Tip:For the best stuffing, let the bread dry overnight so it can absorb all the other delicious flavors that make it stuffing; toasting the bread also boosts flavor.
Spread the bread cubes in a single layer on a large rimmed baking sheet. Let dry overnight.
Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 400°F. Bake the bread cubes until light golden-brown, 12 to 15 minutes.
Heat the butter in a 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onions and celery and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft but not browned, 6 to 8 minutes. Let cool. (The recipe may be prepared to this point up to 6 hours ahead.)
In a large bowl, mix the bread cubes with the cooked vegetables, 2 cups of the broth, the parsley, sage, thyme, eggs, 3/4 tsp. salt, and 1/2 tsp. pepper. If the liquid isn’t immediately absorbed by the bread, toss occasionally for a few minutes until it is. If the liquid is immediately absorbed, toss in another 1/2 cup broth. The bread should be moist but not soggy. If necessary, add the remaining 1/2 cup broth.
Butter a 3-quart baking dish (13x9-inch works well). Transfer the bread mixture to the dish, cover with foil, and bake at 400°F until heated through, 25 to 30 minutes. Remove the foil and continue to bake until the top is slightly browned and crusty, about 20 minutes more.
Bread Stuffing with Sausage and Golden Raisins: Reduce the butter to 3 Tbs. After melting the butter in the skillet, add 1 lb. bulk Italian sausage (or sausage links removed from their casings) and cook, stirring to break up large pieces, until no longer pink, about 5 minutes. Add the onions and celery and proceed as directed above. When you combine the bread cubes with the remaining ingredients, add 1-1/2 cups golden raisins.
nutrition information (per serving):
6, Fat Calories
60, Saturated Fat
6, Monounsaturated Fat
22, Polyunsaturated Fat
Photo: Scott Phillips