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CLINTON KELLY Crispy Sage Tater Tot Stuffing

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Clinton’s Tater Tot stuffing is sure to be a Thanksgiving winner!

5 tablespoons butter (divided)
canola oil (for frying)
1 bag frozen tater tots (2 pounds)
1 small onion (peeled, small dice)
2 ribs celery (small dice)
1 tablespoon sage (chopped)
3 teaspoons thyme leaves (chopped)
1 cup Pullman loaf (toasted, 1/4-inch dice)
1 large egg (beaten)
1/2 cup whole milk
ketchup (to serve)
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper (to taste)
2 tablespoons pan drippings from turkey (from your Thanksgiving Day turkey)
2 tablespoons flour
1 1/2 cups turkey stock or chicken stock
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper (to taste)

Preheat the oven to 400ºF. Grease a 9×13-inch casserole dish with 1 tablespoon of butter.
Preheat oil in a Dutch oven or tabletop fryer to 375ºF. Fry the frozen tater tots until golden, warm and crispy according to package directions. Remove to a paper towel-lined plate.
In a large saute pan, add the remaining butter and heat over medium heat. Add the onions and celery and cook until tender and lightly browned, about 7 minutes. Add the sage and thyme and stir to combine. Season with salt and pepper. Remove to a large bowl and allow to cool slightly. Add the tater tots and bread to the bowl and toss to combine.
In a small bowl add the egg and milk and whisk to combine. Pour over the tater tot mixture, gently toss to combine and pour into the prepared casserole dish.
Bake for 10 minutes covered then another 10-15 uncovered until crispy and golden. Serve with ketchup and turkey gravy.
For the Turkey Gravy: In a medium saute pan add the turkey drippings and heat over medium heat. Add the flour and whisk to combine until a paste forms. While whisking, slowly add the stock, bring to a simmer and cook until thickened. Season with salt and pepper.
Tip: If you don’t want to fry the tater tots, bake them at 425ºF on a baking sheet in a single layer until extra crispy, about 30 minutes, and allow to cool.

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