Thanksgiving stuffing is as important to our thanksgiving meal as any other dish. Nearly all recipes state that baking stuffing inside the bird exposes you to the possibility of Salmonella, so stuff the turkey at your own risk. whether you cook your stuffing inside or outside the bird, this thanksgiving Stuffing is a combined recipe from several generations. It is our absolute favorite Thanksgiving stuffing, and we hope it will be yours too.
3 bags of stuffing/bread cubes (two unseasoned and one seasoned)
1 lb butter (one stick per bag of stuffing)
2 tablespoons of olive oil
1-2 pounds Country Sausage (optional, see below)
64 ounces of Turkey and/or chicken broth
2 1/2 cups Celery
3 medium size Onions
Garlic (to taste – can be fresh, canned or powdered)
6 Eggs Bring to room temp in a bowl of warm water to make mixing easier
One deep or two standard 9×13 baking pans (can be glass, metal or disposable)
One bowl large enough to hold three bags of stuffing with room to mix in more ingredients
A frying pan or saute pan large enough to cook the sausage and the celery and onions
Optional – food processor to give the sausage a finer grind
Optional – alligator chopper to quickly chop onions and celery
Sharp knife to chop sausage, garlic, onions and celery if not using the optional equipment
Preheat oven to 350F degrees. Chop the celery and then the onions. In a frying pan, sauté the garlic, onions and celery in one stick of butter and the olive oil. Put in the mixing bowl to cool. Fry up the sausage. drain and add to the mixing bowl to cool as well. You can add a few tablespoons of the sausage drippings to the mixture for extra sausage flavor.
Deglaze the pan with some chicken stock. To deglaze, heat up the pan and add ½ to one cup of the chicken or turkey stock. You don’t need to measure, just use enough to cover the bottom of the pan about a quarter of an inch deep. Use a whisk to get any browned bits off the bottom of the pan. You can add the deglazed mixture to the stuffing or it to make gravy later (See gravy recipe for more information). If you decide to make gravy, let the pan sit while you assemble the stuffing.
To assemble the stuffing, add the bags of stuffing to the onions, celery and sausage in the mixing bowl. if you’ve refrigerated them overnight, you’ll want to warm them up a bit, which you can do at 30 second intervals in the microwave or by mixing in additional melted butter or warmed stock. Once all the ingredients, except the eggs are in the bowl, mix well. Add eggs and mix well. Using your hands to mix yields the best results. Keep adding melted butter and or stock until the mixture holds its shape when made into a ball.
Add one half to one cup of stock to the stuffing to keep it from drying out during the cooking process. Bake covered with foil for 45-50 minutes. If you prefer a crispier stuffing, remove the foil for the last 15-30 minutes of cooking
Saute the onions and celery the night before and store in the refrigerator to save time on Thanksgiving Day. Cook the sausage ahead to save time too. That also makes cleanup easier on Thanksgiving Day.
Stuffing recipes vary widely. Some people love to add oysters or dried cranberries or nuts to change the flavor. Some add sage. Some prefer cornbread to regular bread. The beauty of stuffing is that you can make it your own and practically anything goes. To personalize the flavor of your stuffing, try adding a teaspoon or two of soy sauce or light Worcestershire sauce, a half cup of raisins and/or nuts of your preference or even roasted chestnuts. Have fun with it and for additional thanksgiving recipes, check out the recipes for Thanksgiving Turkey, Slow cooker Mashed Potatoes, Mama K’s Homemade Gravy, Savory Mashed Butternut Squash and Sweet Potatoes, Baked Apples and Pumpkin Pie with Grain Free Crust.