This is my variation of the bread stuffing my mother used to make. The major difference is she stuffed it into the turkey and did any left over in a casserole on the side. I don’t stuff the large cavity in the turkey as I find it cooks better and there is less chance of contamination of the stuffing with salmonella. Instead, I cook it on its own in the oven.
This is a plain bread dressing. It is not as rich as sausage, oyster or cornbread stuffing. I have tried all these and they are wonderful. However, I was raised with bread stuffing and it wouldn’t be Christmas without it.
The ingredients requires are:
- 3 litres (12 cups) 60 % whole wheat bread cubes, dried
- 30 ml (2 tablespoons) dried parsley
- 10 ml (2 teaspoon) dried sage
- 5 ml (1 teaspoon) dried thyme
- 5 ml (1 teaspoon) dried savoury
- 7 ml (1 1/2 teaspoon) poultry seasoning
- 2 ml (1/2 teaspoon) salt
- 2 ml (1/2 teaspoon) pepper
- 175 ml (3/ cups) celery, diced
- 375 ml (1 1/2 cups) onion, diced
- 4 cloves garlic, chopped
- 125 ml (1/2 cup) butter
- 375 ml (1 1/2 cups) chicken stock
I make my own bread cubes by buying a 60 % whole wheat loaf and spreading it out 2 days before the meal. I make the dressing the day before the meal so this gives it a day to dry out.
The day before the meal, I cut it into cubes. I usually use most of the loaf with only a slice or two left. Then I sprinkle the herbs, salt and pepper over the bread cubes and stir to mix.
I melt the 125 ml (1/2 cup) of butter in a fry pan over medium heat. Don’t let it brown, just melt it. Then I stir in the onion, celery and garlic and stir it until it just gets soft, 5 to 6 minutes.
Let the vegetables cool just a bit and then mix into the bread cubes. Add chicken stock a little at a time stirring between additions. You are looking to get the bread moist but not soaked. The amount of stock you need varies depending on the density of the bread and how much it dried out. I always have a little stock left when the bread is just moist.
Put the stuffing in an oven proof bowl or casserole, cover with foil and put it in the fridge.
On the day of the meal, put the stuffing in a 350 F oven covered by the foil for 30 minutes.
Remove the foil and bake for another 20 minutes.
This is a basic stuffing like mothers made in the fifties. It is heavily flavoured from the herbs and the stuffing is moist but still fluffy. This is part of Christmas for me and takes me back to my childhood.
The Old Fat Guy