One of the main reasons the holidays are my favorite time of the year is stuffing! Stuffing (or dressing, depending on what you want to call it) is often neglected during other times of the year and it really is a fabulous side dish no matter what the season.
There are many different ways to make stuffing. My mom makes a really fabulous corn bread stuffing that brings back memories of my childhood. As I’ve gotten older I’ve come to like one made with various types of bread instead. Some people add oysters, some people add fruit…In short there is no wrong or right way to make stuffing. What matters is whether YOU like it or not!
To me stuffing needs some basic ingredients and you can’t forget the sage! Lots of sage is key! This stuffing is a very simple, yet fabulous side dish that is perfect for any meal. Stuffing…It’s not just for the holidays anymore!
What You’ll Need:
1/2 loaf of French bread, cut into cubes
1/2 loaf of Callah bread, cut into cubes
12 buttermilk biscuits, cut into cubes (Note: I make these. See below.)
Extra virgin olive oil
1 large red onion, chopped
6 stalks of celery, chopped
1 teaspoon of sea salt
1/4 teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper
2 large carrots, shredded
2 tablespoons of crushed dry sage
1 teaspoon of dried thyme
1 quart of chicken broth, at room temperature (Note: I make my own, but store bought is fine.)
I usually buy the Callah and French bread, but I make the biscuits. They’re simple. In a large bowl mix 2 cups of unbleached all purpose flour, 1 teaspoon of sea salt, 1 tablespoon of baking power and 1 tablespoon of organic cane sugar until completely incorporated. Using a pastry blender or a fork cut in 1 stick of softened butter until mixture is pebbly. Add 1+ cups of buttermilk to this mixture and stir to make your biscuit dough. Sometimes you need more buttermilk, sometimes less. It all has to do with humidity and such. You want a dough that you can handle without sticking to your hands. Roll dough out on a floured surface and cut into biscuits. Bake in a preheated 425 F oven for 10-12 minutes or until golden brown. Simple and delicious! If you don’t want to make the biscuits you and purchase them at the store. Most freezer sections have frozen buttermilk biscuits these days.
Preheat oven to 450 F.
Cut all three breads into bite sized cubes. Toss with a couple of tablespoons of olive oil and bake for 4-6 minutes until golden brown and crouton like.
Remove bread from the oven and let the cubes cool to room temperature.
When you’re ready to make the stuffing preheat oven to 375 F.
In a large stock pot saute onion and celery in a little extra virgin olive oil with the sea salt and pepper until just tender. Add the carrots and cook for an additional 1 minute and then remove from heat.
Once the vegetable mixture is off of the heat add the chicken broth, sage and thyme and stir to mix. Slowly add egg and stir until incorporated.
Place cooled bread cubes in a very large bowl and pour the liquid mixture over them and toss to coat.
Pour coated mixture into a 13 X 9 inch baking dish that has been sprayed with non-stick spray and bake for 40-45 minutes.
Serve immediately or you can let it cool and freeze for use later.
Notes: You could add mushrooms in to this for an added treat. You could also use other kinds of bread. It’s a mix and match sort of dish.