Traditional Turkey Stuffing Recipe
At the risk of putting out a post with the same recipe as 90,000 others are posting this week, I thought I'd share this easy traditional turkey stuffing recipe, which is from my Mom.
And she got it from another relative I believe, you know how that happens with great recipes. There just might be someone out there who wonders how to make it, or how to make it a more nutritious. We had it today and it actually wasn't for a turkey. Kent put a chicken in the oven, and we decided to make stuffing since we had a “bomb” loaf of bread to use up. (Yes, I had another bomb when trying a new recipe – I should've stuck to my original Bosch homemade bread recipe.)
Traditional Turkey Stuffing Recipe (or is it “Turkey Dressing”?)
- 12 Tablespoons butter Butter is good for you, especially pastured butter! Don't believe me? Read more here about healthy fats.
- 1 onion chopped small
- 3-4 cloves garlic chopped (optional)
- 3-4 stalks celery chopped small
- 2 carrots chopped (optional)
- Handful of parsley chopped, if desired
- 1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt
- 1/8 teaspoon pepper
- 3/4 teaspoon sage or more to your taste
- 1 beaten egg optional for more nutrition
- About 1 1/4 cup broth — homemade broth is best — use more if you like it more moist.
- 1 pound/16 ounces bread of choice preferably soaked, fermented, or sourdough bread -- if you don't want to make your own sourdough, now you can get it shipped to you and it's all good ingredients!!! No one eats the bread ends around here so I throw them into the freezer and use them for homemade croutons, bread crumbs for recipes, or this time of year, for homemade stuffing!
- Sauté on medium heat until vegetables are soft, 10 minutes or so.
- While that's cooking, break up a loaf of bread into cubes into a mixing bowl.
- When veggies are done, pour all of that over the top of the bread and stir well. Add a beaten egg if desired, for more nutrition & moisture. Add enough broth to get it as moist as you like. We like it moist but not wet.
- Stir until it's all mixed in, then transfer to a buttered dish or stuff your bird once it's cleaned out well.
- Bake 30-40 minutes on 350*, OR if you're stuffing a bird, it will take much longer, obviously, since it depends on the weight. See below for more on that.
- Use organic ingredients and pastured turkey whenever you can.
- Here's a whole list of side dishes and desserts that you could serve with your Thanksgiving dinner, including recipes for things like basic mashed potatoes, gravy, homemade rolls, etc.
- Even though it tastes best stuffed in a bird, you don't have to do that. Once we made chicken and just put it into a shallow buttered baking dish. Since the chicken was in our big covered stone, and there was no more room in the oven, we baked it in our toaster oven.
- When my Mom makes a turkey dinner, she always boils the neck and other pieces while the turkey cooks, and then uses that broth for the gravy. Be sure to save your bones when you're done so you can make delicious broth! Here's how to make pressure cooker broth.
- AMOUNTS: If you're using it as a stuffing, Mom's recipe says that a 1 pound/16 ounce loaf of bread makes approximately 8 cups of stuffing, and that you need about 1 cup of dressing for each pound of turkey you're stuffing. We made 4 batches and that was enough to stuff 2 birds (18# & 22#) with a medium-sized extra bowl to bake. (1 batch stuffs an 18# bird nicely.)
- VARIATIONS: Some people like to add some cooked, ground sausage for more flavor, or some wine, or maybe real cream…what about you, what do you put in your stuffing recipe? (Don't say raisins, yuck!)
- NOTES ON COOKING A TURKEY: Cooking times will differ depending on whether your bird is fresh or frozen. Plan on approximately 20 minutes per pound at 350* for a defrosted turkey and about 15 minutes per pound for fresh. (We start at 350* then turn down to 325* if it starts to brown up too quickly. Add water to the bottom if not much liquid is forming, because you want lots of goodies for making gravy! Instructions for making gravy are here.) Be sure to baste now and then to get those yummy juices over the top of your bird. My notes to self: in 2017 it took about 5 hours on 350* at the beginning for 40 minutes or so, then 325* for 18# and 22# turkeys. (If ever your turkey cooks more quickly, either turn it down to warm until the rest of the meal is done OR pull it out to a platter and cover with foil.)
- We use a turkey roaster like this one to free up oven space for things like baking rolls, squash, extra stuffing, etc.
- Notes for future reference on making mashed potatoes, amounts, etc., are in this Thanksgiving side dishes post.
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