It’s just a little more than a week until Thanksgiving, so we’ll continue on with the holiday baking essentials here at Baking with the King! So, you’ve got your bird, now what? It’s time to make some stuffing! Sure, you could go buy some box of stuffing at the store, but why would you do that when this recipe is so easy and puts those instant boxes to shame?
If you don’t believe me, keep reading and I’ll show you! This recipe can be used to make stuffing to go into the bird or with a few simple alternate steps (that I’ll show you), you can bake it in the oven as dressing.
Here’s the recipe as copied from my King Arthur Baker’s Companion:
- 8 cups bread cubes, made from a firm white bread (about 12 slices); gluten-free sandwich bread is fine
- 1 cup (16 tablespoons) butter
- 4 large onions, finely chopped (about 3 cups)
- 1 cup finely chopped celery stalks (including tops)
- 1/4 cup chopped dried parsley (or 1/2 cup fresh)
- 2 teaspoons poultry seasoning
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon pepper (less for a milder stuffing)
- 1 to 2 cups chicken broth, optional; if baking the stuffing in a separate dish, outside the turkey
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Place bread cubes on a cookie sheet or other wide flat pan and bake for 10 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside.
Melt the butter in a large frying pan and saute the onions and celery until soft, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat.
Place bread cubes in a large bowl. Spoon onion-celery mixture over bread. Add parsley, poultry seasoning, salt, and pepper and toss mixture until it’s thoroughly combined (the best way to do this is to roll up your sleeves, wash your hands, and dig in). Spoon stuffing loosely (it needs some room to expand) into both the body and neck cavities of the turkey, and roast.
If making dressing, to bake the dressing: Preheat the oven to 400°F. Lightly grease a 3-to 4-quart baking dish or pan. Pour the dressing in the dish. Pour the stock evenly over the surface; if you like a more moist stuffing, add about a cup more stock. Cover the dressing with foil, and bake for 30 minutes. Remove the foil and continue to bake until the dressing is crispy on top, about 15 to 20 minutes.
Knowing I was going to make dressing later in the week, I baked a loaf of white bread to use for the bread cubes and let it sit on the counter for a few days to get slightly stale (it really makes it 10 times easier to cube the bread). You can certainly buy bread cubes at the store this time of year or let a store-bought loaf of bread go slightly stale, but it makes it that much more fun to know you’ve done everything from scratch. If you decide to do your own loaf – click here for the recipe.
Learning tip: Most of you probably already know this, but there’s a difference between stuffing and dressing, and it’s pretty simple. Stuffing is just as it sounds, you stuff it in the turkey. Dressing is pretty much the same thing, but instead of cooking it in a turkey, you cook it in a baking pan.
First step, preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
Then, take the bread and weigh out 12 ounces on a kitchen scale (if you don’t have one, go for 10-12 slices of bread). Cube up the slices and place them on a baking tray.
I then popped the pan of cubes into that preheated oven for ten minutes. I then removed them from the oven and placed them in a large bowl.
Next, I heated my cast iron skillet on medium heat and melted the two sticks of butter (1 cup).
Once the butter was melted, I threw in the chopped onion and celery, and sauteed them for 5 minutes, making sure the onions and celery were nice and soft.
I then spooned the onion-celery mixture onto the bread cubes and gave them a stir.
Next, I added the parsley, poultry seasoning, salt, and pepper. I got down and dirty, taking the recipe’s suggestion of mixing it all with my hands. Once it was all mixed in together, it looked like this:
At this point in time, if you’re going to actually stuff the turkey with it, go ahead and do so, but don’t pack it tightly. The stuffing will expand as it cooks.
If you decided to make dressing instead of stuffing, preheat the oven to 400 degrees. The next step will be to grease a 3 to 4 quart baking pan with some non-stick baking spray.
Spoon the dressing into the baking pan. Then take one to two cups of chicken broth (I used 1 and 1/2) and pour evenly over the stuffing.
Next, cover the baking pan with aluminum foil and place it in the preheated oven.
Bake it covered for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, remove the foil and bake it uncovered for another 15 minutes to get a nice, crispy top to the stuffing. Remove it from the oven and let it cool.
And there you have it! Super easy, and it’s absolutely delicious. Your guests will NOT be disappointed!!!
Please let me know how it turned out for you! Happy baking and happy Thanksgiving, everyone!