Classic Thanksgiving Stuffing
Classic Thanksgiving Stuffing
While this recipe is called Classic Thanksgiving Stuffing, it is in fact, perfect for any time of year. One of my favorite Sunday dinners is stuffing and roasted chicken. When I need to feed a crowd, I put all. my effort into making this stuffing and buy some beautiful rotisserie chickens. It is a perfect Fall meal. This stuffing recipe is also very easy to make, but special enough to serve on a holiday. It is great with turkey, in a crown roast of pork, delicious with chicken and even better with beef roasts.
Save Time And Make Ahead
One of the most beautiful things about this recipe is that it can be made up to two days in advance. In fact, the longer it sits allowing the flavors to meld, the better it is. During the holidays I enjoy a glass (or two) of wine, while making this, and then let it sit in the fridge for a day or two until it is time to bake. If you decide to make this recipe ahead of time, the only trick is to let this rest outside of the fridge for about thirty minutes before baking it.
Start With A Good Base
For years I have made my stuffing recipe with a local Chicago brand of bread called Chateau Dumplings. They are a frozen food item that make the perfect base for stuffing, but unfortunately, they are not available everywhere, or outside the United States. You can see my dumpling stuffing recipe here. For years this recipe has gone viral on the internet but I get hundreds of messages asking me how to make this amazing stuffing recipe if there is no access to the bread dumplings. I FINALLY have been able to make this recipe accessible to all by using French Bread. Specifically I used these French Rolls from another local brand called Turano Baking, but any French roll or bread will do. The key is to find a bread that has some chew to the bread and a thin but slightly chewy crust. I used about 9 rolls of these rolls for this recipe and that equaled to about 15 cups of bread cubes.
No Dry Bread
The trick to the delicious flavor and texture of this stuffing is to NOT dry the bread cubes out. I allow this bread to be fresh so that the savory broth and juices soak into the delicious bread. I cut the bread into small, bite sized, even cubes so that they soak up the flavors evenly. Make sure that you are careful about cutting the bread small enough and even enough so that the texture is perfect.
No Mushrooms, No Problem
I finely dice all the veggies in this recipe, but especially the mushrooms. If you have people who are not fans of mushrooms you can dice these small enough that they won’t recognize the mushrooms. If you absolutely do not want mushrooms in this recipe you can omit them. It would be my recommendation to add a couple of shakes of soy sauce to the veggies if you decide to omit the mushrooms to add that layer of flavor you are missing with no mushrooms.
Use The Celery Leaves
I use some of the celery leaves when I am mincing the celery . This adds an extra layer of flavor to your stuffing that people will be left wondering “what is that delicious flavor”. Just be sure to mince the celery leaves finely.
Classic Thanksgiving Stuffing
This recipe takes a little bit to cut all the veggies properly but it is worth the few extra minutes it takes. I know that my family loves this recipe and I know yours will too!
Full, Printable Recipe
- 1 16 ounce package of pork sausage roll
- 2 cups of finely diced celery with the leaves
- 2 cups of finely diced yellow onions
- 2 cups of finely diced mushrooms (any variety)
- 4 cups of chicken or turkey broth
- 1 cup of milk
- 2 eggs
- 2 teaspoons of celery salt
- 1.5 tablespoons of poultry seasoning
- 2 teaspoons of sage
- 2 teaspoons of celery seed
- Black pepper to taste
- Approximately 15 cups of cubed French Rolls or French bread cut into small cubes. I used 9 French Rolls.
- 1 stick of salted butter
The seasoning measurements in this recipe are a suggestion. I recommend seasoning and tasting and adding more or less to your preferences. The measurements included for the seasonings are my preference and can be adjusted to your liking.
- Add the sausage to a large skillet and use a spatula or ground meat chopper to break up the sausage as it cooks into a very fine crumble.
- Add the onions, mushrooms and celery (with the minced celery leaves) to the sausage and cook low and slow until the celery is soft, the mushrooms and onions are golden brown and all the liquid is evaporated out of the skillet.
- While the veggies and sausage cook, whisk two eggs with the milk in a bowl, and cube up your bread into small cubes. About 1 inch cubes. This step is important so that the liquids absorb properly and evenly.
- When the veggies and sausage have properly cooked and there is no liquid left in the pan, begin seasoning your veggies and sausage with the celery seed, celery salt, black pepper, poultry seasoning, and sage. Taste as you go, allowing the seasoning to sauté with the veggies and meat for a few minutes and then add more if needed.
- When you have the seasonings adjusted to your liking, add the 4 cups of chicken broth and bring this to a boil. Add half the stick of butter, when the mixture comes to a boil, reduce heat to a low simmer and let simmer for 10 to 15 minutes.
- Add your bread cubes to a large bowl, I like to add half, then add the mixture and then add the other half of the bread to make sure all the bread is absorbing the liquids. (see next step)
- After the mixture has simmered, working in batches, combine the sausage mixture with the cubed bread in a large bowl. This mixture will be very wet. Once the bread is all combined with the sausage mixture, let it rest on counter for 15 minutes. Then add the milk and eggs, Stirring well to combine.
- Add the mixture to a greased casserole dish, add the rest of the butter to the top in thin slices spread out and season the top with a little bit of the herbs and salt you used in the mixture.
- This can now be stored in the fridge for up to two days or baked immediately. If you make it ahead of time, let it sit out of the fridge for 30 minutes before baking. Bake at 375 degrees for about 45 minutes (center will be firm when done) then let it rest on top of the warm stove for 15 minutes before serving.
*for an added touch you can add some of the turkey drippings to this when its baking the day of the holiday. I add about 2 turkey basters full to give it that extra flavor.