Let’s start with the stuffing shall we?
I know that prepackaged, boxed stuffing makes a major appearance during Thanksgiving. Part of me completely understands – I mean Thanksgiving is the craziest of all cooking days with the oven doing quadruple duty and a little shortcut here and there never hurts. But the other part of me is hoping I can change the trend and bring homemade stuffing back to the Thanksgiving table.
I tried homemade stuffing for the first time four years ago. And I can never go back. There is absolutely no comparison between homemade stuffing and the other “stuff”ing.
The flavor is fresh, unprocessed and completely delicious. In my house we prefer stuffing to be a bit on the chewy, crunchy side of things. No soggy bread for me, thank you very much. The dreamy thing about this recipe is you can have it however you like – soft and dare I say, mushy…or firm and tender.
Either way, this is the best stuffing I’ve ever had.
Make Ahead Tip:
When I make this stuffing, I always toast the bread in the oven the night before. I also chop up all the vegetables and cook them the night before, refrigerating after they are cooled. Finally, I combine the seasonings in one small bowl. The day of, I can throw everything together and bake it quickly.
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- 7 tablespoons butter, plus more for dish and baking
- 1 loaf rustic/artisan/crusty white bread, cut into 1/2-inch cubes (about 9 1/2 cups bread cubes)
- Salt and Pepper to taste
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 5 celery stalks, thinly sliced on the diagonal
- 2 medium onions, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced in half-moons
- 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 1/2 to 2 cups chicken broth
- 1/2 teaspoon poultry seasoning
- 3 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
- 1 teaspoon dried sage
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 teaspoon dried rosemary (rubbed between fingers to crumble lightly)
- 3 to 4 large eggs, lightly beaten
- Preheat the oven to 350°. Melt 5 tablespoons butter in the microwave. Toss with bread cubes in a large bowl. Spread in a single layer on 1 or 2 rimmed baking sheets. Toast in the oven, tossing once, until golden, about 20 minutes. Let cool completely.
- Heat the oil and remaining 2 tablespoons butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat until butter has melted. Add celery, onions, garlic, and a pinch of salt; cook, stirring occasionally, until golden brown and soft, about 10 minutes.
- To bake all of the stuffing in the oven: (this is my preferred method) Put vegetable mixture and toasted bread into large bowl. Stir in poultry seasoning, herbs, and 2 cups broth into stuffing. Stir in 4 eggs until bread mixture is well coated. Spoon into a buttered 13-by-9-inch baking dish, and dot generously with butter. Cover with foil, and bake in a 375° oven for 25 minutes. Uncover, and bake until golden brown, 10 to 15 minutes more.
- To stuff inside of turkey: Put vegetable mixture and toasted bread into a bowl. Stir in 1 cup broth, the poultry seasoning, and herbs; season with salt and pepper. Stir in 3 eggs. Stuff inside of turkey and bake.
Recipe Source: adapted from Martha Stewart