Thanksgiving is upon us, and it’s time to make turkey stuffing. This traditional dish is very personal. Each of us has our own concept of the perfect ingredients. My own version has evolved over the past three decades, but certain ingredients are essential.
Bread should be cubed and not too fresh. This year I am using cracked wheat sourdough bread for the first time. The texture is amazing and I hope it will be well-received by my family.
Celery and onion give some needed crunch. Ever since I ate cafeteria-style in my early years and experienced stuffing served with an ice-cream scoop, I shudder at the presentation of mashed stuffing. Yuck. Stuffing should have character.
Chopped nuts, for those who are not allergic, can add rustic flavor. I enjoy golden raisins or dried cranberries in my stuffing, but I have been overruled on these ingredients. In the interests of domestic harmony, my golden raisins are sitting this one out (I may try to sneak a few in when no one is looking, though). This year I am including a few diced mushrooms. Don’t forget the fresh garlic.
We never have enough stuffing, so I always make extra. To moisten what is cooked outside of the bird, I have used broth made from the giblets. When my children adopted a vegetarian diet, I switched to a vegetable broth of carrot, celery, and mushroom. Seasonings for the stuffing and the broth are usually the generic poultry seasoning, allspice, and parsley. I am so enamored of stuffing that I could skip the turkey part. Well almost.