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Nothing but stuffing ...

I just saw something on tv that said to check out the greatstuffingdebate.com.
It got me to thinking about stuffing and the sure fire tried and true stuffing of your region origin or culture.

Lately the idea of doing stuffing with crumbed dried bread instead of cubes has intrigued me. I've wondered if it would work or just be mush. Almost like using dried bread crumbs out if a can only making your own. Using the standard fair of ingredients placed in buttered baking dish then baking uncovered so some liquid could dissipate and the top could brown and crisp up. I think it could work.

Ingredients for mine:
1. Dried lightly toasted sourdough bread cut in uneven cubes
2. butter
3. onion
4. celery
5. salt & pepper & poultry seasoning
6. chicken stock or broth

Your prized stuffing recipe would be appreciated.

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  1. My recipe is pretty similar to yours. I learned mine from my mother, but she used white sandwich bread. I use:

    King's Hawaiian bread (the round loaf) hand torn
    garlic pulp (peel cloves and grate)
    salt, pepper, poultry seasoning
    turkey or chicken stock
    butter, butter, butter

    5 Replies
    1. re: LoBrauHouseFrau

      Is King's Hawaiian bread slightly orange flavored, and sweet? Or am I confusing this with some other--?

      1. re: blue room

        Yes, that's the one. I like the texture of it, and the sweetness isn't overwhelming but adds another layer of flavor with all the garlic, onions and seasoning.

        1. re: LoBrauHouseFrau

          Interesting, very logical now that I think about it. Not a bad bread to have with Thanksgiving flavors at all! I know it's just slightly sweet.

          1. re: LoBrauHouseFrau

            That is actually a really good idea. Mayhaps I'll nudge my father this way this year. Thanks!

        2. re: LoBrauHouseFrau

          My MIL always used standard white bread (Wonder type) too cut into perfect small cubes lightly browned in the oven. My favorite bread is sourdough. The slight tang it provides is nice plus it stands up better if my method of blending is off (or I'm in a hurry).

        3. I don't know who you want to give the award, but your recipe is almost the same as mine - but I add egg as a binder, and my trophy givers are my DH and children. I learned from my mother and that's how my family likes it. My DIL now makes it the same way (thanks, son), and my daughter follows suit. So - it is all in the taste you grew up with or acquired. I like others, I just like mine better! OK - there - I said it!

          3 Replies
          1. re: boyzoma

            I've done the egg thing too as I'd seen it in recipes. Couldn't see much difference in flavor if any but it is a good binder. With something like stuffing simple flavors are best cause there's so much else going on (on) the plate.

            Are you heavy on onions or celery? Heavy on butter? A lot of poultry seasoning? What do you do with your bread? How long in the oven?

            1. re: iL Divo

              I'm heavy on everything. The one thing I like to do is leave it so you can "almost" still tell there are cubes. If it gets too mixed, it doesn't stay as moist and then is too dense. How long in the oven depends on size of dish. Usually about an hour or so and I've been known to use a wooden spoon handle to poke holes and pour chicken broth over for basting. Sometimes even adding a pat of butter half way through baking.

              1. re: boyzoma

                I did a stuffing with my Tourtiere last night as part of dinner. It was so good. It turned out still in those cube shapes too but still really moist quite possibly perfect. did my own whole wheat very dense bread that was days old, cut into cubes and toasted lightly. I didn't have time to wait for it to dry on it's own, I'd still be waiting. Browned butter and bacon grease in the skillet then added scallions and celery and garlic salt and pepper and poultry seasoning stirred to coat all and then added the chicken stock and it really looked like too much chicken broth and I got nervous but then it mostly soaked in, I took it out quickly as didn't want more liquid sneaking in there. put it in my 9" cast iron old heavy skillet and tossed it in the oven foil tented for 25 minutes on 325* then foil off and 10 minutes at 405*. Gravy was sooooo good [with the leftover broth from the stuffing mix] so put it over the stuffing the tourtiere and the sour cream ricotta cheese mashed potatoes I made also.

                My MIL in laws secret to a successful gravy works every time

          2. A couple of days before Thanksgiving, I make a pan of cornbread. Let it sit out and get stale, coarsely crumble. Add some stale bread cubes. Then I saute onion and celery in butter until translucent. Fry some sausage, drain (i like 1/2 hot and 1/2 mild with sage). Peel and dice Granny Smith apples. Mix all this in large bowl. Add in two beaten eggs, salt, pepper, ground sage, dried thyme, dried rosemary, and fresh chopped parsley. Mix in some dried cranberries. Put in large cast iron skillet and pour some chicken stock over it. Bake until brown on top. Make have to keep adding some stock as it bakes to keep it moist.

            21 Replies
            1. re: vafarmwife

              That sounds delicious, but since it isn't cooked in a bird, doesn't that make it 'dressing' instead of stuffing?

              1. re: LoBrauHouseFrau

                I stuff my turkey with onions, fresh sage, fresh rosemary, fresh thyme, and celery so there ain't no space left for stuffing.

                1. re: vafarmwife

                  That's exactly what I stuff my turkey with too...! My dressing consists of onions, celery, EVOO & butter, day old crustless Italian bread, dried sage & thyme , S & P and fresh turkey stock.

                  My mother made a stuffing with ricotta and eggs with traditional turkey seasonings that was a like a souffle. Absolutely the best thing in the world...and very different.

                  1. re: Gio

                    My mom and grandmother used to put the turkey neck and and giblets in their dressing. I used to pick them out b/c I couldn't stand the taste of them. I remember when my mom first ate my dressing recipe above, she didn't care for it as it wasn't traditional.

                    1. re: vafarmwife

                      That's funny... I use the neck and giblets for stock and can't wait to gnaw on the neck. The giblets are chopped and used for gravy.

                      1. re: vafarmwife

                        My grandparents did giblets heart liver in theirs too. Both being chefs, I knew they knew best but I was a little girl and those flavors were too strong for me. I picked 'em out too.

                      2. re: Gio

                        Your mother's dish sounds fab, Gio.

                        Can you share? ;)

                        1. re: mcel215

                          I Was fab mcel. I wish I could share but I have no idea what the proportions are.

                          Ingredients were whole milk ricotta, a few whisked eggs, S & P, dried sage, maybe dried thyme. She could have finely chopped a few celery stalks and onions then sauteed them...and perhaps finely minced parsley...and grated Parmigiano. I just can't remember. She was always experimenting with this recipe and sometimes it would be less than perfect but it always tasted terrific. I really should try to make it my self this year. I think I'd bake it in a souffle dish, though...just in case.

                        2. re: vafarmwife

                          I wash and dry our bird, inside and out. Pat dry with paper towels. Salt and pepper the inside and rub with peanut butter < then stuff.

                        3. re: LoBrauHouseFrau

                          Oh that's a good point. Often I do half and half. What fits without crowding goes in the bird, the rest goes in a baking dish and gets baked. Never thought of that, I love learning new things.

                        4. re: vafarmwife

                          Oh my. This would disappear at any table, thank you. It looks spectacular.

                          1. re: vafarmwife

                            Mine is very similar to yours minus the cranberries & rosemary and mine goes in the bird. Sometimes I'll add chopped toasted pecans and/or mushrooms. Many times I'll make Oyster dressing also so there is a choice.

                            1. re: vafarmwife

                              Mine is very similar to yours, though I use no eggs. I usually cook the sausage first and then saute the onion, celery and sage (fresh leaves) in the rendered sausage fat. I mix that with the dried bread cubes, toss in some chopped walnuts for a nice crunch. I moisten it with some apple cider and add some s&p. Then I stuff it into a large bag or container, let it sit in the fridge overnight, adding more cider if it gets dry.

                              I also cook it on the side as a dressing.

                              Oh I can't wait now. lol

                              1. re: BabsW

                                I should try sausage as it's one of hubsters favorite foods.
                                But I don't think the rest of us would enjoy it as we're not sausage lovers.

                                1. re: iL Divo

                                  I love the apple-sausage-sage combination, but then again, I am a huge fan of sausages. Must be my German roots.

                                  Truly though, the sausage is not overwhelming in this, and it really does go well with all of the apple flavors going on in it.

                                  People do get protective over their stuffing/ dressings, though. My former ILs are huge oyster stuffing people, and I simply can't stand it - or to be far, I can't stand their version. It's quite possible that there is an oyster stuffing out there that I would love. A few years ago, I did win a few converts to my sausage-apple stuffing. :)

                                  1. re: BabsW

                                    Ok babs, I'm biting...what kind of sausage? Italian (hot, mild, sweet) patties, links, in/out of casing OR breakfast, regular, maple, hot, links or patties OR kilbasa or polish sausage ? Thanks

                                    1. re: iL Divo

                                      I usually use the standard bulk pork sausage (breakfast style, like Jimmy Dean), though a maple variety would be nice too.

