The Stuffing is what I look forward to the most at Thanksgiving dinner.
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Isn’t stuffing kind of a weird dish? I mean, you take fresh bread, dry it out/make it stale, and then add back tons of moisture… in the form of butter and broth of course. And boy is it satisfying!
I grew up eating this amazing stuffing every year at Thanksgiving. My mom would work on making this weeks before by tearing up whatever leftover bread we had into little pieces and let it sit on jelly roll pans for a few days to dry out. No bread went to waste in our home. It was part of our stuffing. As my mom would tear bread I remember watching her quick finger work as I would talk with her and steal a few pieces. Sometimes I’d join in on action which is actually quite therapeutic.
Besides using just our leftover white and wheat bread my mom would get pumpernickel, rye, and multi-grain (with lots of seeds) bread to add more flavor and color to the stuffing. Beautiful huh? Oh I can’t wait for you to try it! The various breads make it so flavorful, as do the spices that are added too. Oh yeah, and there’s wild rice in there. Hello more texture and flavor.
Myself and all my siblings live for this stuff! 😉 When our bellies are filled and we have to unbutton our pants we still reach for an extra helping.
Oh and I have to mention that the other great part about this is that it is both moist and crispy. By cooking it in a baking dish (not in the turkey) the top gets all toasty but the underneath remains soft and moist. The best of both worlds!
- 12 cups dry bread cubes (use at least 3-4 varieties: multi-grain, white, wheat, rye, pumpernickel, sour dough...)*
- ¾ cup celery, finely chopped
- ¾ cup onion, finely chopped
- ¾ cup butter
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- ¾ teaspoon poultry seasoning
- 1 tablespoon dried ground sage
- 1 can Chicken and Rice or Chicken and Wild Rice Soup (like to use half a can of each and freeze what's leftover for next time)
- 1½ to 2 cups chicken broth
- Break bread into small pieces and place on a large cookie sheet and let it sit out for a few days to dry or place it in the oven at 225 degrees F until dried out (about 20-30 minutes). You may need to toss the bread crumbs for the ones underneath to get dry. Place in a large bowl and set aside.
- In a small dish, combine the salt, pepper, poultry seasoning and sage. Set aside.
- In a fry pan, combine the butter, celery, and onion over medium-high heat. Cover once the butter melts and simmer over medium-low heat until vegetables are tender (about 10 minutes). Pour over the bread crumbs while stirring to evenly coat.
- Sprinkle half the seasoning over the moistened bread crumbs and toss. Add the remaining seasoning and toss again to evenly season. Toss in the can of soup and then add chicken broth a little at a time until desired wetness (it should be moist enough to hold in the shape of a ball-- I added almost the whole two cups but amount varies depending on the bread you have. The pumpernickel and rye bread can soak up more moisture than white bread.)
- Pour stuffing into a 9x13 pan or 2 quart dish.
- Bake at 350 degrees F for 25-35 minutes until warmed through and golden brown and toasted (cover with foil if you don't want it toasted/crispy on top).
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