One of the more memorable dishes on the Thanksgiving table is likely to be stuffing. Stuffing is a versatile vehicle for flavor, and it performs masterfully at sopping up gravy and turkey juices. These days, you’ll find stuffing recipes containing everything from dried apricots to andouille sausage. This Joy of Cooking recipe is more traditional, but certainly no less flavorful. For those with access to good oysters or clams, this stuffing will resonate with briny goodness, but sausage does a fine job as a rich and savory stand-in. From Joy of Cooking: 75th Anniversary Edition.
We recommend cooking stuffing in a separate baking dish rather than in the cavity of the turkey. This ensures that the stuffing has time to cook adequately without overcooking the turkey in the process. If a stuffed turkey appeals to your sense of Thanksgiving decorum, feel free to stuff the turkey after both stuffing and turkey have cooked separately. If you absolutely must stuff the turkey before roasting, heat the stuffing in the preheated oven until hot, about 15 minutes, and then stuff the bird and roast according to your recipe.
Bread Stuffing with Giblets
About 8 cups
If you add chopped nuts, sautéed mushrooms, or other additional ingredients, use the lesser amount of celery.
Turkey giblets (gizzard, heart, and liver) from one bird
Melt in a medium skillet over medium heat:
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter
Add the giblets and:
1/2 cup chopped onion
(1 to 2 cups sliced mushrooms)
Cook, stirring occasionally, about 2 minutes, then cover and cook, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes more, until the onions are soft. Transfer to a large bowl and toss with:
6 cups cubed crustless day-old or slightly toasted white, whole wheat, or corn bread
1/4 to 1 cup chopped celery
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1 teaspoon crumbled dried tarragon
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/8 teaspoon grated or ground nutmeg
About 1/2 cup milk, stock or broth to moisten the dressing very lightly, or as needed
If cooking in a baking dish, add:
(2 to 3 large eggs, well beaten)
(1 1/2 cups chopped pecans or walnuts)
and one of the following:
1 cup sausage meat, cooked and browned
1 cup chopped or whole drained oysters
1 cup chopped clams
Spoon the stuffing into the bird, or moisten with additional milk, stock, or broth and bake separately in a dish. Stuffing is done when it reaches an internal temperature of 165°F.
Recipe excerpted from Joy of Cooking by Irma S. Rombauer, Marion Rombauer Becker, and Ethan Becker. Copyright © 2006 by Simon & Schuster, Inc. Excerpted with permission by Scribner, a Division of Simon & Schuster, Inc.