                                      1. re: BabsW

                                        Ah what the hay? I'll do it tomorrow night with the fried chix my man asked for.
                                        I'll let you know how it turns out. Thanks Babs.
                                        Oh Babs, does it have to have cider or is apple juice ok? I have all needed unless the cider is a must....lMKP thx

                                        1. re: iL Divo

                                          Apple juice should be ok, I think. I hope it turns out to your taste! :)

                                2. re: BabsW

                                  Babs, this sounds like what my mom called "French" (as in French-Canadian) stuffing. She'd use sweet Italian sausage, onion, celery, sage, s&p, fat and butter. This was my favorite part of the holiday.

                              2. I don't know if it's a regional thing or not, but my mother's stuffing is what I consider "traditional" - she uses stale white sandwich bread, butter, celery, onion, salt/pepper/sage and lots of broth. Hers may have an egg in it too, not sure - but definitely enough liquid that the bread cubes basically turn into a solid mass rather than individual pieces and the stuffing has a sort of soft, bread-souffle texture. She also adds oysters to her basic recipe in a special pan for my dad. Either way, I've NEVER liked it - the texture is too squishy and the flavor is rather bland.

                                When I started doing Thanksgiving for myself I wasn't really excited about doing stuffing, since I thought I didn't like it, but I remembered a stuffing I'd had at a friend's place one year in college that was sort of loose and drier, with sausage and big chunks of really tasty bread, so I started hunting for a recipe and ended up basing mine on this one from Epicurious: http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo...

                                Mine bears little resemblance to the original recipe now though - here's what I do. My husband would divorce me if I didn't make this every year. It makes a huge amount but is easy to halve, and is also easily made vegetarian by subbing veg broth for the chicken stock (and has enough other flavor going on so that you don't notice it's vegetarian).

                                4 loaves French bread (approx. 40-48 oz.), torn into 1-inch pieces (I make my own - it has a particularly wonderful texture that I haven't found in store-bought baguettes
                                )2 sticks butter plus additional for greasing dish
                                4 c. chicken or turkey stock (more or less)
                                5 c. boiling-hot water
                                3 oz dried porcini mushrooms
                                2 lbs cremini mushrooms, halved or quartered if large
                                2 large bulbs fennel, chopped coarsely
                                20+ shallots, halved or quartered if large (you really can't have too many of these)
                                3 large onions, chopped
                                4 celery ribs, chopped finely (use food processor)
                                4 medium carrots, chopped finely (use food processor)
                                10 garlic cloves, minced
                                1 T. dried sage, ground or whole
                                3 T. chopped fresh thyme or to taste
                                3 T. chopped fresh sage or to taste
                                2 T. chopped fresh rosemary or to taste
                                ½ c. chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
                                Salt and pepper to taste
                                2 lb. sage breakfast sausage (optional)

                                Dry bread at room temperature several days before using. Arrange shallots, fennel and mushrooms on rimmed baking sheets (in a single layer), drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper and roast at 400 degrees until golden brown, approximately 30 mins, tossing them once halfway through cooking. Meanwhile, pour boiling-hot water over porcini and soak 20 minutes, then remove mushrooms, reserving soaking liquid. Rinse porcini under cold water to remove any grit, then squeeze out excess water and coarsely chop.

                                While porcini soak, melt 1 stick butter in a heavy skillet over moderately high heat, then add onions and a pinch of salt and cook until translucent. Add carrots, garlic and celery and cook another 10 minutes or until vegetables are soft. Add drained porcini and cook a moment longer. Stir in roasted vegetables, herbs, salt and pepper, then add vegetables to bread, tossing to combine. If using sausage, cook separately and toss with vegetables and bread.
                                Pour porcini soaking liquid and stock to taste over stuffing mixture, tossing to coat evenly. Mixture should be moist throughout but not soaking wet (I usually use around 7 cups of liquid total, more stock than mushroom liquid).

                                Butter a large, deep roasting pan and preheat oven to 375 (if you prefer more crispy pieces, use two pans for shallower layers). Spread stuffing in pan and dot the top with the remaining stick of butter (use more or less as desired). Cover tightly with foil, then bake until heated through, about 30 minutes. Remove foil and bake until top is browned, 10 to 15 minutes more.

                                16 Replies
                                1. re: biondanonima

                                  That's some killah stuffing! Love that fennel and mushroom addition.

                                  I usually do a cornbread stuffing, like vafarmwife and Uncle Bob, and sometimes add chopped jalapeños and red peppers to the onion and celery, either that or I bake them into the cornbread.

                                  1. re: bushwickgirl

                                    I love the idea of cornbread stuffing but my husband would either divorce me or shoot me if I didn't make the roasted veg one I posted. However, I might be able to do cornbread for Xmas - I found a recipe posted by mamachef that looks incredible but I'd love to take a gander at yours too!

                                    1. re: biondanonima

                                      I never returned your call, sorry! Make your favorite rich cornbread recipe, add sweated chopped jalapeños to taste, I use about three to a batch of bread, seeds, ribs and all, and one red bell pepper, fresh thyme and even some defrosted or fresh cut corn if you want about 1/2 cup, to the batter.

                                      Let the bread dry on the counter overnight, uncovered. You can toast the cubes or just use them dry, then proceed with your favorite stuffing recipe, onion celery, stock, poultry seasoning if you do, even sausage is great in this.

                                      1. re: bushwickgirl

                                        Yum, sounds heavenly! I wonder how it would be with fresh chorizo, just to kick up the spice level a bit.

                                          1. re: biondanonima

                                            I make a dressing with bread, polenta cubes and Linguica. Chopped onions and celery are softened in butter and removed, then the cubed polenta is crisped. Everything is mixed together with turkey broth, and a lot of chopped parsley is added, with smaller amounts of sage and thyme. I don't give it much time in the oven because the parsley gets limp and dull, although next time I might try baking it without the parsley, and stirring it in when the dish comes out of the oven.

                                    2. re: biondanonima

                                      Save! Biondanonima that sounds delish, Thanks for posting the recipe. I'll have to try it sometime, but with all the other food that needs to be prepared it looks too labor intensive for my Thanksgiving. Plus I think I'd want this star for my main course! Have you ever downsized and stuffed the bird with it?

                                      1. re: Island

                                        I have made a half recipe before, but I never stuff my bird - I prefer it outside. However, I think it would probably work fine inside too - I would guess that a half recipe would be enough to stuff a 20lb bird with some leftover for a side dish as well. Last year I made it as written and it filled two of those 16x13ish aluminum foil roaster pans. It is a little bit labor intensive, but what I usually do is cook all of the vegetables, herbs and sausage the day before and store them in a tupperware bowl in the fridge, then in the morning I just mix that whole mess in with the bread, add the liquid and bake.

                                      2. re: biondanonima

                                        Wow, I am thinking of making this, but with Field Roast vegetarian smoked apple sausage (which is by far the best fake meat out there - it's great), and maybe a half cup of olive oil instead of all that butter. However, this recipe sounds like it serves about 30 people. Is that about right?! I might cut it down.
                                        One more question - do the dried porcini give it a very strong flavor? Have you ever made it without those? Thanks!

                                        1. re: cathyeats

                                          LOL, it depends on who those people are and what else they eat! I don't care for turkey myself, so I tend to make a meal of stuffing. I made this amount for 6 people last year and there were tons of leftovers, I would say enough that each couple got a portion that would serve them for another two meals. A half recipe makes about the same amount that I would guess most stuffing recipes make, i.e. enough for 10-12 side dish servings. You could easily eliminate some of the butter/fat as well - I just like it REALLY buttery, and Thanksgiving is my time to splurge! It would be totally fine with half the fat, I'm sure.

                                          I haven't made it without the porcini but you could, especially if you are going to use sausage and/or other interesting mushrooms in the mix. I love the earthiness they contribute, though. I don't find it too strong or overpowering - it's just enough that people say "hm, this is so good and rich, what is that flavor?" The original recipe was completely vegetarian and they used the porcini water instead of vegetable stock, probably because it has a richer flavor (IMO).

                                          1. re: cathyeats

                                            cathyeats - I will also be using that delicious field roast apple sage sausage in my stuffing (really panade) this year. Those sausages are amazing. We use them with fondue all the time, but were hoping they would work well with stuffing, too. Have you used them in stuffing in the past?

                                            1. re: Olive123

                                              Nope, I've never used them in the past, but I'm confident. I think I'm going to make a stuffing with onions, celery, Field Roast sausage, chestnuts and apples! (Or I might decide to substitute dried apricots for the apples.) My recipe is below - it's a variation on my other recipe: http://www.whatwouldcathyeat.com/2010...

