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The best part of stuffing is the crispy chunks of bread on the top of the pan. While I believe all stuffing tastes great I can’t get enough crispiness. I’m thinking of french fries, crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. You get the picture.
There aren’t many ingredients in stuffing so it’s important that we really make the best choices when choosing what to use. For the bread I’m not extremely picky but I like to use bread from a bakery/grocery store, you can choose the size of the bread chunks this way. The chicken stock is best if its homemade but if you use store bought I like to use the bases opposed to the liquid because they tend to have more flavor. The only thing you need to know about the celery and yellow onion is just make sure they’re fresh. The herbs can be fresh or dried. I choose fresh because I use it for multiple recipes during thanksgiving so I know I wont have extra herbs sitting in the refrigerator until they turn brown. For the butter I just used unsalted store brand butter, I can’t tell the difference when it’s mixed in with the other ingredients.
The first thing that needs to be done is the cutting then dehydrating of the bread. Cut the bread into cubes that are roughly 1 inch by 1 inch. Pre heat the oven to 250 degrees, evenly spread the bread cubes on a baking sheet, then bake for about 1 hour or until the cubes are firm. The second option is to leave the cubes out uncovered for 2 days until they’re dried out and stale.
Next, pre heat the oven to 400 degrees. Sauté the onions and celery in the butter for about 10 minutes. Add the sprig of rosemary and thyme, sauté for a few more minutes. Add the chicken stock, bring to a simmer to infuse the flavor of the herbs into the stock. While the stock is simmering add the bread cubes to a 12 inch cast iron skillet in a even layer. Pour the contents of the pot on to the bread in the cast iron, pick out the stems left from the herbs. Sprinkle the parsley over the top of the bread then mix with a rubber spatula. Make sure all of the cubes are fully saturated with the stock. Bake for 25 minutes or until the of the bread on top is crispy.
-Use veggie stock to make this recipe vegetarian
– You can prepare this stuffing up to one day in advance. Do everything except bake it in the oven. To re heat cover the skillet with tinfoil, heat for 15 minutes covered then take the cover off to crisp the top up for the original time of 25 mins.
1 pound Bread loaf, cubed
6 oz Yellow onion, small dice
4 oz Celery, small dice
4 oz Butter
32 oz Chicken stock
1 Rosemary sprig
1 Thyme sprig
Handful of chopped parsley
Season with salt and pepper to taste
- Pre heat the oven to 400 degrees
- Melt the butter in a medium sized sauce pan the sauté the onions and celery for about 10 mins
- Add the full sprigs or rosemary and thyme, sauté for 3 minutes
- Add the chicken stock, bring to a simmer for about 5 min
- While the chicken stock is heating, add the bread cubes to the skillet then shake to even them out. Dump the contents of the sauce pan over the bread, remove the stems from the herbs. Sprinkle parsley over the top of the pan then mix in with a rubber spatula making sure to saturate all the bread
- Bake for 25 minutes