(WWTI) – Thanksgiving is two days away, you might want to start drying out your bread, today is National Stuffing Day.
Stuffing is a Thanksgiving staple, it’s not Thanksgiving without it. Luckily there’s no chance of stuffing not being at the Thanksgiving table if you happen to travel in time. Stuffing has been around since the second century BC a chef named Apicius created it for stuffed rabbits, chicken and dormouse in his cookbook “Apicius de re Coquinaria.”
Taking a significant jump forward to 1972 the Thanksgiving meal became a bit easier with box stuffing known as “stove top stuffing.” So, whether or not you use a box or you make yours homemade you better make sure it’s on your Thanksgiving table.
- 1 loaf hearty white bread, cut into 1/2′ cubes –12 cups fresh or 10 cups dried
- 1/2 yellow onion, finely diced –about 1 cup
- 1 medium carrot, grated
- 3-4 stalks celery, finely diced –about 1-½ cups
- ½ lb ground sausage
- 3/4 cup butter*
- 1/4 cup finely minced fresh parley
- 3 teaspoons fresh sage, finely minced
- 2- 2 1/2 cups Chicken broth, or stock –you may need up to 2 ½ cups total broth
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- Cut and Dry Bread Cubes. With a sharp serrated knife cut the loaf of bread in 1/2” cubes using 3-4 pieces of bread at a time. Try not to smash the bread too much as you cut. Spread bread cubes out onto a baking sheet to dry out. Leave them on your counter for 2-3 days or set your oven to 200 degrees F and place them in the preheated oven for 1-2 hours to dry, tossing them occasionally.
- Chop veggies. Finely dice the onion and celery. Grate the carrot and squeeze it out tightly inside a paper towel. Mince the parsley and sage.
- Cook Sausage. In a sauté pan, brown the sausage breaking it into small pieces as it cooks. Drain the sausage well and pour it onto a paper towel to soak up any excess grease.
- Cook veggies. In a large sauté pan melt the butter on medium heat. Add the onions and celery and cook for 2-3 minutes until translucent. Add the carrots and cook for 2 more minutes. Add the sage and gently stir in, allowing the sage to wilt and release its flavor.
- To a large mixing bowl: Add the dried bread cubes. Sprinkle the fresh parsley on top and add the cooked and drained sausage. Toss to combine. Pour sauté pan with the butter and veggies over the dried bread cubes and sausage and toss to combine.
- SLOWLY add chicken broth. Start with 1 ½ cups of the chicken broth and drizzle it very slowly all over the bread mixture, stirring gently as you go. It is important not to pour the liquid in all at once or it will make soggy spots in the bread. Add more chicken broth as needed, until all the bread is lightly moistened, but the mixture is not overly wet. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
- Add to casserole dish. Pour stuffing into a greased 9×13-inch pan or similar size casserole dish. Cover with tin foil.
- Bake at 350 degrees F for 30 minutes. Uncover and bake an additional 10-15 minutes.
- Store leftover stuffing in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3-4 days.
Happy National Stuffing Day!