Let the Thanksgiving experiments begin! I won’t be having Thanksgiving at my house this year, but fall foods are some of my very favorites. Hopefully, my experiments can help some of you who are planning or contributing to upcoming holiday meals.
I love, love, love stuffing, but it really has been a “Thanksgiving only” treat for most of my life. I had some bratwurst I needed to cook, though, and I thought stuffing might be a fun accompaniment. Simple Stuffing from the November 2007 issue of Everyday Food proved to be an excellent choice. It really is simple to put together, but it has classic, truly delicious flavor.
The recipe intends for half of the stuffing to go in the turkey and half of it to go in a baking dish. Since I wasn’t cooking a turkey, I just made a half recipe. You can find the full recipe by clicking on the recipe link at the end of the post, if you’re interested.
First, I worked with my bread. I took 10 ounces of Italian bread, tore it into bite-size pieces, and arranged it in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet. I baked it at 400F until it was crisp but not browned (10 minutes).
Meanwhile, I thinly sliced 2 celery stalks, minced 2 shallots and 1 garlic clove, and chopped 1/4 cup of parsley leaves. In a large saucepan, I melted 2 tablespoons of butter over medium heat and then added the celery, shallots, and garlic. I seasoned with salt and pepper and cooked the mixture, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables were softened (6 minutes). I added 1/4 cup of dry white wine, cooked until it was evaporated (4 minutes), and transferred the mixture to a large bowl.
To the vegetables in the bowl, I added my toasted bread, the chopped parsley, and 1 1/2 large eggs. (This was the awkward point in halving the recipe, since eggs don’t come in halves! Just beat 2 eggs and add 75% of the liquid. If you’re not comfortable eyeballing it, you should have just under 5 tablespoons of egg liquid to equal 1 1/2 large eggs.) I seasoned the mixture with 3/4 teaspoon of salt and 1/4 teaspoon of pepper and then stirred to combine. Next, I mixed in 1 cup of chicken broth and then gradually added more broth until the stuffing was moistened but not wet. (The key is that there shouldn’t be any liquid at the bottom of the bowl. I ended up adding most of 1 can of chicken broth.)
I transferred the stuffing to a buttered 8-inch baking dish, covered it with buttered aluminum foil, and stashed it in the fridge for a few hours. When I was ready to cook dinner, I baked the stuffing (still covered) at 350F until it was warmed through (30 minutes). Then, I removed the foil and baked until it was golden (15 minutes more).
Yuuuuum-my. For such simple ingredients, this stuffing packed incredible flavor. The shallots and garlic really shone through. It was very moist, too, and the slight crunch from the celery added great texture. This was a terrific basic recipe (I’d definitely make it again!), but I’m tempted to try some of the variations listed in the magazine – mushrooms and sage, apples and raisins, or sausage. Which one sounds the best? 🙂
TIPS: If you plan to bake the stuffing right after you make it, it probably only needs 20 minutes in the oven to be warmed through. I would still brown it for 15 minutes, though.
Recipe link: Simple Stuffing