How to Make Homemade Thanksgiving Stuffing

The bird may be the star of the Thanksgiving feast, but a moist, delicious stuffing will steal the "turkey day" spotlight every time. Here's how to make yours from scratch.

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Are you hosting Turkey Day this year? Make it a feast to remember with these recipes and cooking tips.

You Will Need

  • A 1-pound French-bread loaf or cornbread loaf
  • 1 stick of unsalted butter
  • 3 c. diced onions
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 6 celery stalks, diced
  • 1/3 c. chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 tsp. dried sage
  • 1 tsp. dried rosemary
  • ½ tsp. dried thyme
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • ¼ tsp. black pepper
  • 2 c. hot turkey or vegetable stock
  • A large glass baking dish
  • Aluminum foil
  • 1½ c. peeled and chopped tart green apples (optional)
  • An 8-oz. jar of peeled cooked chestnuts, chopped (optional)

Steps

  1. If you're stuffing a turkey, make the stuffing at the last minute so it can go into the bird warm, reducing the potential for bacteria to grow around it during baking.

  2. Step 1

    Slice and dry the bread

    Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Cut the bread into ½-inch cubes. Spread it on two cookie sheets, and toast it for 15 minutes, turning the sheets once.

  3. Step 2

    Cook onions and celery

    In a large, heavy skillet, melt butter over medium heat. Stir in the onions, garlic, and celery, cover, and cook for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Transfer to a large bowl.

  4. Step 3

    Mix the ingredients

    Mix the contents of the skillet with the bread, parsley, sage, rosemary, thyme, salt, and pepper. Stir in 1½ cups of hot turkey or vegetable stock. Then, stir in the apples or chestnuts, or both, if using.

  5. If you're stuffing your turkey, stuff all cavities now and put the turkey in the oven.

  6. Step 4

    Transfer to baking dish

    If you have remaining stuffing, or are not stuffing your turkey, reduce the oven heat to 350 degrees. Butter a large glass baking dish. Transfer the stuffing to the dish and pour a quarter- to a half-cup of hot stock over the top.

  7. Step 5

    Cover and bake

    Cover the dish with aluminum foil and bake for about 30 minutes. Uncover and bake an additional five to 10 minutes for a crispy, golden top.

  8. Sarah Josepha Hale, who campaigned in the 1860s to make Thanksgiving a national holiday, was also the author of the nursery rhyme "Mary Had a Little Lamb."

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