There are a number of options when looking for dressing recipes, but I always return to one I’ve used for years, adapted from a very basic Betty Crocker recipe. It’s easy to get creative, adding personal favorites: Apple, raisins, sausage, pecans, wild rice, and cornbread are all popular additions. Some stuffing recipes suggest using dry bread cubes, but liquid needs to be added to the mix to compensate. Also, packaged dry bread cubes often contain other ingredients (dough conditioners and such) that we might rather avoid.
Some folks may prefer sour-dough bread, but most popular with my group is a stuffing made with good quality, sweeter bread, preferably from the bakery section or a specialty store. Wheat bread or sprouted wheat bread can make up all or part of the mix; sweet French bread is also nice. Look for breads that aren’t too tough. Also, avoid breads that are too soft; generic, brand-name breads lack texture, deflating into a gummier mass; not what you want!
The method of sauteeing the celery and onion first helps the flavors to permeate, and it turns out somewhat moist, but not soggy. I personally like to bake a side dish of this as well; the top gets deliciously crunchy. Makes 9 cups stuffing; enough for a 12-lb. turkey.
- 3/4 c. minced onion
- 1 1/2 c. chopped celery (including leafy parts, if there are any)
- 1 c. butter
- 2 tsp. Vege-sal (or substitute regular salt)
- 1/2 tsp. pepper
- 1/4 c. chopped, fresh thyme, sage, and rosemary (or personal favorites, or substitute 2 TBS. dry herbs or poultry seasoning mix)
- 9 c. (soft) wheat bread cubes
1. Saute in large iron pan: > 3/4 c. minced onion > 1 1/2 c. chopped celery > 1 c. butter
2. When veggies are translucent, add the seasonings: 2 tsp. Vege-sal (or salt) > 1/2 tsp. pepper > 1/4 c. fresh herbs (or 2 TBS. dry herbs)
3. In large bowl, add: > 9 c. soft bread cubes
4. To the bread cubes, add the ingredients from the pan, tossing to mix. Stuff the cavities of the bird just before roasting. Don’t pack the stuffing in too tightly, which makes it too dense.