November 17, 2021 By Kate Driscoll Papaleoni, Executive Chef/Owner, Kate's Table
I tend to be a simpleton when it comes to stuffing. I am not ashamed to admit that I like the taste of Stovetop Stuffing . This is my version of Stovetop, with just a little bit of zing from the white wine and lemon juice. There are so many other dishes that families enjoy during their Thanksgiving meal that I was always a believer that a simple, buttery, moist (yes, I used that word) stuffing would be the best complement to all the flavors, and it makes for an excellent turkey sandwich the day after (french bread, sliced turkey, warm stuffing, mayo, and lots of cranberry sauce).
Note about the bread cubes: You have options here. Stale or toasty bread works best. The first option is that you can cut 1-½ pounds of bread into cubes, place it in a large baking dish, loosely tent with foil, and let it sit overnight. You can also cut the cubes and put them in the oven, toasting them at 350 degrees F until they are like croutons, about 15 minutes or so. Finally, you can buy the toasted bread cubes in bags from the store. It’s your choice! You can also choose the size of your cubes. They can be small, or larger for a more rustic stuffing.
I like to use a mixture of stale and fresh bread. Also, I like to use different kinds of bread (usually two), like a multigrain and French, and mix the cubes. I’ll even use challah for a sweet note to the dressing.
Kate’s Simple Herb Dressing
18 to 24 ounces bread cubes, (1.5 loaves of bread, or about 12 to 14 cups) preferably toasted or stale
1 cup unsalted butter (I like to use ½ cup chicken fat and ½ cup unsalted butter)
3 cups diced sweet onion, roughly 2 large onions
2 cups celery, diced
6 garlic cloves, minced
kosher salt and pepper
3 tablespoons chopped fresh sage
3 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary
3 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian flat leaf parsley
½ cup dry white wine
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2-1/2 cups chicken or vegetable stock
2 large eggs
**OPTIONAL: 1 ½ pounds ground (out of casing) sweet or hot Italian sausage
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Brush a 9” x 13” baking dish with room temperature butter. Place the bread in a large mixing bowl. Heat the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Once melted, stir in the onion, celery, and garlic with a big pinch of salt and pepper - at least ½ to
1 teaspoon each. Cook until the onions and celery soften, about 8 to 10 minutes. Stir in the sage, parsley, and rosemary. Cook for another minute. Stir in the white wine and lemon juice and turn the heat up a bit to reduce the wine (about 5 minutes). Stir in 1 cup of stock. Pour the onion celery mixture over the bread crumbs and toss well to coat.
** If adding sausage to your stuffing: Cook your ground sausage over medium heat in a skillet until almost cooked through. Drain the fat and then add the sausage crumbs to your stuffing mix here. In a small bowl or measuring cup, whisk together the remaining 1- ½ cups stock and 2 eggs.
Pour that mixture into the bread cubes and stir and fold the bread cubes until thoroughly combined. Bake the stuffing for 45 to 50 minutes, until the internal temperature registers 160 degrees F. If the stuffing is getting too browned, you can tent it with foil.