                                              Low(er) fat Chestnut, Apple and Sausage Stuffing

                                              1 large loaf whole wheat bread, cubed and dried (about 10 cups


                                              1 tablespoon olive oil

                                              2 medium-large yellow onions, diced

                                              4 medium stalks celery, chopped

                                              1 large granny smith apple, peeled and diced

                                              2 Field Roast smoked apple sage sausages, crumbled and briefly sauteed (or substitute any chicken-apple sausage)

                                              1 cup chestnuts, crumbled

                                              2 teaspoons fresh thyme

                                              3 tablespoons fresh sage

                                              ¼ cup chopped flat leaf parsley

                                              3 tablespoons olive oil

                                              2 large eggs, lightly beaten (vegans, use a substitute such as ground flax seed mixed with water)

                                              1½ to 2 cups vegetable broth (recommend Imagine brand No-Chicken Broth here)

                                              Salt and pepper to taste

                                              Heat the olive oil in a large pot. Add the onions and celery, and sauté for 10 minutes. Turn off heat and add the sausage, chestnuts, apple, herbs, olive oil and eggs. Mix well, then add broth until the stuffing is quite moist but not overly soggy. Add salt and pepper if you’d like.

                                              Place in an oiled casserole dish, cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes at 350 degrees. Uncover and bake 10 minutes longer, until stuffing is crusty on top.

                                              1. re: cathyeats

                                                could you use apricots and apples? I may even toss in a cranberry or two, looks great!

                                          2. re: biondanonima

                                            Hi biondanonima - about how many does this serve? We have 30 people so I am thinking of doing 1.5 the recipe. Thanks!

                                            1. re: thegirlwholovestoeat

                                              The recipe as written makes two huge pans full (like turkey roasting pans) - if you don't want leftovers, it would probably feed 30 people, especially if some of them are children with smaller appetites. If you want leftovers, though, or if you have people who will just make a meal of the stuffing (as I do!), do 1.5 times the recipe. I hope you enjoy it!

                                            2. re: biondanonima

                                              biondanonima, your mother's recipe sounds very much like my grandmother's, except there were oysters (not many - they lived through the Depression!) in the whole thing. I'm curious, was it her family's recipe, and what was their background. My grandmother lived in the horror of a dry dressing (which was the operative word even though it was stuffed), and if it had to have gravy poured over it, ti was TOO DRY! So it's really a savory bread pudding, which I love and have made even richer, a stronger broth, and - oh, rats, brain freeze, minced mushrooms sauteed until the liquid evaporates and the mushrooms brown. That part of the family was in rural Missouri about 30 miles from the Mississippi River, and we have NO idea of how oysters got into dressing in the early 20th century or perhaps earlier. No family stories of making the trek to Ste. Genevieve, the nearest river town, to haul them off the steamers bound for St. Louis.

                                              Stuffing recipes and how they evolve are the most fascinating part of Thanksgiving dinner to me. Besides the food, of course.

                                            3. A large skillet of corn bread cooked the day before...
                                              3 or 4 or 5 cold biscuits crumbled.....
                                              Copious amounts of Onion, Celery and some Bell pepper slowly simmerd in a little chicken stock
                                              Salt as needed....Lots, and Lots of Black pepper
                                              Chicken stock/broth with as much fat as possible..About 1/2 gallon
                                              Into a buttered butter casserole or two...
                                              In the oven until it sets.....
                                              Feeds 12 easily with left overs

                                              Then there's Oyster dressing.......

                                              9 Replies
                                              1. re: Uncle Bob

                                                I had oyster dressing--once--and it was delicious. The lady who made it explained that she squooshed up the oysters with her fingers to make them visually undetectable, 'cause her husband and kids would have objected. But oh I remember how good that was.

                                                1. re: Uncle Bob

                                                  And do you use the leftovers in a sandwich with gravy and cranberry relish?

                                                  1. re: vafarmwife

                                                    Can't say that I ever have...Not a big fan of Cranberries.....Corn Bread dressing between to pieces of bread? Interesting! Maybe I need to dwink more wine!!! :))

                                                    1. re: vafarmwife

                                                      Oh, cornbread stuffing makes the BEST day-after-turkeyday sandwich with cranberry sauce!
                                                      Cold, made with mayo, or hot open-faced with gravy.

                                                      1. re: eclecticsynergy

                                                        Interesting. I had never thought about putting stuffing into a sammich. How do you make sure it does not fall out ?

                                                        1. re: souschef

                                                          It stays in by sheer force of will. And the clever use of hands.

                                                          1. re: cosmogrrl

                                                            And some good hot gravy to glue it all together. Cold or hot, a turkey sandwich the day after Thanksgiving is the best sandwich of the year.

                                                      2. re: Uncle Bob

                                                        My fabulous auntie would not have made her stuffing "without" oysters.
                                                        She also served them smoked from the can with a variety of fancy crackers and decorative toothpicks. Not the cellophane colored frilly ended kind, hers were made from (dare I say) elephant tusks. Sorry but true

                                                      3. Here's an old thread that includes my family's favorite recipe

                                                        1. liver and beef sausage meat go in mine with canned chestnuts and small amount of white breadcrumbs, onions, celery and stock plus dried sage.

                                                          Bread sauce of course as a side.

                                                          1. My mom always made bread dressing, known by her in-law family as "Yankee Dressing." Funny, my husband recognized it immediately the first time he had it although he hails originally from the Midwest. She made it with whatever stale white bread she had--sometimes storebought sandwich loaves (which she had to coax the dryness out of--those preservatives id their job!), sometimes leftover "french bread." She started by sauteing copious amounts of celery and onion in butter (margarine when I was a kid and the industrial food complex had my mother convinced butter was bad and margarine was good). When I ask her how much of this or that, she replies, exasperatedly, "I don't know . . . until you know it's right." She mixed this with the stale bread along with chopped parsley, several shakes of ground sage, salt, and pepper, moistened it all w/stock she made from the turkey neck and giblets, spread it into a large baking dish and baked it until it was crunchy on top. that's it. We loved it (esp. smothered w/giblet gravy). Still do, and since I 've never gotten more of a recipe out of her than that, I still have her make it. (She does not like it when we call it "Yankee Dressing," though, still feeling it an affront to her Yankee heritage, much as she must have the first time one of her many sisters-in-law yelled it out around the Thanksgiving Dinner table, where she was--and ever remained--the lone Yankee; they had always favored rice dressings--but guess what? They ever after requested a dish of YankeeDressing).

                                                            I also always make Oyster Dressing, w/a mix of stale cornbread and (confession coming) Pepperidge Farm bagged dressing crumbs.

                                                            This year I am adding a Mamachef-inspired version made w/stale ciabatta, tart apples, fennel, leeks, and bacon.

                                                            And possibly another one w/wild mushrooms and leeks (w/pancetta unless we have a vegetarian in attendance).

                                                            1. For something a bit different, make a "Turkey stuffing pot pie".

                                                              Fill ramekins with stuffing made from your favorite recipe, pour in some of your gravy, top with a biscuit dough or pastry shell, bake and serve.

                                                              1 Reply
                                                              1. re: ipsedixit

                                                                Altho I've not made the ones yet I'd hoped to, no time + working too much hasn't allowed time. This idea is a good one too quick easy on the fly

                                                              2. I started using potato bread cubes found in stores around this time of year. It has a sweet but firm texture and has a lovely yellow color. I use no eggs, so I have no problem with stuffing the bird. So popular with my family that I have to make sure we have enough to last the day! The real evil, bacon grease, is what flavors it even more.

                                                                2 bags potato cubes (Arnolds in FL)
                                                                ½ lb JD sausage, browned into bits
                                                                1 ½ c chopped onion
                                                                1 ½ c chopped celery, including leaves
                                                                8 oz sliced fresh mushrooms
                                                                1 T each dried rubbed sage and thyme leaves
                                                                pepper to taste

                                                                Mix in large bowl.

                                                                Deglaze the sausage pan with 1 ½ c homemade chicken stock. Add chix base paste to taste.
                                                                Heat 1/3 c each bacon fat and butter together.

                                                                Drizzle the fat over the stuffing mixture in three batches, stirring after each batch. Repeat this method with the stock until the right consistency is reached.

                                                                Stuff the turkey with as much of the mix as you can get into it and transfer the rest to an oven proof covered dish. During the last hour of turkey baking, place the covered dish into the oven. After the bird is done, remove all the stuffing and mix with the oven baked batch.

                                                                I also use the neck and gibblets that have been simmering with celery and onion for the gravy. While the turkey is resting, I then strain the hot liquid into the roasting pan to get all of the "frons" into the mix before thickening.

                                                                3 Replies
                                                                1. re: MartiniGenie

                                                                  MartiniGenie, your 1st listed ingredient is potato BREAD, right?
                                                                  I agree the bacon grease must be good in this!

                                                                  1. re: MartiniGenie

                                                                    Oh martinigenie, you've got me thinking. Our son made dinner tonight, his treat so his menu.
                                                                    He did was brussels sprouts steamed, then wrapped in half done bacon, then wrapped around the brussels toothpicked and baked until crisp. So good, but you have to half do the bacon in the fry pan first and I purposefully saved the grease, that I strained. It's in the frig.
                                                                    Yesterday while buying my week worth of bread in Orowheat bakery, I was looking over the varieties. I always buy high fiber or whole wheat or something very good for you but saw potato bread and was intrigued. I think I just found out what for. <<<< cause I have bacon grease.

