Thanksgiving is primarily a time to give thanks, but if it were up to me, Thanksgiving would be renamed National Stuffing Appreciation Day. All this turkey talk — brining, smoking, grilling, roasting, frying — is interesting to some cooks, but for me, this holiday is all about my mom’s wonderful stuffing.
On those few Thanksgivings when I couldn’t make it home and had to prepare a feast on my own, I rarely attempted her recipe. Instead, I usually tried out some food magazine’s latest creation. I dabbled in cornbread, brioche, and croissants; mixed in a whole produce aisle of exotic vegetables; experimented with broths, meat, and seafood. But after all that, it became clear to me that there’s really only one way to do stuffing — the way mom does it.
So, if you’re looking for a truly fantastic recipe, behold Claire Vincent’s excellent stuffing. It is the stuff(ing) of dreams.
1 large loaf of soft white sandwich bread (I like potato bread)
½ loaf of soft whole wheat sandwich bread
1 cup chopped celery
1 large chopped onion
6 tablespoons butter, divided
2 teaspoons poultry seasoning (feel free to use a combination fresh thyme and sage if you prefer fresh herbs)
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon pepper
2 large eggs, beaten
3 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley
2 ½ cups low-sodium chicken broth (plus a cup more reserved if you need additional broth)
1 cup chopped toasted walnuts
Cut the bread into cubes and place in large bowl. Keep it on the counter for a day or two to dry out (make sure you turn the bread in the bowl occasionally, to ensure even drying).
Sauté celery and onion in 4 tablespoons butter over medium heat for about 7 to 10 min. Add poultry seasoning and salt and pepper. Take off heat and cool slightly. When cool, add to bowl with dried bread.
Beat eggs and add to bread along with the chopped parsley, the broth, and the walnuts. Mix well. At this stage, the stuffing should feel moist and should stick together if pressed in your hand; add more broth if needed.
Place the stuffing in a buttered 13 x 9 inch casserole dish (you may have enough for a second small casserole dish), and dot the top with the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter. Bake the stuffing at 325 degrees for 45 minutes or until the top is brown and crispy.
This should be enough for ten to twelve…but in my family, it served four. Enjoy!