Monday, November 21, 2011

Addressing the Dressing aka Stuffing

Bread Cubes for Beyond Basic Bread Stuffing
I like to use several different types of bread when I make stuffing; a complementary trio is one third good quality white bread, one third whole wheat bread and one third cornbread. It gives the stuffing a distinctly unusual flavor and a non-mushy texture. This is a good basic stuffing recipe; you can successfully add fillers like cranberries, apples, sausage, chestnuts, oysters and mushrooms. Baking the stuffing in a casserole dish or inside the bird is a matter of personal preference.

Helpful to know: My preferred chicken broth is Imagine Organic Free Range Chicken Broth. Bread stuffing can be prepared in advance, but allow to come to room temperature before heating.

Beyond Basic mixture

½ cup (1 stick) butter
3 cups celery, chopped (leaves are optional but if used, should be included in the 3 cups)
1½ cups white onion, chopped
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon paprika
Several grindings fresh black pepper
1 cup chicken broth
½ cup fresh parsley, minced

Preheat oven to 350°. In a medium pot over moderate heat, melt butter; add celery and onion and sauté for about 5-7 minutes or until fork tender. Remove from heat; add salt, paprika, black pepper, chicken broth and parsley; stir to combine.

Bread Stuffing

15 cups bread, cut into bite size cubes
Canola oil for casserole dish

Place bread cubes in a large bowl; toss with Beyond Basic (celery/onion/broth) mixture and transfer to a lightly oiled 4-quart casserole dish. Bake covered in a 350° oven for about 30 minutes, remove cover and bake an additional 15 minutes. Yield: 12-15 servings.