It’s hard to duck up a turkey, which is why the bird rarely appears beyond Thanksgiving, sandwiches, and pot pies. But a Thankgiving dinner doesn’t need to be a showcase for culinary skills, but rather a bland tradition, unchallenging, a time to rejoice with friends and beloved family members, and to collect stories of the annoying ones.
Same goes for stuffing. There’s myriad ways to make it unique, but it’s hard to beat a straightforward mix that absorbs all the flavors of the turkey or chicken.
- 6 Tablespoons butter
- 1 cup finely chopped celery (about 3 stalks)
- ½ cup finely chopped onion (1 medium)
- 8 cups dry shredded bread (1 large loaf)
- 1 cup Swanson’s chicken broth
- ¼ cup chopped fresh parsley
- salt and pepper
- turkey giblets (optional)
- 1 to 2 teaspoons poultry spice
1. Lay the bread slices out on a table to get partly stale for about 2 hours per side, or put slices in a large pan or bowl and cover with a clean kitchen towel overnight. If using a loaf of Italian or French bread, slice it first.
2. Slice off the crusts of the bread, then use a fork to tear the white part into shreds, one slice at a time.
3. Melt butter over medium heat, add celery and onion, and saute 8 to 10 minutes, until tender, but not brown. Stir in parsley, 1/8 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper, and poultry spice. Remove from heat.
4. Place shredded bread in a large bowl, stir in onion/celery mixture, then drizzle with chicken stock. The mix should be damp, but not wet.
5. Add optional giblets (cooking instructions below), or a cup of oysters, or cranberries, or whatever, at this time.
6. Stuff the turkey.
7. If you want to cook it separate from the turkey, pour the stuffing into a 2-quart casserole dish, or a baking dish. Cover it with a lid or foil, and bake in a 325° oven for 35 to 40 minutes.
Notes: Chop the celery and onion as fine as possible, as many people dislike them.
Cooking giblets: Bring giblets, except for liver, to boil in a saucepan (with enough water to cover them). Cover and reduce heat to low, cook 1 hour. Add the liver and simmer, covered, for 25 more minutes. Drain and chop, before adding to stuffing.