, onion, spices) – let cook in own juice 
  • Add little water as you go 
  • ½ glass vinegar – put in when half done
  • Cooks 2 hours
  • Put potatoes
  • Mushroom – button canned 
  • Peas – fresh

The most excellent Matt and Ted Lee of the New York Times have written a most informative article about how to interpret Marilyn’s recipe which you can read in full here, doesn’t it look good?

Marilyn Monroe's Stuffing

So the self-confessed recipe-restoration geeks’ version of the stuffing goes like this…  They quote 2 hours as the time it takes, and state that this would make 10 cups, enough for one large turkey, 2 to 3 geese or 8 chickens.  I’ll be halving it!

  • A 10-ounce loaf sourdough bread
  • ½ pound chicken or turkey livers or hearts
  • ½ pound ground round or other beef
  • 1 tablespoon cooking oil
  • 4 stalks celery, chopped
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 cups chopped curly parsley
  • 2 eggs, hard boiled, chopped
  • 1 ½ cups raisins
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan
  • 1 ¼ cups chopped walnuts, pine nuts or roasted chestnuts, or a combination
  • 2 teaspoons dried crushed rosemary
  • 2 teaspoons dried crushed oregano
  • 2 teaspoons dried crushed thyme
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1 tablespoon salt-free, garlic-free poultry seasoning (or 1 teaspoon dried sage, 1 teaspoon marjoram, 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger and 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg)
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt, plus more to taste [I’ll use Maldon sea salt]
  • 1 tablespoon pepper

PREPARATION

  1. Split the bread loaf in half and soak it in a large bowl of cold water for 15 minutes. Wring out excess water over a colander and shred into pieces.
  2. Boil the livers or hearts for 8 minutes in salted water, then chop until no piece is larger than a coffee bean.
  3. In a skillet over medium-high heat, brown the ground beef in the oil, stirring occasionally and breaking up the meat, so no piece is larger than a pistachio.
  4. In your largest mixing bowl, combine the sourdough, livers, ground beef, celery, onion, parsley, eggs, raisins, Parmesan and nuts, tossing gently with your hands to combine. Whisk the rosemary, oregano, thyme, bay leaves, poultry seasoning, salt and pepper together in a bowl, scatter over the stuffing and toss again with your hands. Taste and adjust for salt. Refrigerate, covered, until ready to use as a stuffing or to bake separately as dressing. To serve as a dressing, pile about two quarts of the mixture into a 9-inch square baking dish and bake at 350 degrees until the top is evenly browned, about 1 hour.

Wishing you all a wonderful festive season!  If you have a go at Marilyn’s stuffing please let me know how it goes, and if you can send a photo, I’ll pop it on the blog.  I’ll report back when I have attempted this.  Merry Christmas.

Marilyn Monroe Stuffing Recipe

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