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.
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
- 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?
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
- 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.
- Boil the livers or hearts for 8 minutes in salted water, then chop until no piece is larger than a coffee bean.
- 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.
- 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.
Made it, loved it! Did mine in a pan (not in the bird)… my photos came out crappy, so I can’t share any. The eggs were unusual, the amount of raisins and nuts were very nice…the seasonings perfect. I was tempted to add garlic, but stuck to the original and was not disappointed. Great flavors!
Ahh, good news that this turned out well for you too Greg. It’s one of those recipes that I am REALLY looking forward to making. I keep thinking about it! I might have to make it BEFORE Christmas and freeze it I think…
Thanks for this recipe! I just recently bought “Fragments” but have been making the Marilyn Monroe stuffing for the past five years (since it was featured in the NYT). I usually hear people say they’re not sure of the combination… Then they end up really liking it! It’s great as a casserole on its own, too. I many times just use 1 lb ground beef/turkey instead of the giblets/etc. The recipe is “local” to me here in the SF Bay Area, apparently from her time with Joe DiMaggio, who did not like garlic, I assume, based on the “No garlic” note. Use sourdough bread for a real San Francisco treat!
Thanks Kati – really pleased to hear you’ve had success with this recipe. I also am pleased to hear about the ground beef / turkey tip. I might copy you on that one! It’s going to be tricky shopping for this, as I’m going to make this the day after Boxing Day here in the UK and I have a feeling most of the shops will still be shut… I’ll try and get sourdough for sure. Thanks for stopping by! Jenny x
Massive amounts! I halved it as you suggested and still had too much for a 6kg turkey. Enjoyed it though thought it a bit sweet – too heavy on the raisins. The hard-boiled eggs were bizarre and in future I would make it with raw egg as it didn’t bind well enough. I would probably also fry the onion and celery, which would help with the consistency. I ended up adding some dried porcini mushrooms soaking liquid to bind it a bit more.
I used pine nuts but would be nicer to use chestnuts. Also, I used the turkey giblets, including the neck meat, which had been cooking considerably longer to make stock for gravy.
I’ll send you some pictures by email.
BRILLIANT! Thanks Viv. Yes, I agree with you about the not binding bit, I wonder if American stuffing is always this way, we are used to much more stodgy, malleable stuffing here aren’t we? I will pop your pictures up soon. Wishing you a wonderful 2016 xx