The Stuffing Everyone Loves

classic stuffing
♡ The Stuffing Everyone Loves ♡

Is stuffing the overwhelming favorite Thanksgiving dish? According to the Foodbuzz Poll it is. I had no intention of posting my unfancy traditional stuffing recipe until I saw the poll results tweeted yesterday. If stuffing is indeed the jewel of the holiday buffet, we certainly can’t keep “The Stuffing Everyone Loves” recipe to ourselves…

What makes this stuffing different than the ubiquitous mushroom sage stuffing served on dinner tables all over the country at this time of year? Not much, and that is the beauty of it. It’s just like mom’s, only better. And everyone loves it. Ciabatta, lots of fresh parsley and butter-fried sage, fresh-made rich flavored giblet stock, a higher vegetable to bread ratio, lots of crispy crust, plenty of butter, no “surprise” ingredients – it simply exceeds expectations.

The Poll Results

The Stuffing Everyone Loves Recipe

Remove the crust from two large loaves of ciabatta bread. Cut the bread into cubes about 3/4″ to 1″ thick. Place the cubes on a baking sheet and allow to dry out overnight, or place in a 200° oven until dried. Removing the moisture allows the bread to better soak up the flavorful stock.

Sauté onion, celery, leek, and mushroom separately in butter until soft, season with salt and pepper.

  • 2 medium onions, diced
  • 3 large celery ribs, sliced
  • 2 medium leeks, sliced
  • 6 c. fresh button mushrooms, sliced

There should be almost as much vegetable mixture as bread. Let vegetables cool, then combine gently. This can be made a day ahead, then refrigerated.

Giblet stock: Rinse and dry the turkey neck and giblets. In a stock pot, brown the giblets and neck in a small amount of olive oil. Add 6 cups of purified water along with a chopped onion, celery rib, carrot, a couple bay leaves and a few whole black peppercorns. Simmer for two to three hours. Strain through a sieve and remove the fat.

Place 2 c. of the stock and one stick of unsalted butter in a microwavable pitcher. Microwave to melt the butter. Toss bread cubes with vegetable mixture. Pour stock/butter over the stuffing. Toss to moisten all the bread. Add more stock if necessary.

Fry a bunch of fresh sage leaves in butter until lightly crisp. Remove to a paper towel. When cooled, crumble by hand. Chop a bunch of fresh Italian parsley.  Add parley, sage, kosher salt and fresh ground pepper to the stuffing. Toss again then pack loosely in a buttered baking dish. Although I am tempted to use one of my pretty casserole dishes, this is best baked  in a large shallow pyrex dish (for a higher ratio of crispy crust). Bake uncovered 30-45 minutes at 350° until the top is browned and crispy. And keep an eye on it so it doesn’t burn.

Mom approves, along with everyone else.

Holiday Seating  for 20

Living Room: Before the Feast

I always like before and after pictures. And peeking into my virtual friends’ homes. So as long as we’re sharing The Stuffing Everyone Loves, I thought you might enjoy a mini tour of our holiday tables. I’d like to extend a very special Thank You to my precious sister-in-law for overseeing the holiday table setting every year. It’s no small feat arranging the furniture so everyone fits comfortably. And her flair for decorating, design, and color make such a warm welcoming festive room. Thanks, Kristy!

thanksgiving table setting
Table #1: Aunt & Nephew Table

Aunt Wendy, Aunt Gee Gee (me), Stone, and Jett

I’d also like to thank Stone for inscribing the place-cards in his fine cursive handwriting.

thanksgiving table setting

thanksgiving table setting
Table #2 for 8

Chip, Pat, Michael, Mary, Steve, Darlene, Tori, and Tom

thanksgiving table setting

thanksgiving table setting
Table #3 for 8

Joyce (Nana), Judi (Grandma), Don, Kristy, Bill, Troy, Al, and Sally

thanksgiving table setting

Living Room: After the Holiday

The week after Thanksgiving is always bittersweet: memories of a magical week spent with family and friends mix with a bit of sadness that we won’t be seeing each other for a while. I hope your home is all put back to normal and you are left with wonderful holiday memories too…

20 thoughts on “The Stuffing Everyone Loves”

  1. Gorgeous table! 🙂 I love stuffing too, and this year was horribly disappointing. The boxed stuffing our hosts made was horrible, while every other dish was just perfect. My mother-in-law’s stuffing is the best on earth, according to me, and also involves celery 🙂

  2. the table is stunning!! We had planned on a new arrangement for the table this year, but with so many little ones..things quickly turned to a easier solution, lol. Thanks for a great new stuffing recipe!!

  3. Beautifully laid tables and I love the idea of mushrooms in the stuffing.

    “Unfortunately”, my family insists on the same stuffing, year after year. I cut Viennese white bread into cubes (the crust is so thin, no need to cut if off), dry it at low temperature in the oven. I add lots of sauteed leeks and celery, finely cut Italian parsley and sage leaves. I fry the leaves in olive oil, then crumble them like you do (what a difference in flavor that makes!). I use warm milk and eggs to soften the bread. I cover the casserole with a double layer of buttered parchment paper for the first 30 minutes, that ensures a moist interior and lightly golden crust. For the last 10 minutes or so I remove the parchment paper. Everybody loves the stuffing.

  4. You should do a book: Tablescapes. Yours are always stunning. I am a stuffing lover – and love that you posted your stuffing – thinking at first it was too humble. I think all stuffing should be humble – it is glorious rustic cooking.

  5. Whoa, very beautiful table! You have a perfect home to host a big group! I actually love stuffing among all the typical thanksgiving food and I am sure I love your version!! Thanks for sharing the recipe (for next year!)

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