Don’t worry, making stuffing from scratch is not as hard as you might think, and it’s so much tastier than anything from a box. When preparing for large dinners, especially during the holidays, we tend to spend a lot of time on the main dishes, but most people will argue that the side dishes really make the meal. Whether it is homemade cranberry sauce, fresh cooked sweet potatoes, or stuffing made from scratch.
This weeks recipe is a basic bread dressing. It is a foundation that you can build off, adding whatever you want to it, like andouille sausage, oysters, candied pecans, or whatever you want- just get creative! Feel free to get creative with the bread you use for the recipe, too. You don’t have to use Italian bread; you can try focaccias bread, sourdough, multi grain bread, or a combination of all.
One more thing you need to keep in mind when making stuffing from scratch- you must use dehydrated or stale bread. If you have ever used fresh bread when making stuffing, you most likely found that it became gummy. The gumminess is a product of the gluten in the bread. You must take the moisture and gluten out of the bread before making the stuffing. The best way to do this is to cut the bread into the desired size, turn on the oven to 450 degrees for 15 minutes, layer the bread on cookie sheets, turn the oven off, and leave in the oven over night.
16 cups Italian bread cut into cubes
6 tablespoons butter
1 cup onions diced
1 cup celery diced
¼ cup fresh sage leaves sliced
¼ cup fresh parsley chopped
3 ½ cups chicken stock
1 ½ cups milk
2 large eggs whipped
Kosher salt and pepper to taste
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
In a large skillet over medium heat melt butter. Add onions and celery and cook until they are tender and beginning to brown- this takes about 10-15 minutes. Remove from heat and place in a large bowl. Once onions and celery have cooled, add the rest of the ingredients to the bowl and mix very well. Transfer to a baking dish that has been well oiled. Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Remove foil and bake for 20 more minutes, or until the top is lightly browned.
I hope you all enjoy taking the time to make your Thanksgiving meal a little more special by making it a little more homemade. Enjoy each other, during the holidays and every day.
You can always reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org, but now you can reach me and have access to all my previous recipes on Facebook. Just look up ‘Chef Brendan’ and click ‘Like’ for access!