                                                                    1. re: iL Divo

                                                                      I don't know how regional the Martin's brand is. I love their Whole Wheat Potato Bread - soft, delicious, and stays fresh a long time despite a very short, natural ingredient list. It is also great in stuffing/dressing.

                                                                      Great Harvest Bread Company franchises make stuffing bread only Thanksgiving and Christmas weeks (it is wise to call ahead to reserve it). It is whole wheat with diced celery and onion, and herbs. It smells just like stuffing and needs nothing but broth and an egg before using inside the cavity or baking separately. I like to make stuffing from scratch, but I buy their stuffing bread for making sandwiches.

                                                                  2. In Massachusetts, my mom always used Nissen "stuffing bread" which is basically a loaf of uncut white bread. She would hand tear the loaves. I loved it. For some time I used the Pepperidge Farm cubed stuffing, but now I am back to using bread like my mom.

                                                                    My stuffing:

                                                                    Two large loaves of bread torn asunder
                                                                    1 package Jimmy Dean bulk sausage
                                                                    One apple, diced
                                                                    Bell's seasoning
                                                                    Two beaten eggs
                                                                    Chicken/turkey stock

                                                                    Brown the sausage, put that (and the grease) in large mixing bowl.
                                                                    Melt butter and saute the apple and celery (No onions, hubby and kids don't like), add that to the sausage.
                                                                    Add the bread, stir, add seasoning and the eggs, and enough stock to bind it.

                                                                    1. White bread, cubed and toasted
                                                                      Chicken stock
                                                                      poultry seasoning
                                                                      and thyme

                                                                      Yes, I was a big fan of SImon and Garfunkle when I was 10 and made this recipe up. One of my brothers still talks about it, even though I stopped making Thanksgiving dinner for the family 26 years ago.

                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                      1. re: ZenSojourner

                                                                        I had the happy day of having to be with Simon and Garf for about 3 hours at work one day. I told them both, "don't let me sit on your laps and sing you all your songs because I have more nerve than brains and I surely will"...............they laughed, I love 'em too........
                                                                        now let's all hop over to Calabasas and see where part of the Graduate was actually filmed shall we? << recounting Si&Gar......................... :)))) oh the days gone by..........ahem......

                                                                      2. We're matzoh/cracker stuffing fans - it's a different texture, really good, doesn't get too soggy.

                                                                        1. my family's recipe bears absolutely NO resemblance to anything "traditional," but it's always been a family favorite and a crowd pleaser. when i was a kid my mom had to bake extra casserole dishes full of it because the week after Thanksgiving our friends would come over and make a beeline for the fridge in search of leftover stuffing.

                                                                          the ingredients: crushed corn flakes, oats, grated onions, grated carrots, *canned* mushrooms, schmaltz, chicken broth, salt & pepper.

                                                                          i know it sounds bizarre, but it's so damn good! mom hasn't made it in years, and once i started cooking, i took it upon myself to tweak it a bit to deepen the flavor and make it slightly more healthful...plus i just can't bring myself to buy canned mushrooms :) bake it in a casserole and it ends up more like a crispy-topped dressing that you can cut into and spoon out. YUM.

                                                                          14 Replies
                                                                          1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                            Oh Heavens, you have to share the ratios/steps... This sounds beyond intriguing!!!

                                                                            1. re: muirne81

                                                                              i have the recipe stashed away somewhere - i need to dig it out anyway, so i'll find it and post back later.

                                                                              1. re: muirne81

                                                                                GHG’S HOLIDAY STUFFING CASSEROLE

                                                                                The trick to this dish is to use your hands and “feel” your way to the right consistency.


                                                                                16 oz mushrooms, sliced (i like to use a mixture of white button, crimini & shiitake)
                                                                                2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves, minced
                                                                                1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
                                                                                Butter or oil for sautéing mushrooms
                                                                                4 cups corn flakes or whole grain cereal flakes, crushed into small pieces
                                                                                1½ cups rolled oats (not instant)
                                                                                16 – 18 oz carrots, grated (i use the shredding disc of the food processor
                                                                                3 – 4 large yellow or Spanish onions, grated (again, use the shredding disc)
                                                                                6 garlic cloves, minced
                                                                                Low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth
                                                                                Kosher salt
                                                                                Freshly ground black pepper


                                                                                Preheat oven to 325. Grease a large glass or ceramic casserole dish and set aside.

                                                                                Toss mushrooms with minced thyme, and sauté in a large skillet until nicely browned and tender. Finish with red wine vinegar, remove from heat, and let cool slightly.

                                                                                In a large bowl, combine crushed cereal, oats, carrots, onion, garlic and sautéed mushrooms. Add broth to moisten – it should be wet enough to hold together when squeezed into clumps, but not so wet that it’s dripping when you squeeze it.

                                                                                Season to taste (yes, you have to taste it raw!) with salt & pepper.

                                                                                Transfer to prepared baking dish, cover with foil, and bake for 45 minutes.
                                                                                Remove foil, and bake for an additional 5 minutes until top is nicely browned and crisp.

                                                                                1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                                  Totally making this tomorrow! :-) Thank you so much for sharing. I'll report back but I can guarantee it will be well received... Sounds amazing!

                                                                                  1. re: muirne81

                                                                                    my pleasure!

                                                                                    and of course i'm looking forward to hearing how it goes over, but honestly, i won't be the least bit offended if it's not a huge hit. this may very well be one of those family traditions that only certain people "get"...though with the updates/changes i made to my grandmother's original recipe i do think my version is a bit more CH-friendly ;)

                                                                                  2. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                                    So just reg ole corn flakes and non instant oats.
                                                                                    Ok it's doable, will enjoy the facial expressions.
                                                                                    Like muirne I'll report too.

                                                                                    1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                                      Dear goodhealthgourmet,

                                                                                      Hi! You don't happen to have the original recipe and measurements by chance? It sounds like a version of stuffing I had as a kid and loved. It was a recipe from a kosher butcher shop in Revere, MA. I've been trying to make it forever and am not able to find anyone with the recipe.

                                                                                      1. re: rb3904

                                                                                        you know what's funny? my Mom's grandfather was a kosher butcher in PA, and this dish is a tradition that was passed down in her family! it was never really an exact "recipe" - my grandmother showed my mother how to make it by sight & taste, and mom taught me. but i DO have the ingredient list with suggested 'ranges' of measurements that mom had written down years ago - hopefully that will be enough to help you make a close approximation of the stuffing you recall.

                                                                                        3-4 cups crushed corn flakes
                                                                                        1-2 large handfuls of rolled oats
                                                                                        at least 1 bag carrots, grated
                                                                                        3-4 large onions, diced
                                                                                        1-2 large cans mushrooms (preferably "Broiled in Butter" brand)
                                                                                        6-8 cloves garlic, crushed
                                                                                        1/2 cup or more of schmaltz
                                                                                        chicken broth to moisten
                                                                                        salt & pepper to taste

                                                                                        follow the directions i posted above for baking, and please let me know how it turns out!!

                                                                                        1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                                          love the inclusion of schmaltz, it's not easy for me to find though, gotta get to a kosher butcher, think there's one in the valley, like by Reseda blvd and Sherman way or there used to be one by there, hum......

                                                                                            1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                                              you know what GHG?
                                                                                              I really love smart people.
                                                                                              Thank you for assisting me.
                                                                                              I was right, good memory Ms. Il Divo-tee ;)))))

                                                                                  3. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                                    I'm agreeing with muirne here......... GHG POST girl POST!
                                                                                    I'll make it and report if I like it.....I'm intrigued!

                                                                                    Pwitty pweese and snap to it :)))))

                                                                                    1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                                      Im watching Dear Food Network and they're on number 3 of the countdown to something, not sure what, anyway...........Clarie Robinso is making her family's green bean casserole with cornflakes with melted butter as the topper instead of the fried onions. She also uses mozzarella cheese shredded on top of her mixture before adding the corn flakes. I thought and you and this recipe since the mention of corn flakes is now possibley used twice on TG.

                                                                                    2. And then there's always Marilyn Monroe's stuffing recipe... very different... as discussed in The New York Times:


                                                                                      Marilyn's Stuffing

                                                                                      Time: 2 hours

                                                                                      No garlic
                                                                                      A 10-ounce loaf sourdough bread
                                                                                      1/2 pound chicken or turkey livers or hearts
                                                                                      1/2 pound ground round or other beef
                                                                                      1 tablespoon cooking oil
                                                                                      4 stalks celery, chopped
                                                                                      1 large onion, chopped
                                                                                      2 cups chopped curly parsley
                                                                                      2 eggs, hard boiled, chopped
                                                                                      1 1/2 cups raisins
                                                                                      1 cup grated Parmesan
                                                                                      1 1/4 cups chopped walnuts, pine nuts or roasted chestnuts, or a combination
                                                                                      2 teaspoons dried crushed rosemary
                                                                                      2 teaspoons dried crushed oregano
                                                                                      2 teaspoons dried crushed thyme
                                                                                      3 bay leaves
                                                                                      1 tablespoon salt-free, garlic-free poultry seasoning (or 1 teaspoon dried sage, 1 teaspoon marjoram, 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger and 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
                                                                                      )1 tablespoon kosher salt, plus more to taste
                                                                                      1 tablespoon pepper.
                                                                                      1. Split the bread loaf in half and soak it in a large bowl of cold water for 15 minutes. Wring out excess water over a colander and shred into pieces.

