No - not that nasty boxed crap that you boil water, add butter and then throw in the rock-hard chunks of bread (?) crumbs. I want to start with three kinds of bread, chop the veggies, use my own broth or the broth from roasting the turkey. I want to smell it as all the flavors come together.
I love the texture and flavor that you get when the stuffing is actually STUFFED inside the Thanksgiving turkey. Yeah, yeah - people have gotten sick from improperly stuffed turkey on Thanksgiving. But - they did it wrong. Yes, they did it wrong.
Safely stuffing a turkey involves two important details - don't stuff the bird until you are heating the oven on Thanksgiving morning. This means you can't whip it all together the night before, stuff the bird and leave it in the refrigerator overnight to save time in the morning. The other detail is the turkey has to be completely thawed. Thanksgiving is always on a Thursday - this means you need to put the turkey into the refrigerator to thaw no later than Sunday. Don't try the water in the sink method on Wednesday night. Someday, I'll tell you about the phone call I got from my daughter on Thanksgiving eve and her frozen turkey.
But, you can save a little Thanksgiving morning time with some prep work the night before. Go ahead and slice the bread, put it in your mixing bowl and cover with a lid or plastic wrap. Chop the veggies and keep them in the fridge. In the morning, saute the veggies, mix everything up and stuff it in the bird.
I don't trust those pop-up thingies to tell me that my Thanksgiving turkey is done. I've had those babies pop and the bird was still raw on the inside. The best investment I've ever made was a digital thermometer for the kitchen. I use that thing for EVERYTHING! Even if the temperature of the bird seems OK, check the temp of the stuffing. No, not at the very back end - stick it deep inside the stuffing itself - it should be at least 160 degrees to be safe. If it isn't, cover everything back up and put it back in the oven for another 30 minutes - that won't be enough to kill the turkey and honestly, wouldn't you rather have moist, delicious stuffing that doesn't poison anyone?
|Yeah, my turkey NEVER comes to the table like this, either! Courtesy davidlat via sxc.hu|
Debbie's Bread Stuffing - stuffs an 8-11 pound turkey
1 cup butter
2 cups diced celery
1 ½ cups diced onion
2 tablespoons dried parsley
1 teaspoon sea salt
2 teaspoons poultry seasoning
2 teaspoons ground sage
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
8 cups fresh white bread cubes, lightly packed
4 cups fresh wheat bread cubes, lightly packed
4 cups fresh rye bread cubes, lightly packed
3 large eggs, well beaten
Sauté celery and onions in butter over medium heat approximately 10 minutes, until vegetables begin to soften. Add seasonings and mix well. In a large bowl, combine the bread cubes and vegetable mixture, tossing gently. Add beaten eggs and stir gently to combine. Immediately spoon bread stuffing mixture into cleaned cavity of thawed turkey.
To bake separately in a pan, omit the salt and add 1 15 oz. can of chicken broth to bread stuffing mixture. Loosely spoon the mixture into a greased square or oblong baking dish. Bake covered at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Remove cover and continue to bake for 15 minutes until stuffing is lightly browned on top.