My Recipe Box

Classic Bread Stuffing

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Yields 12 to 14 cups.

For a less rich stuffing, omit the last 4 Tbs. of melted butter and add a bit more stock.

  • 1/4 lb. (1/2 cup) unsalted butter
  • 3 cups chopped onion
  • 2-1/2 cups chopped celery, including leaves
  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
  • 1-1/2 Tbs. chopped fresh sage or 1-1/2 tsp. dried 
  • 1-1/2 Tbs. chopped fresh thyme or 1-1/2 tsp. dried
  • 2 tsp. celery seeds
  • Pinch of grated nutmeg
  • Pinch of ground cloves
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt 
  • 1-lb. loaf good-quality white bread, cut into 1/2-inch cubes (10 to 12 cups), stale or lightly toasted
  • 1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup homemade or low-salt chicken broth, milk, or dry white wine
  • Turkey stock or homemade or low-salt chicken broth as needed

In a large skillet over medium heat, melt half of the butter. Add the onion, celery, garlic, sage, thyme, celery seeds, nutmeg, cloves, and salt. Cook, covered, until the onion is soft, 5 to 7 minutes. Remove from the heat. In a large bowl, toss the sautéed vegetables with the bread cubes. Season with pepper. Melt the remaining butter. Pour it over the stuffing, along with the broth (or milk or wine), and toss to coat. The stuffing should just hold together when mounded on a spoon.

If cooking in a turkey, put the stuffing in the bird just before roasting. Pack the stuffing loosely, leaving enough room to fit your whole extended hand into the bird's cavity. Cook the stuffing in the bird to 160º to 165ºF, checking with an instant-read thermometer. If the bird is done before the stuffing is, take the bird out of the oven, spoon the stuffing into a casserole dish, and continue to bake it while the turkey rests.

If baking some or all of the stuffing in a casserole, pour a cup or two of stock over the stuffing to replace the juices the stuffing would have absorbed from the bird. Bake it covered until heated through, 45 minutes to 1 hour. For a crunchy top, uncover it for the last 15 minutes of baking.

nutrition information (per serving):
Size : 1/2 cup stuffing serving; Calories (kcal): 90; Fat (g): 4.5; Fat Calories (kcal): 40; Saturated Fat (g): 2.5; Protein (g): 2; Monounsaturated Fat (g): 1.5; Carbohydrates (g): 11; Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 0.5; Sodium (mg): 220; Cholesterol (mg): 10; Fiber (g): 1;

Photo: Ben Fink

Very good, baked out of the turkey and added mushrooms for moisture.

There are lots of variations on the stuffing theme out there, some quite exotic, but why meddle with perfection? I baked mine outside the bird, using homemade turkey stock and a cubed pullman loaf from our local bakery (the pullman has an agreeable denseness, good for soaking up juices without getting mushy). One stick of butter to 10 cups bread cubes is about right. (With the bread, I measured by volume rather than weight.) For added flavor, I also like to thrown in a few tablespoons of drippings once the turkey comes out, and more drippings upon reheat.

This stuffing is fabulous. I got about half in the turkey and cooked the other half in a casserole dish, then mixed the 2 together. Everyone asked me for the recipe. I usually make a "fancier" stuffing, but decided to try simple recipes this year. This was a VERY big hit!

"Classic" perfection! No fuss, no muss, this is a simple recipe which you can't screw up. I didn't have all the exact ingredients on hand, and it didn't matter. You just can't go wrong. My only recommendation is that if you make the stuffing separate from and before the bird, then remove the foil or cover after taking the baking dish from the oven, otherwise it will get soggy. After the turkey comes out, you can pop it in for 15 minutes to re-heat and crisp up on the surface. Enjoy!

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