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When I was a little kid…stuffing scared me! Seriously…it SCARED ME! I thought…”mushy bread”…ewwww! Keep that bowl away from me!
Fast forward to today. That beautiful bowl of stuffing is right next to me on the Thanksgiving dinner table. “Come to Momma precious!” It’s amazing what can happen with time and age! (Wrinkles, Knee’s that crack, age spots, gray hair, wings bigger than the Turkey’s…yep…ya gotta love time and age!)
One ingredient that makes this stuffing so exceptional is the homemade toasted bread cubes. They’re super easy to make and so much tastier than the dried crumbs you buy at the market.
I double this recipe. I’m generally feeding a huge crowd! This recipe will stuff a 10 pound Turkey. I usually cook a 26 pound Turkey. So plan accordingly. I’ll let you do the math! (Cause math and my brain…we aren’t friends! It happened when they added the alphabet?!!!)
Cut up one loaf of wheat bread and 1 and a half loaves of white bread into cubes.
Trim the crust off the bread. You can leave the crust on…however, I like my stuffing to be consistent through out…both in texture and looks. So, I trim the dry crusts right off. (Save them to feed the ducks…I’d say to feed the Turkeys…but it’s too late for the Turkeys! lol Poor Turkey’s!)
TIP: You can make the bread cubes up to a week ahead of time. Store them in an air tight container until ready to use.
Spread the white and wheat bread cubes in a single layer on large baking sheets. If you have a convection oven preheat it to 275 degrees. If you have a conventional oven preheat to 350°.
In a conventional oven bake for 7-10 minutes until bread cubes toast evenly. You may want to leave them in longer…just be careful not to burn them.
If using a convection oven leave in the oven for 20-30 minutes until bread cubes are dry and toasted.
Transfer bread cubes into a large bowl.
Cut up 1 cup of chopped onion and…
3/4 cup of chopped celery.
In a large skillet, cook the sausage over medium heat, stirring and breaking up the lumps until evenly browned.
Add sausage and drippings to bread cubes. Don’t get rid of the sausage drippings…that’s a whole lot of yum!
In the large skillet add 1/2 cup butter. Uh-huh! A whole stick of Buttah is going in this sausage. (I told you it was the BEST…I didn’t say it was fat-free!)
Over medium heat melt butter. Add onion and celery. Saute until tender and onions are translucent.
Add onions, celery and all that glorious butter in with the bread cubes and sausage. Add 1/3 cup minced parsley.
Add 1 can chicken broth or 2 cups of chicken stock. If you like a dryer stuffing only add one cup of broth.
Add two whole eggs. Why eggs? Eggs are a “binding” ingredient. It helps bind all the stuffing ingredients together.
Time to add the herbs!
One of the things I love the most about this stuffing…the savory flavors from all the herbs! 2 1/2 teaspoons dried sage. 1 1/2 teaspoons dried rosemary, 1/2 teaspoon thyme.
Gently mix all the ingredients together.
Now that you have that big bowl of delicious stuffing made…what to do? You have two choices with an optional third.
1. You can Stuff that stuffing into your Turkey. I L.O.V.E. to stuff my Turkey. All the flavorful juices that bake into the stuffing as the Turkey cooks…sublime!
2. You can place all that “stuffin'” (That’s country for Stuffing!) in your slow cooker on low for 4-5 hours, while that big ol’ bird is cooking. If you own 4 ovens…you can place it in a greased baking dish and bake for 1 hour at 350° . (I don’t own 4 ovens…I have one…and that bird takes up every inch of it!) So I love to use all four of my Crock Pots at Thanksgiving. Check out this great deal over on Amazon for my favorite slow cooker! Click to see the savings!
I also use the Reynolds Slow Cooker Liners to make clean-up a breeze! Nobody wants to be cleaning more dishes on Thanksgiving day. You can stock up for the Holidays if you buy the two pack!
The optional 3rd choice is to stuff and use the slow cooker. This is what I do. I stuff the bird and then place the remaining stuffing in a greased slow cooker and cook for 4-5 hours on low. Once the turkey is ready…I combine the two. It makes the perfect stuffing.
This stuffing is packed full of flavor. It’s not too dry… and it’s not too wet. Like Goldie Locks said…”It’s just right!” Truly the perfect stuffing!
Top it off with a hearty drizzle of gravy … it’s spectacular! Every blissful bite! Like a great big warm hug!
TIP: If you prefer a “fruity” sausage you can add 1 Golden Delicious Apple, cored and chopped and 3/4 cup dried cranberries! It’s amazing…however, the “MEN” at our Nest don’t like all that fluff! Just give’em the manly stuffing!
So manly stuffing it is!
I hope the birds at your Thanksgiving table enjoy it as much as all my guests do. There just isn’t a better side dish on the table…unless you’re a kid…and it’s scary! Then it’s all about the rolls!
Enjoy and Happy Nesting!
Note the bread crumbs can be made in advance and stored in air tight container up to one week.
You can cook the stuffing in the turkey, or in a slow cooker, see instructions for cook times.
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