Classic Stuffing - Dressing with Celery and Onion
See it step by step!
When my oldest son was still a baby, but able to talk (which was about two hours after birth and he hasn't quit yet), he started yelling 'stuff'! Took me a while to figure out that he was asking for stuffing - and this is the kind I would make for him. Usually I made it to go with roast chicken, which appears on our table on a regular basis, but it goes just as well, if not better, with roast turkey.
Now in the South, we usually talk about dressing instead of stuffing. For some mysterious reason the same dish down here was baked off alongside roast meats in a casserole dish, instead of being cooked inside the poultry. I have no clue why the difference - but there it is, and that's the one and only difference between dressing and stuffing.
Now despite my diehard Southern roots, I've recently discovered the glories of stuffing roasted off inside the bird. I have to hand it to my Yankee brethren - y'all got that one right. The juices from the roasting bird permeate the stuffing, baking off with it, and turning it into something truly glorious. Whichever you way you decide to do it - this is a fabulous, classic stuffing - simple, easy and delicious.
The finer you make your bread cubes, the finer the final texture of your dressing will be. Larger cubes give a more rustic, country texture.
The longer you toast the bread, the drier it will be, and the more broth you'll need in the end. I like drier bread and more broth - it replaces the moisture in the bread with the flavor of the butter, vegetables, herbs and stock.
- About 8 cups, or 1 loaf cubed French Bread (or sourdough)
- 1 stick butter
- 1 large onion, diced, about 2 cups
- 3-4 stalks of celery, diced, about 2 cups
- 1 1/2 teaspoons rubbed sage (or 1 tablespoon fresh)
- 1 1/2 teaspoons dried thyme (or 1 tablespoon fresh)
- 1 1/2 teaspoons dried rosemary (or 1 tablespoon fresh)
- 2 eggs, lightly beaten
- kosher salt and freshly crack black pepper to taste
- 2 cups (or so) chicken broth
- Preheat oven to 350F. (Or if roasting turkey, wait until the oven hits this temperature in the roasting stage). Place cubed bread on a baking sheet, and toast 20-30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until golden brown and crunchy.
- In a large skillet over medium heat, melt butter. Add onion and celery and cook until fragrant and onion is becoming tanslucent, about ten minutes. Remove from heat.
- Place toasted bread crumbs in a large bowl. Add onion/celery mixture and toss to combine. Add eggs, and stir well.
- Pour about half the chicken broth over bread cube mixture and combine. Depending on how dry the bread was, you'll need more broth - I often use two full cups or more because I like very toasty bread. Stir everything together, and taste. Adjust for salt and pepper.
- If using this to stuff a chicken or turkey, reserve about two cups, and place the rest in a buttered casserole dish. Chill stuffing before using in uncooked poultry. Bake the casserole in a 350F oven for about 30-40 minutes, until hot throughout.
- The Thrillbilly Gourmet
Combining classic technique with everyday food for spectacular results!
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