Ahh… stuffing. Probably one of my favourite parts of a holiday meal. I’ll go back for seconds just of stuffing, even before dessert—honestly, it’s a wonder that I don’t make it all the time and stuff myself silly with it! (Pardon the pun.) With a bit of cranberry sauce and turkey and gravy… it’s the best bite of the whole meal. I’ll be honest; Christmas in July was just a big excuse for me to eat stuffing and pie. Can you blame me?!
While my family calls this ‘stuffing,’ I think it’s been years since anyone has actually bothered to put it in a bird. As such, this stuffing can actually be made vegetarian! Salty and savoury, soft and moist but also crisp and toasted, once you get the hang of this stuffing you’ll never go back. Plus, it can be made the night before you need it, just ready to pop in the oven.
Still to come on the Christmas train: “How to cook a holiday feast tricks & tips!”, maple syrup pie, and Sandies!
The Best Stuffing Ever
Serves: 14, approximately
Cooking time: 30 minutes hands-on, 45 baking
- 1/2 cup butter
- 1 cup chopped celery
- 2 brown onions, chopped
- 1 cup chopped white mushrooms
- 1/2 tsp ground black pepper, plus a bit
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 1/2 tsp sage (or savory if you can’t find sage)
- 1/4 tsp each thyme and marjoram and oregano
- 3 eggs
- 1 1/2 cup chicken or vegetable stock or broth, cold or at room temperature (1 tin plus an extra half tin of water)
- 12-15 cups dried bread chunks (about one and a half loaves of bread, usually, depending on the size of the loaf)
- optional: cranberries or raisins, chopped walnuts or pecans
Chop all your vegetables. Melt butter in pan, saute the onion until translucent. Add celery and mushrooms and spices, cook until mushrooms release their moisture and celery has softened. Let cool slightly, then mix in with breadcrumbs, either in a large bowl or carefully in a large baking dish.
In a liquid measuring cup (or something that is easy to pour from), beat the three eggs together well. Add 1 cup of the chicken stock and combine well with eggs. Begin to drizzle over the bread and vegetable mixture, stirring all the while to ensure a fairly even coating with the egg and stock. Depending on how much bread you have and how it looks, you may or may not need the extra 1/2 cup of stock. Use your judgment—the bread chunks should be just softened but not soggy. However, err on the side of more moisture than less, as it’s easier to dry out stuffing that’s too moist than it is to soften stuffing which is too dry. In any case, we used the extra stock in this recipe.
Once all mixed up, you can keep your uncooked stuffing in the fridge overnight. Bake it in a foil “package” (line your baking dish with foil with enough hanging out to fold up over top to create a parcel of sorts), or in an oven bag (be sure to follow the instructions on the box).
Bake at 350 F / 180 C for 45 minutes, until the stuffing is golden and “set”. If it is too moist when you take it out, open up the foil and let it bake for another 10 minutes or so, to let some of the moisture escape.
Try not to eat it all at once!