If you take a poll about everyone’s favorite Thanksgiving dishes, dressing (or stuffing!) would top the list. It’s just about everybody’s idea of comfort food, and for good reason.
I like to keep dressing simple (and by the way, I’m Southern so I call it dressing, but dressing and stuffing are really the same thing). This is the dressing recipe I grew up with – a celery and onion dressing recipe that doesn’t take forever or cost a mint to make. This is the dressing my mother, grandmother and great-grandmother made, and the one that I make almost every year for Thanksgiving or Christmas – or sometimes both. It’s what my children love, so this recipe has stood the test of time for five generations now. You know a dish is just plain delectable when it’s been loved for over 100 years.
There are just a couple tricks to having this turn out the way you want it. First – be sure to butter your casserole dish – it matters. Secondly, when you toast the French bread cubes, make sure they get nice and dry. If they are getting too brown before they’re dry, turn the oven down to 250 and keep them going. This will make sure your dressing has an incredible texture. The drier the better. Finally, add the chicken broth in stages at the final step. Use turkey broth if you have it – it makes a big difference. Toss well, check the texture, and add just a bit more. You
don’t want to make your dressing soggy at the final step! Also – feel free to amp up the herbs. I keep them light, but if you’re a sage or rosemary lover – double the amounts. You’ll create raving fans!
Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper to tase
2 cups (or so) turkey (or chicken) broth
Preheat oven to 350F (if roasting a turkey at the same time, just wait until the oven hits this temperature in the roasting stage). Place cubed bread on a baking sheet, and toast 20-30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until golden brown and crunchy.
In a large skillet over medium heat, melt butter. Add onion and celery and cook until fragrant and onion is becoming translucent, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.
Place toasted bread cubes in a very large bowl. Add onion/celery mixture and toss to combine. Add eggs and stir well.
Pour about half the chicken broth over bread cube mixture and combine. Depending on how dry the bread was, you’ll need more broth. I often use two full cups or more because I like very toasty bread. Stir everything and adjust for salt and pepper.
If using this to stuff a turkey or chicken, reserve about two cups, and place the rest in a buttered 9x13 casserole dish. Chill stuffing before using in uncooked poultry. Bake the casserole in a 350F oven for about 30-40 minutes, or until hot throughout.