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.
: 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.
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.
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.
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.
TIP: If you're stuffing your turkey, stuff all cavities now and put the turkey in the oven.
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.
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.
FACT: 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."
You Will Need
A 1-pound French-bread loaf or cornbread loaf
1 stick of unsalted butter
3 c. diced onions
1 garlic clove
6 celery stalks
1/3 c. chopped fresh parsley
1 tsp. dried sage
1 tsp. dried rosemary
u00bd tsp. dried thyme
u00bc tsp. salt
u00bc tsp. black pepper
2 c. hot turkey or vegetable stock
A large glass baking dish
1u00bd c. peeled and chopped tart green apples (optional)