Herbed Bread Stuffing (or Dressing)
Enough for an 18-pound bird. May be cooked inside the bird or in a baking dish on the side.
About 10 cups good quality, country-style white bread (such as paesano bread), diced into 1/2-inch cubes
1 1/2 cups unsalted butter (3 sticks)
1 1/2 cups large-dice yellow onion
1 1/2 cups diced cremini mushroooms
1 cup diced celery
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 cup Giblet Broth (lightly salted), not hot
Optional: 2 eggs
1 Tablespoon minced thyme
1 Tablespoon minced sage
3/4 cup minced parsley
3/4 cup thinly sliced scallions
1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Spread the diced bread in one layer on 2 or more rimmed baking sheets. Place baking sheets in oven to dry bread out, but not to brown; about 15-20 minutes. (Alternatively, you can set out the cubed bread to air dry a day ahead).
2. Melt the butter in a large pan over medium heat. Add the onions, mushrooms and celery and saute until tender, about 10 minutes. Add the garlic and saute another minute, until fragrant.
3. Remove bread from oven and increase temperature to 350 degrees. Add the diced bread to the pan and stir to combine all ingredients. Season with the salt and pepper.
4. If using the eggs, whisk them into the giblet broth and add to the bread mixture. If not using eggs, simply add the broth.
5. Add the thyme, sage, parsley and scallions and stir to combine. Taste the stuffing and add more salt and/or pepper if needed.
6. If using as stuffing (cooked inside the turkey): fill the body and neck cavities loosely with stuffing. (Stuffing too tightly packed will significantly lengthen cooking time for your turkey). Roast until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the middle of the stuffing in the body cavity registers 165 degrees.
7. If using as dressing (cooked outside the turkey): pour into a baking dish and bake for 30 minutes, until bubbling.
8. Your Herbed Bread Stuffing (or Dressing) is ready! Serve along with the rest of your Thanksgiving feast and enjoy the compliments of your delighted guests.