                                                                                      2. Boil the livers or hearts for 8 minutes in salted water, then chop until no piece is larger than a coffee bean.

                                                                                      3. In a skillet over medium-high heat, brown the ground beef in the oil, stirring occasionally and breaking up the meat, so no piece is larger than a pistachio.

                                                                                      4. In your largest mixing bowl, combine the sourdough, livers, ground beef, celery, onion, parsley, eggs, raisins, Parmesan and nuts, tossing gently with your hands to combine. Whisk the rosemary, oregano, thyme, bay leaves, poultry seasoning, salt and pepper together in a bowl, scatter over the stuffing and toss again with your hands. Taste and adjust for salt. Refrigerate, covered, until ready to use as a stuffing or to bake separately as dressing.

                                                                                      Yield: 20 cups, enough for one large turkey, 2 to 3 geese or 8 chickens.

                                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                                      1. re: TrishUntrapped

                                                                                        i kno i'm not one to talk because my family's stuffing tradition is pretty bizarre, but when i saw this in the NY Times on Wednesday i just couldn't wrap my head around the combination of ingredients...i think it's the hard-boiled eggs & warm spices.

                                                                                      2. Not really traditional, but begged for at our table:

                                                                                        - slightly stale homemade cornbread, cubed
                                                                                        - onions
                                                                                        - diced carrots
                                                                                        - bit of cutting celery
                                                                                        - mashed garlic
                                                                                        - dried cranberries, plumped in boiling water or boiling cranberry juice for 10 or 15 minutes
                                                                                        - sweet Italian sausage crumbles (cooked)
                                                                                        - pecans
                                                                                        - sage / chives / thyme / salt / pepper
                                                                                        - rolled oats
                                                                                        - butter, butter, butter and if feeling particularly decadent, a bit of bacon fat

                                                                                        My mother-in-law also makes an oyster stuffing that is out of this world, but I've not made it alongside her yet so I can't tell you what it contains other than oysters, whole wheat bread cubes, and sage.

                                                                                        1. This recipe has been handed down through several generations in my family. Not made with bread at all but common crackers which are probably hard to find outside of New England. Sausage is a modern addition which my Irish ancesters would never have been able to afford!

                                                                                          12-16 oz bulk sausage, browned
                                                                                          6-8 good sized peeled boiled potatoes
                                                                                          ½ bag common crackers (4 oz), ground fine
                                                                                          1 stick of butter
                                                                                          1 large onion, ground
                                                                                          1 tsp whole thyme
                                                                                          Poultry seasoning to taste (2 tsp)
                                                                                          Salt and pepper to taste

                                                                                          Mash potatoes with butter, then add onion and common crackers.

                                                                                          Season to taste, starting with 2 tsp of poultry seasoning and add a little more if needed.

                                                                                          Add the sausage and mix well.

                                                                                          Best made the night before so that flavors develop.

                                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                                          1. re: kmhayes

                                                                                            Common crackers are available online through Vermont Country Store, I believe

                                                                                          2. I start with the off the shelf Pepperidge Farm with stock and butter, but it's the sage, poached oysters, and roasted chestnuts I add that really make it good.

                                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                                            1. I have been making this recipe that I saw Giada make on Food Network. My family now expects me to show up with it every year.

                                                                                              Ciabatta Stuffing with Chestnuts and Pancetta
                                                                                              6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) butter
                                                                                              8 ounces pancetta, cut into 1/4-inch dice
                                                                                              2 large onions, finely chopped
                                                                                              2 carrots, peeled and finely chopped
                                                                                              3 celery stalks, finely chopped
                                                                                              2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary leaves
                                                                                              3 garlic cloves, chopped
                                                                                              2 (7.4-ounce) jars roasted peeled whole chestnuts, coarsely broken
                                                                                              1/4 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley leaves
                                                                                              1 pound day-old ciabatta bread, cut into 3/4-inch cubes
                                                                                              2/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan
                                                                                              1 cup (or more) canned low-salt chicken broth
                                                                                              Salt and freshly ground black pepper
                                                                                              2 large eggs, beaten to blend

                                                                                              Complete directions here...


                                                                                              2 Replies
                                                                                              1. re: Philly Ray

                                                                                                I made this one year, and now I am also not allowed by them to ever try another stuffing again. It is very good- the chestnuts, fresh rosemary and ciabatta bread adds something special- but I miss making stuffing with some sort of fruit in it.

                                                                                                1. re: Philly Ray

                                                                                                  I'm thinking about adapting the above Ciabatta Stuffing with Chestnuts and Pancetta recipe for a vegetarian. If I sub mushrooms for the pancetta should I stay with the same amount (8 ounces) or do I need more or less? The only other change will be vegetable broth instead of chicken broth.

                                                                                                2. These are all delicious sounding, but:

                                                                                                  1. If you make it the night before, how do you reheat it?
                                                                                                  2. If you cook it the day of and it takes longer than 45 minutes (which means you can't cook it when the turkey comes out), when do you cook it?

                                                                                                  2 Replies
                                                                                                  1. re: E_M

                                                                                                    What I do with mine is bake it most of the way through (covered) before the turkey goes in, then take it out and wrap it in a towel to keep it fairly hot. When the turkey comes out, I put it back in (uncovered) to get completely hot and crisp on top. It usually takes me less than 2 hours to cook my turkey (I do smaller birds at high heat), so that's not too long for the stuffing to be out of the oven - it retains a lot of heat if you keep it wrapped.

                                                                                                    1. re: E_M

                                                                                                      I stuff some very loosely in the cavities of the turkey. Then I wrap the rest of the stuffiing in a double layer of aluminum foil after basting with a little of the turkey drippings and roast along with the turkey for the last hour. I've done the same in a covered casserole dish.

                                                                                                    2. First a word on the crumb stuffing...my IL's made it two years ago and I hope never to have it again. I really didn't like the texture one bit. I wish I could be more descriptive...perhaps similar in consistency to a tabouleh salad? Bleh.

                                                                                                      We've always had and will always have oyster stuffing, cooked in the bird. We use oven-dried cubes of Pepperidge Farm sandwich bread, moistened with the usual suspects (turkey stock, onions & celery cooked in a lot of butter, fresh parsley, egg for binding, & poultry seasoning). A couple of pints of chopped oysters are cooked just until the edges curl, then in they go.

                                                                                                      I will be trying something new this year, not radical, but a tweak. My neighbor's mother puts finely diced chicken livers into her oyster stuffing and I had to admit, it was better than mine. There was no definite liver flavor, but it gave the stuffing a depth and earthiness that I hadn't realized it was missing.

                                                                                                      2 Replies
                                                                                                      1. re: Christina D

                                                                                                        I want to try adding chicken livers too but my husband HATES them and I fear he would detect them. Maybe I'll add them to half this year and make him try a taste.

                                                                                                        1. re: biondanonima

                                                                                                          I love them too. I always keep a container of chic lvrs in freezer.
                                                                                                          You never know when I may have a craving for pate. I think now the idea in stuffing would be wonderful. Wonder if it would melt away into the stuffing or stay in chunks? It'd be better to me if it went the "anchovy" direction.

                                                                                                      2. My recipe is from my scottish grandmother. I can't give an exact recipe because it's been made by smell and looks for many years, but I will try to explain it.

                                                                                                        Bag of bread stuffing cubes (unseasoned)
                                                                                                        Tube of Jimmy Dean sausage
                                                                                                        several ribs of celery, chopped, include leaves
                                                                                                        1 large onion
                                                                                                        2-3 granny smith apples (depends on size) chopped
                                                                                                        1 to 1.5 cup(s) steel cut oats (only steel cut, nothing else will do)
                                                                                                        Bell's poultry seasoning (to smell)
                                                                                                        Salt and pepper

                                                                                                        Put it all in a bowl and add quite a bit of the poultry seasoning/sage S & P and mix. I use my hands because it's easiest. After it's mixed, smell it. It should really smell like all the ingredients, especially the herbs. You really want it herbed well. When you think it smells really good (this is kind of a personal preference BTW, I myself use the exacting amount of "sh!t ton") Sometime the onions aren't oniony enough so i may add a bit. Or a bit of extra apple. The oats should be well mixed and give the stuffing a nutty look. Stuff the bird and put the leftovers in a oven pan cover with stock and aluminum foil and bake.

                                                                                                        Not a precise recipe I know, but it's fairly easy to just use your nose and have it dictate what is needed.

                                                                                                        Definite crowd pleaser though!

