Stuffing: Expand your skills or learn something new through cooking methods, information, recipes and tips.
Some people find making stuffing a chore they would rather avoid for their holiday dinner. But package stuffing mixes just don’t cut it, nor do the flavoured bread cubes: too processed and too salty. Stuffing is super easy to make if you just follow a few rules.
STANDARD BREAD STUFFING
This is a standard bread stuffing for the holiday poultry, but it is so flexible. You can change or add ingredients (see ADDITIONS). Use ½ to ¾ cup (125 to 175 mL) stuffing for each pound of turkey.
⅓ cup (80 mL) butter or 3 tbsp (45 mL) each butter and oil
2 cups (500 mL) chopped onion
3 stalks celery chopped, about 1½ cups (375 mL) ¼ cup (60 mL) chopped fresh parsley
2 tbsp (30 mL) chopped fresh sage
1 tsp (5 mL) chopped fresh thyme
10 cups (2.5 L) stale egg bread or white bread, torn into 1 inch (2.5 cm) pieces
1 egg, beaten
1 cup (250 mL) chicken stock, approx.
Salt and pepper
Squeeze lemon juice
1 tbsp (15 mL) grated lemon rind
1 Preheat oven to 400°F (200°C).
2 Heat butter in a frying pan on medium heat and add onions and celery. Sauté until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in parsley, sage and thyme.
3 Place the torn bread in a large bowl and stir in the vegetables. Gradually stir in beaten egg then chicken stock until stuffing is well moistened. Season well with salt and pepper. Add a squeeze of lemon juice and lemon rind. Stuff into the turkey or spoon into a buttered baking dish. Do not pack tight as the stuffing expands.
IN A BAKING DISH:
Cover tightly with foil and bake until hot in the centre, about 20 to 25 minutes. Uncover and bake until golden on top and crisp around the edges, 10 to 15 minutes more.
IN THE BIRD:
If the stuffing is going into a turkey, it will be cooked by the time the turkey is cooked. Stuffing does not alter baking time when in a bird as it cooks from both the inside and the outside.
Makes about 8 to 10 cups (2 to 2.5 L), depending on bread used, enough for a 14-lb (6.35-kg) turkey TIPS
Instead of bread, swap in 5 cups (1.25 L) cooked grains such as rice or quinoa. You will need about 1¾ cups (425 mL) dry longgrain rice or 2 cups (500 mL) dry quinoa to make 5 cups (1.25 L) cooked.
Use other breads such as whole wheat, multi-grain, pumpkin, sourdough or rye, all of which change the flavour of the stuffing slightly and will increase the amount of stock you need.
Use low-salt packaged stock if you do not have homemade.
If adding many additions, you will need more stock. Continue adding stock gradually until clusters of bread hold together when squeezed in the palm of your hand.
2 cups (500 mL) diced apples, sautéed with the onions
1 cup (250 mL) chopped nuts
1 lb (455 g) sausage removed from casing and sautéed with the onions
½ lb (225 g) diced mushrooms, sautéed with the onions
2 cups (500 mL) diced fennel instead of the celery
1 cup (250 mL) dried chopped fruit of any kind added with the bread
1 cup (250 mL) diced roasted chestnuts added with the bread
Herbs in place of sage such as, tarragon, cilantro, marjoram, summer savoury, thyme
Dried spices such as celery seed, savoury, cinnamon, chili
Any citrus both rind and juice