Thanksgiving at our home has always been about tradition, sometimes to a fault. I will never forget the year I tried to mix things up by adding sausage to the turkey dressing – I almost caused a riot. I’ve learned that rigidity in some seasonal traditions is not only OK, but welcomed!
Here is our family favourite traditional stuffing recipe.
Technically, “stuffing” is stuffed into the turkey while “dressing” is baked in a pan alongside the bird. Both are great – the advantage of stuffing is that it flavours the turkey beautifully when the bones will be used for homemade turkey soup. The advantage of dressing alongside is that you can make extra, cook it early and reheat it. I often do both. Whichever you choose, don’t forget to taste as you go – the very best part!
Both versions are included here; gobble gobble and Happy Thanksgiving to you all.
D’Arcy’s Traditional Holiday Stuffing
Nothing says “the holidays” quite like the smell of onions and celery sauteed in butter. Don’t be afraid to jump in and taste this as you go to create your signature holiday stuffing recipe!
• 1 large loaf of good bread – day old or cut/tear the night before and leave uncovered overnight in a large bowl. I love using Choices own sourdough bread. (This measures out to about 15 cups of 1” cubes, give or take.)
• 1 cup butter, melted
• 1 cup chicken stock (I love Kitchen Accomplice’s – Organic Chicken Bone Broth)
• 2-3 cups of chopped onion (1 large)
• 2 ½ cups chopped celery (4-5 stalks)
• 1 large clove garlic, minced
• 2 tbsp poultry seasoning (I prefer dried herbs because the fresh ones don’t hold up well in a long bake. Try “Gathering Place’s Poultry Spice,” a B.C.-based company and my absolute favourite – the quality of your spices really makes a difference).
• 1 tsp salt
• 1 tsp pepper
Over medium heat, melt butter, add onion, celery, garlic, and spices. Saute for 7-10 minutes.
Remove from the heat. Pour the celery/onion mixture over the bread cubes. Pour over the chicken stock – taste and adjust seasonings – I like mine robust!
If cooking in a turkey, pack the stuffing rather loosely in both ends of the bird just before roasting. Cook the stuffing in the bird to 160º to 165ºF, checking with an instant-read thermometer. If the turkey is done before the stuffing is, take the bird out of the oven, spoon the stuffing into a casserole dish, and continue to bake it while the turkey rests.
If baking some or all of the stuffing in a casserole, pour an additional ½-1 cup of stock over the stuffing to replace the juices the stuffing would have absorbed from the turkey.
Bake covered, at 350, until heated through, approx. 35-40 minutes. For a crunchier top, uncover it for the last 10 minutes of baking.
D’Arcy Furness is a registered holistic nutritionist (R.H.N.) and is the Nutrition Consultant at Choices Markets South Surrey. For more free information on nutrition email email@example.com.