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Your top three "must-have" stuffing ingred's

Looking for new directions though I'm happy with my traditional cornbread-sausage stuffing.

Beyond bread and traditional seasonings, what are your top three stuffing ingredients must-haves?

Or do you have a favorite twist on tradition as far as stuffing goes?

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  1. Roasted chestnuts, chopped apples, lots of onions.

    3 Replies
    1. re: pikawicca

      Thank you for making me think of chestnuts! My favorite stuffing that I make every year has pecans, but I have to leave them out this year because my niece has a peanut allergy and is supposed to avoid tree nuts as well. I was trying to think what I could substitute for the pecans, and I think chestnuts are on the "okay" list.

      1. re: Ruth Lafler

        *sigh* I checked with my sister: no chestnuts either. Back to the drawing board!

        1. re: Ruth Lafler

          Ah ha! I'm going to try pumpkin seeds -- those not only will give it a nutty richness, but be appropriate for Thanksgiving!

    2. Mine are chestnuts and oysters (a few oysters go a long way) and sage.

      1. Chopped cooked turkey/chicken heart and gizzard; plus stuffing is the only time I use finely chopped curly parsely.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Sam Fujisaka

          Sam, I pleased to hear of one documented use for curly parsley other than as a garnish one shoves to the edge of the plate. My first attempt at home made Chimichurri sauce was dreadful because I used the curly rather than the flat leaf.

          1. re: chef chicklet

            ok and now I've found that bacon fat does a nice job too. Just about 2 T to the entire bowl and along with this years recipe that contained, fresh rosemary, sage, and thyme and then dried, versions. I want to taste the herbs! DH and kids thought it was the best ever, but they always say that. I'm for having the stuffing inside and outside the bird, and love it sort of fluffy and with crunchy edges/ It also gets three eggs, well beaten,chicken stock, of course theres pletnty of fresh cracked pepper and kosher salt (larger crystals) in there too..2 sticks of butter to cook the celery, and onion just a bit. Mix it with the dried bread crumbs,I always take a pinch to taste for seasonings. 3 loaves of bread toasted and cubed was plenty for inside the 19 lb fresh turkey and a medium size bowl for outside. Reading this thread and others, I think made it better it was closer than ever to my mom's recipe, was it the bacon fat? Can that be?

          2. dried cranberries, diced fennel, and I moisten with port rather than broth/butter