Traditional bread stuffing

November 24, 2008
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Serves 10 or enough to fill a 14-pound turkey

The recipe for this savory stuffing was passed down to Joan Verrill from her mother. Joan dries her own fresh herbs for this annual treat. To make this as a pan stuffing, mound it in a buttered 2 1/2- to 3-quart baking dish. Sprinkle 1/4 cup chicken stock on top, cover with foil, and bake at 375 degrees for 15 minutes. Add an additional 1/4 cup stock and continue baking for 15 minutes. Add an additional 1/4 cup chicken stock, leave the dish uncovered, and bake 15 minutes more (total baking time is 45 minutes).

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
1 large onion, chopped
4 stalks celery with leaves, chopped
1 tablespoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary
1/2 teaspoon dried savory
1/2 teaspoon poultry seasoning
1/2 teaspoon dried sage or 1 teaspoon fresh sage
12 cups torn bread cubes (about 1 1/2 pounds bread)
1. In a large skillet, melt the butter. Add the onion and celery and cook, stirring often, for 8 minutes or until they soften. Transfer mixture to a large bowl.

2. Add the salt, pepper, thyme, rosemary, savory, poultry seasoning, and sage. Stir in the bread cubes and mix thoroughly. Cover and chill the mixture for at least 1 hour. (Make 1 day ahead, cover, and refrigerate, if you like.)

3. When you're ready to roast the turkey, fill it with the cold stuffing - some in the vent end and some in the neck end. Pin the skin over the stuffing and secure it with poultry pins. Roast the turkey until the center of the stuffing registers 165 degrees on a meat thermometer. Adapted from Verrill Farm

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