Thanksgiving is next week (!!!) Did you know that? Admittedly, I didn’t…or, should I say, I didn’t realize it and kept thinking it was the following week. Where is November going?
If you’re still looking for a stuffing recipe to make for Thanksgiving, here is one that is pretty classic and easily adaptable to your tastes. I’ve made a few different versions of this stuffing, including altering the ingredients, changing up the herb amounts, and using staled bread vs. packaged unseasoned bread cubes. The version below has mushrooms and leeks, which are not in the original recipe, but you can surely omit the mushrooms and replace the leeks with onion (which is in the original recipe), if that’s more your style. I’ve also made this with sausage, which was great, especially because I am way more into sausage than I am turkey. :)
When I hosted Thanksgiving a few years back and made some version of this stuffing, I did a lot of the work in advance. I browned the sausage, sauteed all the veg, refrigerated. I even placed my spice mixture in a little lidded prep bowl. My bread cubes were staling overnight, so all I had to do the day off was toss everything together, add some eggs and broth, and we were good to go. Of course, I forgot the eggs that year, much like I forgot the shallots in my green beans. Chalk it up to first Thanksgiving hosting day jitters, I suppose.
Herbed Bread Stuffing
Liberally adapted from Cook’s Illustrated
8 Tbsp. unsalted butter (1 stick), divided
2 large leeks, white parts sliced (about 1 cup)
4 medium ribs of celery , diced
1/2 lb. sliced mushrooms
1/2 tsp. dried sage
1/2 tsp. dried thyme
1/2 tsp. dried marjoram
1/2 cup minced fresh parsley
1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
12 cups dried 1/2-inch cubes from one 1-lb. loaf of bread (French, Challah, etc.)*
2.5 cups chicken stock or chicken broth
2 large eggs , beaten lightly
1 tsp. salt
Adjust oven rack to center position and heat oven to 400 (350 if using challah). Grease a 13-x 9-inch baking dish.
Heat butter in large skillet over medium-high heat until fully melted; pour off about 3 Tbsp. butter and reserve.
Return skillet to heat, and add leeks and celery. Sauté, stirring occasionally, about 4 minutes. Add mushrooms, sage, thyme, marjoram, parsley, and black pepper and cook until everything is tender, about 5 more minutes . Turn the mixture into large mixing bowl, and add bread cubes, stock, eggs, and salt and toss gently to distribute dry and wet ingredients evenly.
Turn mixture into the prepared baking dish and drizzle with reserved melted butter. Cover tightly with foil, and bake until fragrant, about 25 minutes (30 minutes for challah). Remove foil and bake until golden brown crust forms on top, 15 to 20 minutes longer.
*Typically, I stale bread over about 28-36 hours. The morning before, I cut the bread into 1/2″ slices, and lay them on a cooling rack or baking sheet. If you’re using a baking sheet, flip the slices sometime that evening. The following morning, I cut the slices into cubes, and then they’re ready to go into the stuffing later that afternoon/evening. You can use a low oven to speed up drying time, too.
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