                                                                                                        1. Another Chowhound asked for my recipe for chestnut stuffing, and this is the logical place to post it.

                                                                                                          This recipe is from the book, "French Cookery School" by Anne Willan.

                                                                                                          The stuffing is for a 6-8 lb turkey.

                                                                                                          700 gm chestnuts
                                                                                                          750 ml chicken or veal stock
                                                                                                          2 onions, chopped
                                                                                                          30 gm butter
                                                                                                          700 gm minced pork, fat with lean
                                                                                                          4 tablespoons brandy
                                                                                                          1 teaspoon allspice
                                                                                                          1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

                                                                                                          Peel the chestnuts (I assume I do not have to post instructions).

                                                                                                          Put the nuts and stock into a pan, add S&P. Cover and simmer till tender (20-30 min). Cool, then drain.

                                                                                                          In a frying pan cook the onions in butter till soft; do not allow to brown. Add pork, stirring to break it up, till lightly browned. Add the brandy, spices, and S&P. Cook 2 minutes. 
                                                                                                          Off the heat gently stir in the chestnuts. Try to not break them up. Taste and adjust seasoning. Cool, then fill the bird.

                                                                                                          I sometimes sauté sliced wild mushrooms (usually shitake) with the mix. They work really well. Garlic is a good addition too.

                                                                                                          17 Replies
                                                                                                          1. re: souschef

                                                                                                            Sounds really good. I wonder how jarred/canned chestnuts would do?

                                                                                                            1. re: souschef

                                                                                                              Is the 6-8 lb turkey a typo? I never see turkeys that size.

                                                                                                              1. re: walker

                                                                                                                Not a typo on my part - that's what the recipe says.

                                                                                                                1. re: walker

                                                                                                                  I am always on the lookout for small turkeys. The smallest I've been able to score has been 9 lbs. It seems we Americans have this obsession with oversized birds. A very counterproductive one, IMHO.

                                                                                                                2. re: souschef

                                                                                                                  Thanks, souschef! Sounds really good. Do you think sage would be a good addition? I love sage in stuffing, but (sheepishly) I've never had chestnuts, so I'm not sure what they taste like.

                                                                                                                  1. re: Jen76

                                                                                                                    Sage would possibly be a good addition. Chestnuts have a very earthy flavour.

                                                                                                                    I almost envy you the experience of discovering chestnuts for the first time.

                                                                                                                      1. re: Jen76

                                                                                                                        One thing I enjoy is sage leaves quickly fried until they are nice and crisp. Sage should not be difficult to find.

                                                                                                                        1. re: souschef

                                                                                                                          Sage is easy to find. My mother has some in her garden. It's the chestnuts that I'm not sure about.

                                                                                                                          1. re: Jen76

                                                                                                                            If there's an Italian market ot deli in your area give them a call. I have even seen chestnuts in the supermarkets, but I don't trust them. When buying them make sure there are no holes in them, as holes means that worms have eaten Jen's lunch. Also, if there is any give to the outer skin don't buy them as it means that they are not fresh. They should be nice and plump and firm.

                                                                                                                            1. re: souschef

                                                                                                                              I don't know of any Italian markets around here. Plenty of Asian markets. I posted on my local board. Got a few recs of places to look, so I'll see what I can find. Do the same things apply to already roasted chestnuts? May not be able to find fresh.

                                                                                                                              1. re: Jen76

                                                                                                                                Chestnuts are easy to find in Asian markets, both fresh and roasted (often in vacuum pack).

                                                                                                                                Trader Joes also has them in season (the vacuum pack may be available year around). They used to carry some frozen roasted ones from Italy that were great (much easier to skin than fresh).

                                                                                                                                  1. re: paulj

                                                                                                                                    What do you think about jarred or canned? Comparable to frozen or vacuum -packed?

                                                                                                                                1. re: souschef

                                                                                                                                  Took me 1.5 hours to peel the little suckers. My thumbs are sore!


                                                                                                                                  1. re: Jen76

                                                                                                                                    That's standard for chestnuts, No sympathy from me :)

                                                                                                                                    1. re: Jen76

                                                                                                                                      been there, dang those buzzards are difficult, but I don't care at all for the ones in cans and the jarred ones are super expensive

                                                                                                                      2. A traditional Spanish dish is Migas ('crumbs'). Supposedly it originated with shepherds, cooking supper with limited camp supplies. Basically it is bread crumbs, moistened, and then toasted, and flavored with peppers and sausage (chorizo). I tend to use bread cubes, but most recipes call for crumbs. Either way the result is something like a loose dry stuffing.

                                                                                                                        On the Bitalli 'On the Road Again' Spain series, a Spanish chef makes migas in a large wok like pan outdoors in the shadows of the famous La Mancha windmills, and a local 'Sancho Panza' shovels it down with peasant gusto.

                                                                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                                                                        1. Wolfgang Puck's Oyster Stuffing recipe (easily found via google) is a tradition in our family. Contains bread cubes, spinach, mushrooms, a variety of dried fruits, herbs, cream and milk, egss, sausage. It is really more of a savory bread pudding (in consistency) than a stuffing; it is amazing!!! The trick to getting the texture right with all of the liquid additions is to get the bread cubes nice and stale (I leave them out to dry for a day or two) and wring the spinach until NO liquid is left (i split a tea towel wringing so hard).

                                                                                                                          Edit - we cook it separately, never in the bird.

                                                                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                                                                          1. re: DMW

                                                                                                                            I cook it separately too. That way too you can cook in parallel, i.e. Cook the stuffing at the same time as you are roasting the bird. You do not have to wait for the stuffing to cool before you stuff the sucker!

                                                                                                                          2. Not really traditional, but delicious, and vegetarian-

                                                                                                                            roasted garlic
                                                                                                                            toasted sourdough
                                                                                                                            mushroom broth
                                                                                                                            salt, pepper, thyme

                                                                                                                            I like it baked till it's almost burnt on top. Leftovers are always my favorite!

                                                                                                                            1. I am trying to make a vegetarian stuffing- no sausage- I will miss it. I thought I would try one of these chestnut stuffings but woud like to add a fruit- any suggestions

                                                                                                                              7 Replies
                                                                                                                              1. re: cocoagirl

                                                                                                                                Raisins, either dark or golden, dried cranberries, dried cherries, diced dried apricots, figs or even prunes (dried plums, as they're called now) all go well with chestnuts.

                                                                                                                                1. re: cocoagirl

                                                                                                                                  Maybe you don't have to miss it. Further up thread Cathyeats wrote "...Field Roast vegetarian smoked apple sausage which is by far the best fake meat out there - it's great.."
                                                                                                                                  Never heard of that, but I might have to try it.

                                                                                                                                  1. re: Island

                                                                                                                                    back in the days when i could eat it, Field Roast came in 3 flavors - Smoked Tomato, Lentil & Sage, and Wild Mushroom. i liked all of them (the Smoked Tomato makes a killer "salad" tossed with mayo, onion, fresh herbs & a splash of vinegar).

                                                                                                                                    they've come out with new flavors since then - the Smoked Apple cathyeats mentioned, plus a Mexican Chipotle and an Italian sausage.


                                                                                                                                    1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                                                                                      Thanks for that info, seems like I can get it locally.

                                                                                                                                      1. re: bushwickgirl

                                                                                                                                        you sure can - many stores in BK & NYC carry it. have some for me!

                                                                                                                                        1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                                                                                          Yes, seemingly, I'm very surprised I've never seen it before.

                                                                                                                                          Curious, a gluten issue?

                                                                                                                                2. Pretty traditional here:

                                                                                                                                  Bread, hand torn
                                                                                                                                  Potatoes, peeled and boiled and mashed with a fork
                                                                                                                                  Onions and celery sauteed in butter
                                                                                                                                  Milk / egg mixture

                                                                                                                                  I always used to cook it in the turkey, but find that it's **almost** as good outside and then the turkey can cook faster. But I still haven't completely mastered the "outside the turkey" cooking thing. I usually put some more butter on top and add extra liquid, but I'm missing the turkey-dripping-flavor. This year, I'm thinking of tossing some pan juices on there before I cook it - either that or cook some turkey parts on top of the stuffing so they can drip.

                                                                                                                                  2 Replies
                                                                                                                                  1. re: jbsiegel

                                                                                                                                    I basically clean out the freezer of all random bits of bread. Let them sit out a couple of days to dry out a bit. Tear up the bread and add to it some sauteed onions and celery. Add that to the bread along with some chicken broth, quite a bit of sage and some thyme, salt and pepper. Turn out into a baking dish and bake for 1/4 hour to 45 min. That is how I make my "dressing". DELISH!

