Two years ago, I was having Thanksgiving in DC with some friends. One of these friends called me up before the event and proclaimed that he had perfected stuffing. I was skeptical, but this friend was a very good cook and an engineer so if someone could perfect stuffing, I figured it might as well be him.
He brought me this:
I now make this stuffing every year for Thanksgiving and sometimes in February for my birthday. It is that good. It has everything I look for in a stuffing: Nice bread, awesome meatiness, tons of spices, and some fruit and other good stuff. Oh. And lots of butter.
Ironically, one thing I have never done with this stuffing is actually stuffed it inside anything (say, a turkey). It is always just so beautiful in the pan that I prefer to make it this way. I don’t see why you couldn’t stuff it, but I don’t.
1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Cube up all your bread and bake for 15-20 minutes. You want these cubes pretty toasty. Keep an eye on them though.
2) Meanwhile, cook sausage and onion in a large skillet over medium heat until sausage is browned and cooked through.
3) Chop up aromatics listed above. When sausage is cooked, add aromatics to your sausage mixture and cook for just 3 minutes to combine.
4) IN a huge bowl, toss together all the ingredients except stock and butter. Once it's well combined, start adding stock until the mixture is very moist but not soggy at all.
5) Pour out stuffing onto a few 9x13 baking dishes and drizzle butter over the stuffing. Bake until the stuffing for 30 minutes covered and then 30 minutes uncovered, stirring ever 15 minutes. It should be browned on top and cooked through. It'll still have some liquid in it but be not soggy. Don't be afraid to let it bake a little longer if it seems too soggy.
Serve while warm with traditional Thanksgiving stuff!
So basically, you make the recipe in the exact order above. First thing, cube up all your bread and stick it in a preheated 350 degree oven for 15-20 minutes. You want these cubes pretty toasty. Keep an eye on them though – burnt bread stuffing is not what we are making.
Meanwhile, take your sausage and onion and start it up in a large skillet. As you can see from my photo, steam will be a by-product. What you can’t see from this photo is that this steam smells like heaven.
While that is simmering away, chop up your aromatics listed above and get them ready. You can do this in advance if you want, but I like to multi-task. If you are following my timeline, CHECK ON YOUR BREAD NOW.
Then add your aromatics to your sausage mixture and cook for just 3 minutes to combine. Photographing steam was my project for the day.
CHECK YOUR BREAD AGAIN. It is probably about done. Now you can chop up all of your other stuff which is basically just apples and parsley.
Now get the biggest bowl you have. You might have to do this in two batches if you make the actual recipe. Keep in mind that my version here is halved. Anyway, put your bread in a bowl.
Then add that amazing sausage mixture that has been simmering away.
Then add your fruits and parsley.
Finally, add your stock and melted butter. The bread should be very moist, but you don’t want any liquid left. All of the liquid should be absorbed. If you add to much, don’t worry about it, just add on another 15 minutes or so to the cooking time. Spread it out in a 9 by 13 baking pan. If you are making a full batch of this stuff, you will want two or need to make it in two batches.
Bake this at 350 degrees, covered for 30 minutes, and then uncovered for 30 minutes. Stir this stuff every 15 minutes. As I said, if after an hour the bread is still too moist, just cook for another 15. I actually had to add on 15 minutes to this batch.
So that’s it. While I would love it if you passed this post on to others, I also understand if you want to horde it so you can forever impress your friends, family, and lover(s) with it. And if you are Mr. Marquis, then I apologize, because I just posted your perfect recipe on the Internets.