So, it has taken most of my married life to figure out what recipes and strategies to use each holiday that we know are sure-fire. I have gotten several questions and requests about this, so though Turkey Day has passed, there is another big family holiday (my favorite, to be exact) coming up in just one short month, and I thought I'd go the easy route in sharing our recipes and techniques by making it a series of posts on the blog.
This first one is a recipe we discovered just this year. To be clear, I LOVE and grew up on oyster stuffing. It is my preferred stuffing, but not everyone loves it as much as me. Some, like my sister, love stuffing, just not the oyster kind. Since the holidays are about sharing with each other, it only made sense to search out a stuffing that would make everyone happy: simple and delicious. I made this one that I found on allrecipes.com for my husband's family's Thanksgiving dinner and it was perfect. I actually made the whole thing up, save the baking, the day before so all I had to do was pop it in the oven until it was heated through and browning on top at my sister-in law's house, so it is great for holidays when it is easier to do some cooking in advance.
Old Fashioned Stuffing:
30 slices white bread, left out to dry over night, then torn into small pieces
Saute in a pan over medium heat, just until softened:
2 T butter
1 large onion, very finely chopped
2 stalks of celery, very finely chopped
1 carrot, very finely chopped
1/2 bell pepper, very finely chopped
Grease a 9X13 baking dish (I used my Paula Deen enamel coated oval dutch oven because I LOVE it). If you are going to bake this right away, preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. If not, don't worry about the oven, but make room in the fridge. Put your bread in a bowl (I actually tore mine into pieces over the bowl so I could catch all the crumbs), and add your veggies, after they have cooled just a little.
Add to the bowl:
2 eggs, lightly beaten
2 cups of chicken stock (have more on hand, though, in case the stuffing looks dry)
2 t rubbed sage
1 t garlic granules or if you have fresh, even better-1 clove minced will do
plenty of salt and fresh ground pepper
healthy pinch of marjoram
healthy pinch of dried parsley
Mix everything together well. Make sure all the bread is well-moistened. If it seems dry at all, add more chicken stock. It will cook out some as it bakes, so don't be shy here. I think it is where a lot of folks mess up.
Now, if you are a meat-a-tarian, like our house tends to be, this would be very nicely augmented by a half a pound of cooked, crumbled and drained breakfast pork sausage added in when you add the veggies. Cook about an hour or so, checking to make sure it doesn't get too brown.