                                                                                                                                    1. re: Rheta

                                                                                                                                      Very typical and probably my familys' favorite way, no muss no fuss just good

                                                                                                                                  2. My mom taught me a simple, but crowd pleasing stuffing that even my anti-stuffing wife asked me to make this year.
                                                                                                                                    Here it is:
                                                                                                                                    butter ( I like the smart balance with olive oil)
                                                                                                                                    Martin's potato bread (either cube it yourself, or it comes cubed in a bag)
                                                                                                                                    Sage, Salt, Pepper, Rosemary
                                                                                                                                    Chicken Broth

                                                                                                                                    Saute the heck out of the veggies in about a half to 3/4 stick of butter. Once translucent, add to large bowl with cubed potato bread. Add spices before you add the broth. Add a cup to a cup and a half of broth, depending on how wet you like it.
                                                                                                                                    Mix well with your hands.
                                                                                                                                    HERE'S WHERE WE CHANGE THE GAME!!!
                                                                                                                                    spray or butter muffin tins and fill them 3/4 of the way with wet stuffing mixture. In an oven pre-heated to 375 degrees and bake for 15-20 minutes depending on how crunchy you want the outside to be.
                                                                                                                                    And you now have stuffing muffins. You can feel free to add mushrooms to the mix of you like, as they work well in this dish.

                                                                                                                                    2 Replies
                                                                                                                                    1. re: jerseycity chef

                                                                                                                                      I like your game. I'm wondering if I could use a mini tube pan instead of a muffin tin, then fill them with shredded turkey and cranberry relish. Oh, the possibilities!

                                                                                                                                    2. Now for something entirely different. This is from an old Craig Claiborne recipe from the NYT.
                                                                                                                                      ½ pound small pork sausages
                                                                                                                                      1 turkey liver
                                                                                                                                      2 slices bread, dried in the oven
                                                                                                                                      1 pound finely ground pork
                                                                                                                                      Salt and Pepper
                                                                                                                                      1 ½ cups chopped onion
                                                                                                                                      2 cloves garlic minced
                                                                                                                                      1 turkey gizzard, ground
                                                                                                                                      2 teaspoons chopped leaf sage or one teaspoon powdered sage
                                                                                                                                      ½ teaspoons rosemary
                                                                                                                                      1 bay leaf
                                                                                                                                      ½ teaspoon thyme
                                                                                                                                      ¼ cup dry white wine
                                                                                                                                      ½ cup brown sauce or canned beef gravy
                                                                                                                                      1 Tablespoon minced parsley
                                                                                                                                      1 cup cooked chestnuts

                                                                                                                                      When my parents lived in NJ we got sausages from 'the German Butchers' but haven't found anything comparable in MA so I make my own.

                                                                                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                                                                                      1. re: AGM_Cape_Cod

                                                                                                                                        That recipe seems more like a forcemeat than a stuffing. I'm sure it is tasty though.

                                                                                                                                      2. Pan of cornbread made per directions with an add'l 1/2 cup corn meal - very coarsely crumbled.
                                                                                                                                        1/2 bag prepared, seasoned, white bread stuffing ( you know the one! )

                                                                                                                                        Equal amounts of sauteed and chopped celery, onion, green onion tops, parsley (about 2/3 cup ea)
                                                                                                                                        1 tea. garlic powder or 2 sautee'd cloves included w/above sautee.
                                                                                                                                        1 tea. black pepper
                                                                                                                                        1 slightly beaten egg.
                                                                                                                                        6 or 7 cups ** of flavorful chicken stock to evenly wet the breads. The *healthy* stocks are not going to impart much on the flavor scale and dressing will be very bland.

                                                                                                                                        ** It should be very wet, not soupy. ** This is at sea level. If higher elev., use less liquid or it will never lose enough liquid during baking - I know this for a reason. ;)
                                                                                                                                        Pour into 13x9 (?) rectangle dish.
                                                                                                                                        Place into 400 degree preheated oven and reduce to 350. Bake approx 40 min till lightly browned on top, but still moist inside.

                                                                                                                                        My grandmother included oysters, my uncle used andouille sausage and I've just discovered a locally made chicken sausage.

                                                                                                                                        Stuffing/Dressing is the best part of the T'giving meal!!!

                                                                                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                                                                                        1. re: CocoaNut

                                                                                                                                          I like your choices of veg in the stuffing.
                                                                                                                                          They're typical and make sense.
                                                                                                                                          Not sure why people need to fuss with a good old fashioned standard when it comes to making something that others look so forward to made the normal way. That said, like I've written I've done some crazy things to dressing/stuffing in the past. ie. = garbanzo beans, cashews, apricots, apples, craisins, and a few kinds of breads as the base. Loving all those flavors they seemed like maybe they 'could' go into a stuffing. Realized that the family always asks to just make normal stuffing please.........so it's basically back to normal flavors in our household. Many things can be added to dressings all year long but at Thanksgiving, the traditional or traditional to you, is what you want.

                                                                                                                                          It's a big no thanks to things like juniper berries, tarragon, olives, figs or the very dreaded fennel, gad I hate that stuff. As discussed before somewhere, in my not so humble opinion, stop with the fennel and tarragon on us all the time.............
                                                                                                                                          ok, better now, ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh

                                                                                                                                        2. would it be futile to attempt adding a sweet component in to a savory stuffing?
                                                                                                                                          I have some cubed pieces of cinnamon rolls in the freezer and was thinking of putting 1/4 cup into a typical stuffing recipe with addition of some cashews and maybe a handful of craisins.

                                                                                                                                          6 Replies
                                                                                                                                          1. re: iL Divo

                                                                                                                                            Craisins, absolutely, cashews, mm, maybe not, walnut or pecans are better, imo. Not too sure about using cinnamon rolls in stuffing, prefer it more savory, with a touch of dried fruit. Maybe save the rolls for bread pudding.

                                                                                                                                            1. re: bushwickgirl

                                                                                                                                              wrong impression I led you into....
                                                                                                                                              maybe 1/2 a cinnamon roll cut into small pieces so every once and a while you get just a little sweet hint of a taste of 'hum what's that'? kind of a surprise with all else typically savory.
                                                                                                                                              sort of same idea with the cashews, not a lot, I may even want to do candied cashews that are in the freezer, again a tiny treat to tease taste buds.

                                                                                                                                            2. re: iL Divo

                                                                                                                                              I don't think the frozen cubed cinnamon rolls would be necessarily bad, but I suspect they won't add too much either. If you want a pop of sweet in your stuffing, then your idea of craisins is probably good, esp. if you like craisins. If you want a pop of sweet in your stuffing, I think you need a sweet thing that doesn't dissolve into the stuffing, but stands out and adds the sweetness as a discrete element.

                                                                                                                                                1. re: sueatmo

                                                                                                                                                  thanks sueatmo

                                                                                                                                                  I still have time to ponder it or make a sacrifice batch

                                                                                                                                                2. re: iL Divo

                                                                                                                                                  I was just thinking about leftover banana bread. Maybe do some Caribbean spices, in a subtle way. I've done something like that with stuffed acorn squash.

                                                                                                                                                  But that was just a fantasy, I must have my traditional cornbread mix stuffing.

                                                                                                                                                3. I actually learned from my father on what bread to use -- every time we have a leftover heel of bread (whatever type!) he would cube it, dry it, and freeze it. By the time a "stuffing occasion" came around, there would be tons of bread (at no extra cost) with a great variety of flavors. I am a little more picky... I separate into "sweet- bread pudding" and "savory-stuffing" bags so that I don't get cinnamon swirl stuffing!

                                                                                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                  1. re: aletnes


                                                                                                                                                    I do same thing. don't usually do heels per say but do keep slices in freezer of all kinds.
                                                                                                                                                    a day old loaf of sourdough is by far my/our favorite

                                                                                                                                                  2. I like to cook some wild rice and add that to the stuffing, and use a combination of whole wheat and white bread.

                                                                                                                                                    1. My recipe is about the same as yours- but I buy unsliced bread and use that. Just crumble it- no cubes. so good. this year, we need 10 loaves of bread for our cvrowd- and that does not include the gluten free corn bread I bought to make stuffing for our 5 celiacs! I throw some stuffing into my turkey soup over the weekend.

                                                                                                                                                      1. I've made vast amounts of turkey stuffing for decades, and "my way" has evolved. Elsewhere I've recommended baking cornbread the night before, splitting the slices horizontally, and letting them dry overnight. I usually make the dressing, or stuffing, on the morning of Thanksgiving. I discovered through trial and error that I like cooked brown rice in my stuffing, better than cooked wild rice. I like lots of onion (got that from my mom) and lots of sage (also my mom's indoctrination). I add chopped celery, caraway seeds and a chopped apple. I have usually added chicken broth to moisten, but this year I have produced actual turkey broth. I have enough to moisten the stuffing and just enough for a small bit of gravy. I do stuff a turkey, but not this year because I am only roasting the breast. In a pinch you can cook stuffing in the microwave. When I moisten the stuffing, I like it looser rather than tighter. If you think this is a "loose" recipe, you are right. I've never had a written recipe to follow, and I've always improvised.

