Here's a delicious recipe for classic go-to stuffing (aka turkey dressing) that can either be cooked in, or out of the turkey this Thanksgiving. This version was cooked outside of the bird, but contains plenty of chicken stock and sausage to still have that savory flavor that keeps you coming back to the stuffing dish again and again. Decked out with all the essential crusty breads, hearty veggies, sweet apples and perfectly tart cranberries that makes stuffing shine, this recipe has everything you need to use a perfect base for your own stuffing variations.
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Step 1: Ingredients
- 1 pound loaf of bread
- 1/4 cup butter (1/2 stick)
- 1 large onion
- 8 stalks celery
- 4 teaspoons poultry seasoning - mine had sage, thyme, onion, marjoram, black pepper, celery seed, and cayenne
- 1 1/2 cup broth
- 1 pound Italian sausage without the casing - I used Italian turkey sausage
- 2 teaspoons crushed herbs - I used rosemary and lavender (leaves only)
- 3 small tart apples
- 1 cup dried cranberries
- 1 cup pecans - I didn't use these, but it seemed like a good idea after the fact
- Large saute pan
- Baking dish - 13" x 9"
- Stirring utensil
Step 2: Dry Bread
Chop or tear bread into 1" size pieces.
Place chunks in baking dish and bake at 350F until dry. Mine took about 20 minutes.
Since I was using fresh herbs, I broke them up and baked them with the bread too.
Alternatively, you could use day-old bread and dried herbs, or let your bread chunks air dry overnight.
Step 3: Cook Sausage (opt)
If not using sausage, skip to next step
- Heat pan over med-low heat
- If using turkey sausage, add small amount of oil
- Add sausage, crumble coarsely and cook until browned.
- Remove sausage to baking dish. Drain excess oil if there is any.
Step 4: Cook Veggies
- In the same pan, melt 1/4 cup butter
- Add onions, celery, apples (opt) and poultry seasoning
- Cook until softened: 10-15 minutes
Step 5: Mix It Up
- Add cooked veggies to reserved sausage or empty baking dish if not using sausage.
- Pile in bread cubes, herbs (rosemary + lavender in this case) (opt), cranberries (opt) and pecans (opt)
- Add 1 1/2 cups or so of broth to moisten. I ended up using about 2 cups and some extra salt to taste.
Step 6: Cook It
- Use about 1 cup per 3 pounds of turkey. Stuff it you-know-where. Any remaining stuffing can be cooked as follows:
- Bake in a buttered casserole dish, covered, at 350F for about 45 minutes. Uncover and bake an additional 15 minutes to brown the top.
Can you believe how good it is??? Wasn't it worth the effort?