Wednesday, November 23, 2011

KISS Stuffing

A few people asked me about my World's Best Thanksgiving Stuffing recipe.  Of course, that title is totally subjective.  Except, it is.  Because if you like stuffing that is thick and dense and heavy and blobish, you are wrong.  Stuffing should be sort of fluffy.  I should not land with a *thud* on your plate. It should be savory, but not overly dolled up.  Usually I am the first to want to put a twist on a traditional dish, but over time I've realized that this is one area where I like to just Keep It Simple, Stupid.  Hence, KISS Stuffing.  Less is more, I have decided, when it comes to stuffing.  Don't muck it up with oysters or sausage or cheese or random ingredients.

I start with some bread.  Usually some dried up french bread or whatever you got, and I usually add to it a bag of Pepperidge Farm Seasoned cubes.

This year I had half a loaf of dried up French bread which I chopped into large hunks (this is important - I like the element of surprise when it's not all uniform).  I also chopped up some dried up artisan wheat bread, about four large slices, and then I had the bag of Pepperidge Farm cubes.

So dump all that into a large mixing bowl.  BTW, it makes a lot, but that's important.

Next, chop up a medium sized onion and most of a whole bundle of celery, and a couple of large cloves of fresh garlic (more if they are smaller).

In a large skillet, melt a whole stick of butter, and add the vegetables to it.  Saute over medium heat.

At the end, add in a bunch of herbs to the vegetable mix.  If you are using fresh herbs, use less.  I used a mix of both - it just depends on what you have around.  These are grossly loose measurements.  Basically I just dump it all in. I dump in a lot.

2 T basil
1 T parsley
1 T rosemary
2 T sage
2 T thyme
1 T marjoram
1 T tarragon
2 tsp garlic powder
1 T salt
2 tsp black pepper (I just crack a bunch of black pepper into the bowl)

Next, add in a box of chicken stock, low sodium if you got it.

Simmer until it's all warm, and then slowly pour it over the bread mixture, a little at a time.  Gently fluff and turn everything, then pour a little more.  Do not mash.  Do not let it get soggy.  Add more herbs, salt, pepper as needed, or more chicken stock as needed.  Everything should be delicately (oh, I hate this word) moist but not soggy.

Then just plop it into a large casserole dish.  If you want to use some to stuff your bird (I do not like this and do not do it), that's fine, just reserve a little. You'll have plenty for both.

Bake at 350 for about 25 minutes until it's toasted on top and warm through.

Remember, this is going to get all soaky with gravy, so if it doesn't seem wet enough, that's why. I like it sort of dry and piece-y and ready to absorb gravy.


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