My Secret Thanksgiving Stuffing Recipe

(Photo to be added later.)

Poultry Stuffing
Makes 12 portions (approximately 4 ounces by weight, about 2/3 cup by volume)

This looks like a scary long recipe, but it is really very simple.

18 slices Healthy Life bread (or any preferred bread.)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large yellow onion, diced
4 stalks celery, diced
2-4 clove garlic, mashed and minced
Spices and herbs (rubbed sage, garlic powder, onion powder, black pepper, celery salt or anything similar.)
Chicken stock (approximately 2 cups) warmed, but not boiling

1. Preheat oven to 425F
2. Lay bread slices on counter. Spray lightly with cooking spray.
3. Sprinkle lightly with sage, onion, garlic, pepper and celery salt.
4. Lay on cookie sheets in oven, until beginning to brown and are dry (about 30 minutes).
5. When toasted, cut into small cubes. Set aside in a large bowl.
6. In a large non-stick skillet, heat over med-high.
7. Add olive oil. When hot (the oil should shimmer) add onion and celery.
8. Saute until the onion begins to turn translucent (2-4 minutes.)
9. Add garlic. Saute for 1 minute.
10. Add 1 teaspoon rubbed sage, 1/4 teaspoon each celery salt (or powder) and black pepper. Saute for 1 minute.
11. Pour onion-celery mixture over bread cubes.
12. Pour half the chicken stock, gently mixing. Add more stock as needed. Mixture should be evenly moistened, but not soupy. (If you add more stock, and it doesn’t get absorbed, that is too much. Pour it off.)
13. If you still need more liquid, you can use hot water, or any preferred liquid for added flavor: beer, wine, apple juice/cider.
14. Preheat to 350.
15. Put stuffing a 2 quart casserole, sprayed with cooking spray for easy clean up.
16. Bake uncovered until hot (30-45 minutes.)

Nutritional data:
Calories:       80
Fat:              2.4g
Sat fat:         0.3g
Chol:           0mg
Carbs:        14.7g
Fiber:           3.4g
Protein:        3.3g

A few notes:
I use my own homemade chicken stock, which has no added salt. That accounts for the low sodium numbers in this recipe. You can use commercially prepared stock, but it will have more sodium. On the other hand, you can find fat free chicken stock, which will result in even lower calories per serving because mine isn’t fat free. (Everything is a trade-off.)

Use your favorite herbs and spices. Penzey’s Spices makes incredible mixes. Their Sunny Paris is excellent in this.

Instead of Healthy Life bread, use your favorite bread. Whole wheat makes a much more robust version (and needs more liquid). Cornbread is sweeter and more delicate.

Add hot peppers if you like a spicy version.

If you want a sweeter variation, add 2 chopped apples or pears to the onions and celery.

Mushrooms work well in this (I like fresh baby bellas.)

Add meats (bacon, chicken/turkey trimmings, sausage, burger, oysters/clams, chorizo, Andouille, bratwurst or anything) if you want. It will add calories, but also add more flavors.

I don’t like to stuff turkeys. It slows the cooking time on the birds, increasing the risk of dried breasts while you wait for everything to cook. That is why I make it in a casserole separately.

Basic Poultry Stuffing/Dressing

Basic Poultry Stuffing
Serves: 12

18 slices bread, toasted and cubed (Healthy Life brand, Whole Wheat)
2 tablespoon olive oil
Seasoning as desired
2 large onions, diced
4 stalks celery, diced
2 cloves garlic, crushed and minced
2 teaspoon rubbed sage
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
8 strips of bacon
Chicken stock

  1. Either purchase bread cubes or make your own. I laid out 18 slices of bread, brushed one surface with olive oil, and seasoned the bread with sage, onion powder, garlic powder and ground celery seed.
  2. Preheat oven to 400F. Lay prepared bread on baking sheets (or directly on the grates.)
  3. Bake until beginning to brown (8-10 minutes.)
  4. Dice into 1/4 inch cubes.
  5. Fry bacon until crumbly. Crumble and set aside.
  6. Measure out 2 tablespoons bacon grease. Saute onion and celery over medium heat until the onions caramelize and the celery softens (10-15 minutes.)
  7. Add garlic, sage and pepper in the last minute of cooking the onion and celery.
  8. In three quart oven-safe dish, add half the onions-celery and bread cubes. Stir to mix, and add chicken stock to moisten, but not soak.
  9. Add remaining bread cubes and onions and half the crumbled bacon. Add more stock. Again, you want the mixture moist, but not soupy. The amount of stock will depend on how dry the bread is.
  10. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes uncovered (or until hot enough for you.) This only needs to be heated, there is nothing to cook.
  11. Five minutes before it is finished, sprinkle remaining bacon over the top.  Add additional chicken stock if it seems too dry.

You can substitute wine or beer for half of the chicken stock, if preferred, for a slightly different flavor.

Nutritional data:
Calories:     133
Fat:             7.2g
Sat fat:           2g
Chol:             7mg
Sodium:     257mg
Carbs:      15.2g
Fiber:         3.7g
Protein:      4.9g