I was just making the stuffing for tomorrow’s Thanksgiving feast. I noticed that the recipe, (which I wrote down over 20 years ago), is becoming illegible and doesn’t include the changes we’ve made over the years. So I decided to record our current recipe here. Hats off to my mother and grandmother for the original recipe!
– 1 c (1/2 lb) butter
– 1 medium onion, peeled and chopped
– celery, including leaves, chopped (about twice the volume of the chopped onion)
– 1 c raw cranberries
– 1 tart apple, cored and chopped
– ½ to 1 Tbsp salt
– 1 Tbsp thyme, sage, and/or marjoram (or use poultry seasoning)
– 1 tsp pepper
– 12 (yes, twelve) c bread cubes
– ½ recipe cornbread
– turkey stock
Presumably you’re going to stuff a turkey with this recipe. I like to make the stuffing the day before we roast the turkey. (Otherwise, you’re shoving warm stuffing into the uncooked bird, contrary to safe food handling practices.)
Two days before roasting the bird, chop up the bread and leave it out overnight. (Alternately, you can toast the bread in the oven, but that’s a *lot* of bread!) The bread needs to be a bit dried out for this recipe.
We also make the cornbread now–one less thing for us to do on Thanksgiving Eve.
One day before roasting the bird, (usually Thanksgiving Eve):
1. Chop the apple, onion and celery. (I prefer the leafy celery stalks, especially the inner ones, but you need some solid celery ribs for texture.) Keep the leaves and stalks separate.
1. In a very large (at least 8 qt) pan, melt butter.
1. Saute the celery stalks for about a minute.
1. Add the chopped onion and cook until the onions and celery are just softening, maybe 3-5 minutes?
1. Add the celery leaves, cranberries, chopped apple, and cook for just a minute.
1. Add ~half of the salt and all the other seasonings, mix.
1. Add as much of the bread as will easily fit in the pan. (Now you know why you need a big one!) Toss to coat.
1. Find a large bowl, perhaps 12 qt. Dice the cornbread up into 3/4″ cubes and spread them out on the bottom of the bowl.
1. Pour the celery/onion/bread mixture over the cornbread.
1. Place any remaining bread cubes in the saute pan and stir them around to pick up any of the butter, herbs, etc. Pour into the bowl.
1. Toss together everything in the bowl. Adjust seasoning and salt to taste.
1. Cover the bowl and place in the refrigerator.
The stuffing is usually a bit dry when it’s time to roast the bird. Add some turkey stock to moisten the stuffing. It should just hold together when you mix it.
Stuff the bird, roast it, and enjoy!