                                                                                                                                                        1. I can't believe no one has posted a traditional cornbread dressing like the one I make. I make cornbread the day before. It's a very old-school Southern cornbread with no wheat flour and no sugar. Just cornmeal, buttermilk, baking soda and salt, cooked in a cast-iron skillet greased with lard or bacon grease (I will compromise on the choice of fat if there are vegetarians coming). Overnight, I make a big batch of turkey stock in the slow cooker. This will serve to moisten the dressing and to make gravy, as I tend to brine and/or smoke and/or grill my turkey, and thus don't have pan drippings. On T-day, the dressing is made from sauteed onion/celery/bell pepper, seasoned with salt, pepper, sage, and yes, some poultry seasoning blend. I cook and crumble up some pork sausage, and that goes in (assuming no vegetarians). The cornbread is crumbled up and mixed in, and the whole thing is moistened with turkey stock and white wine. Note that there are no breadcrumbs or cubes of bread added at all. It is just cornbread. It is cooked in pan outside the turkey because a) I like it that way, with a crisp top and moist center and b) the turkey is being smoked or grilled, and has often been brined, and those things don't tend to mesh with stuffing inside. This is pretty much the cornbread dressing I grew up with, except that my mother would usually stuff the turkey and cook it in the oven. The extra - because she couldn't fit it all in the turkey - would be cooked separately, like I do it.

                                                                                                                                                          7 Replies
                                                                                                                                                          1. re: MelMM

                                                                                                                                                            I will say Mel, your stuffing sounds wonderful. hummmm, yet another idea for stuffing, thinking of hubby here, as he LOVES sausage. let me ask you one thing though, will I be scorned if I use regular milk that I add lemon or vinegar to so as to avoid having to buy buttermilk? I ask because when I do buy buttermilk, I use it for one thing and then the date is up and it gets dumped. I'm sure I could make good use out of it > that's not the problem as it goes in a lot of recipes but I'm not usually making anything where I could use up the BM at the time I have it in the house.

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: iL Divo

                                                                                                                                                              You know what I do with the leftover buttermilk? I portion it out into 1-cup plastic containers and freeze it. So I always have some around for pancakes, cornbread, etc.

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: MelMM

                                                                                                                                                                didn't know you could freeze it~never thought of that.

                                                                                                                                                              2. re: iL Divo

                                                                                                                                                                Cornbread can be made without buttermilk. Just use milk and baking powder (1 tsp bp / cup of flour and cornmeal). MelMM omits the egg that is usually used in cornbread.

                                                                                                                                                                There are lots of cornbread recipes in books and online. Even so called northern style recipes can be adapted by increasing the cornmeal to flour ratio, and omitting the sugar.

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: paulj

                                                                                                                                                                  No, I only omit the egg when posting on chowhound. When I actually make the cornbread, I include it.

                                                                                                                                                                  Have to say though, that I don't feel the milk + baking powder makes the same cornbread as buttermilk + baking soda. The chemistry will work, but the flavor is not the same. Also, I use no wheat flour at all in my cornbread, although some Southern recipes will include a tablespoon or so. I prefer no flour.

                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: MelMM

                                                                                                                                                                    How coarse or fine of a corn meal do you use?

                                                                                                                                                                    I grew up with the half flour version. I tried the all cornmeal one once. My impression is that a fine cornmeal is better with the all cornmeal version, since it doesn't have any flour to help hold it together. The crust from the hot skillet is also more important.

                                                                                                                                                                    I wonder, though, how much these differences matter when use in stuffing. There are so many other flavoring ingredients, and added moisture.

                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: paulj

                                                                                                                                                                      Medium cornmeal, just the standard grind, not overly coarse, and not fine. The skillet is preheated in a hot oven, then a good amount of fat added. Batter gets poured into the hot grease, then the whole thing goes back into hot oven. Makes a great crust.

                                                                                                                                                            2. Whatever recipe you use, I missed that "cooked in the turkey" flavor.

                                                                                                                                                              Soooo.....my butcher told me to get turkey wings, brown them in a very small amount of oil, then put them on top of the stuffing in the dish and bake until the wings are cooked. I did it last year and it's GREAT! The stuffing needs a little time in the oven to brown up after you remove the wings, but not long. I do the initial cook the day before, then brown the day of.
                                                                                                                                                              Take the wings, add some stock and chucks of carrots, onion and celery and boil.
                                                                                                                                                              Strain and you have turkey stock all ready for gravy.

                                                                                                                                                              14 Replies
                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Lisa456

                                                                                                                                                                Thank you Lisa, I am so stealing that turkey wing idea! I make some stuffing in the bird, the rest goes in the oven on its own. I mix the two at the end. But now, my stuffing will be even better!!!!

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: TrishUntrapped

                                                                                                                                                                  I don't stuff the bird because the stuffing has to get to 165 degrees, and by then the breast meat is overdone. Sigh. Now, no worries....wings to the rescue!

                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Lisa456

                                                                                                                                                                    Hey, Lisa,
                                                                                                                                                                    I heat up my stuffing before I place it in the bird by gently heating in the microwave. Takes care of the stuffing not getting hot enough. Just cook for 30 seconds at time and stir until it is steaming. I always leave the bird at room temp for at least 1 hour before cook time, also.

                                                                                                                                                                    BUT - this wings technique is one to put in the folder - I love the stuffing even more that the whole turkey! Give your butcher a great big thanks for that! More convenient than doing the whole bird.

                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: MartiniGenie

                                                                                                                                                                      I think I've read that you should not put anything but room temp stuffing into the bird -- otherwise, it encourages bacteria production.

                                                                                                                                                                      I never have problems with my stuffing; when the bird is done, so is the stuffing. (I don't put eggs in mine; I like it more fluffy than dense.)

                                                                                                                                                                2. re: Lisa456

                                                                                                                                                                  Also heard that getting a couple extra drumsticks and cooking them on top of the stuffing works well too...particularly if your family argues over who gets the drumsticks...now you have extra!

                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: jbsiegel

                                                                                                                                                                      jbsie, that's a great idea > adds flavor, drippings [and] many may incorporate the chicken pieces in the stuffing itself or add it to the gravy, yummmm

                                                                                                                                                                      I was wondering how well Trisha Yearwoods stuffing would go over at our house.
                                                                                                                                                                      since no one around here passes on the stuffing at Thanksgiving, it couldn't hurt to have another version on the table as well.


                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: iL Divo

                                                                                                                                                                        That recipe sounds odd, seems like it would need more onion and there's no celery or parsley listed. I know I would not like the addition of hard boiled eggs.

                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: walker

                                                                                                                                                                          you know walker it does seem odd, you're right.
                                                                                                                                                                          I don't use parsley in my stuffing ever and I will add celery.
                                                                                                                                                                          it's odd that it contains crackers and hard boiled eggs but
                                                                                                                                                                          I'm willing to try . I won't know how it is until I do right?

                                                                                                                                                                      2. re: jbsiegel

                                                                                                                                                                        THANK YOU Lisa456 and jbsiegel. I love stuffing and I love that idea! More dark meat for me, woohoo!

                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: 1MunchieMonster

                                                                                                                                                                          I find it funny that I'm the only one that loves dark meat regarding turkey.
                                                                                                                                                                          it's so much more flavorful and juicy.
                                                                                                                                                                          but like you say 1Munchie, more for me :)

                                                                                                                                                                      3. re: Lisa456

                                                                                                                                                                        Love this idea! Can I ask how long it took to cook the wings (and oven temp)? Thanks!

                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: hto44

                                                                                                                                                                          I brown the wings first then cook the stuffing at 325 deg.until the wings are at 165 deg., which is "done" for poultry. Depending on your oven and the # of wings, it's approximately 45-60 mins. Low is better for all those great turkey juices...I do this the day before.
                                                                                                                                                                          I also cook the stuffing after I remove the wings at a higher temperature until the top is brown.
                                                                                                                                                                          I like it a little crunchy so I add some Trader Joe's fried onions to the top.....hey, it's Thanksgiving!!!

                                                                                                                                                                        2. re: Lisa456

                                                                                                                                                                          One other option that I've also done is to use the baster and take some of the drippings from the turkey pan and put them onto the stuffing as it cooks. That works well too!

                                                                                                                                                                        3. Is stuffing dressing and is dressing stuffing? I thought the terms were regional for the same thing. Anyway I make stuffing when I'm not roasting a bird because I use it for other things, like rolled up in that real thin-cut beefsteak to make "birds" or layered between thin-cut pork chops or on the side when I have pork or chicken just because I like it---I make it and freeze it in 8-oz plastic margarine tubs to have it handy for varied uses. So if nothing is getting stuffed, is stuffing stuffing?

                                                                                                                                                                          2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Querencia

                                                                                                                                                                            You must have missed the memo. We just finished with a thread discussing this very question.


                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Querencia

                                                                                                                                                                              love the idea of saving those little tubs.
                                                                                                                                                                              they come in handy so often.
                                                                                                                                                                              and if they get tossed, at least Tupperware didn't go to the trash. I love my tupperware.

                                                                                                                                                                              smart that you save any left for later, cause you just never know when the time would be right for stuffing/dressing.