A great basic, based on the classic Silver Palate recipe, that you can tweak as you like: leave out sausage, add nuts, use dried cranberries instead of apples.
- 4 cups stale bread cubes (a light-textured bread is best)
- 4 cups cornbread cubes (cornbread recipe in notes below)
- 1/2 pound Italian sausage
- 6 tablespoons butter
- 2 cups chopped celery (4-5 stalks)
- 1 cup chopped onion (1 medium)
- 2 cups apple (2 large apples, no need to peel)
- 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt, or to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper, or to taste
- 1 teaspoon sugar (optional)
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1/2 teaspoon dried sage
- 1/4 cup minced fresh parsley
- 2 cups (approximately) chicken broth
- Put bread cubes in large mixing bowl.
- In a large skillet or wide pot, cook sausage meat (removed from casing) over medium heat, breaking up meat into crumbles as it cooks. When fully cooked and browned, remove sausage and add to bowl with bread cubes. Discard any excess oil.
- Return pan to heat, and melt butter in skillet. Cook onions and celery until translucent. Add apples and cook until softened. Add salt, pepper, sugar and dried herbs. Pour mixture in with the bread cubes.
- Stir together contents of mixing bowl. Add chicken broth gradually, mixing well between additions. Amount of broth needed will depend on the dryness of the bread. You’ll want enough broth that the bread cubes are moist through but not squishy.
- Add parsley and mix. Adjust salt, pepper and seasonings to taste.
- Bake in buttered baking pan at 350-375 degrees F until top is golden brown (20-25 minutes if baked immediately; 40-45 minutes if refrigerated first).
- Bell’s poultry seasoning is a great one-stop option for dried herbs. Or use fresh (you’ll need three times as much as dried). Or be like my mother-in-law and use no herbs at all, just a spoonful or two of sugar – surprisingly it still tastes like Thanksgiving stuffing.
- For a lighter stuffing, leave out the sausage.
- For a vegetarian version, use vegetable broth, drop sausage, add pecans if you like.
- You can also make this recipe without cornbread. All kinds of bread make good stuffing, though in general it’s good to use light-textured breads so that the stuffing it isn’t too dense. But I also like half white, half whole-wheat. And sourdough stuffing is great too.
- Buttermilk cornbread recipe, adapted from Pioneer Woman: mix dry ingredients (1 cup cornmeal, 1/2 cup flour, 1 tablespoon baking powder, 1 teaspoon kosher salt) with wet ingredients (1 cup buttermilk, 1/2 cup milk, 1 egg, 1/2 teaspoon baking soda) until just combined. Mixture will start to foam. Drizzle in 1/4 cup melted butter. Melt 2 tablespoons butter in hot cast iron skillet (or baking dish that has been preheating in the oven), and add batter. Bake at 375 degrees for 20-25 minutes, until cornbread is fully cooked and edges are golden.
Here’s a link back to the post and pictures.