Like Mom Used to Make: Bread Stuffing

 

Full disclosure:  This stuffing is EZ, it is yummy …. but it is not very healthy.  My once-a-year stuffing splurge is on.

Every family has its Thanksgiving stuffing traditions.  I grew up with high-carb, not-so-good for you bread stuffing, cooked right inside the bird.  MMMMmmmm.

But ….. there are so many warnings against eating stuffing baked inside the turkey!  I know that!  It is not the healthy way to go (of course all the way around, stuffing is not the healthy way to go).

So even though I am continuing the baked-inside-the-bird tradition in my own house, see below for the healthier, baked-outside-the-bird version of this classic bread stuffing.

INGREDIENTS

3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) butter plus more, if needed
2 loaves of your favorite bread, 1 white and 1 wheat  (when crumbled, about 10 cups)
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 1/2 cups chopped yellow onions
1 1/2 cups celery, chopped
1/2 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon onion powder
1 teaspoon kosher or sea salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 to 3 cups canned low salt or homemade no salt chicken stock, heated to boiling

DIRECTIONS

The night before: Slice bread if it is not pre-sliced.  Lay out all the bread slices on your countertop so they can dry out.

Turkey Day:

Preheat oven to 350 F.

Crumble dried bread into a large bowl.  Heat the chicken stock over medium heat in a medium-sized saucepan until it is hot, but not boiling.

Melt 1/2 cup butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat; add onions and celery. Stir often until onion is translucent and just beginning to brown, about 7 or 8 minutes. Stir in garlic, parsley, garlic and onion powder, salt and pepper.  Remove from heat and add to bowl with bread and mix well with a spoon.

 

Add enough hot broth to the bread mixture, stirring well, so that the stuffing is very moist, almost soggy.

Butter a 13 x 9″ baking dish.  Spread the stuffing evenly into baking dish, and dot the top of the stuffing with the remaining 1/4 cup butter; you can add more butter if needed to evenly cover the top of the stuffing.

Cover with foil, and bake at 350 until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center of dressing registers 160°F, about 30 minutes depending on your oven.  Remove foil.  If the stuffing seems dry, drizzle more chicken stock over it and/or dot the top with more butter.  Return to oven and bake until stuffing is browned and crisp, about another 10 minutes.

This recipe can be made 1 day ahead and refrigerated.   Since refrigeration tends to dry the stuffing out, drizzle a little extra chicken stock over the refrigerated stuffing before baking it.  Chilled stuffing may need an additional 10 to 15 minutes to bake.

 

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