Chicken stock (1 Cup – 1 1/2 Cups)
1. Spray a large pan with cooking spray or heat a little olive oil then sauté the onions and celery until vegetables are soft. Add the sausage and break it up with a wooden spoon and cook with onions and celery until cooked through. Add poultry seasoning, salt and pepper and stir.
2. Once cooked, add to dry bread in a bowl. Whip eggs with a fork and add to the bread in the bowl. Add enough stock to moisten everything. (Start with 1/2 Cup and go from there.) You’ll want to add enough stock until the bread is really moist. Spray a casserole dish with cooking spray and add the stuffing. Cover with tin foil and bake for about ½ hour to 45 minutes at 350 degrees.
NOTES: As kids, we got to help make the stuffing! The night before, my mom would give me two whole loaves of white bread and tell me to tear it into pieces and pile it in a bowl. This “sous chef” task could take a hour if I dragged it out…LOL. I guess I was already liking the kitchen. These bowls of torn bread would sit out overnight to dry out. While I’m sure we could have toasted the bread, bought dried stuffing bread cubes, etc., this was how we did it and it was all part of the holiday. FUN!
While my mother did stuff the turkey and put extra in a small casserole dish, I have long abandoned the stuffed turkey but still call it stuffing rather than “dressing”. (Always have, always will) Stuffing the turkey tends to require hours of extra cook time and tends to dry out the bird. So, I bake it on the side (often called “dressing”). This is a simple recipe and one that every person in our family makes. It doesn’t matter who is hosting, we all make this stuffing. My grandmother made it this way and so did my mom. Over the years, I’ve added nuts and dried fruit (which I’ve loved) but the family always wants the real deal.
Feel free to use different brands of sausage and poultry seasoning. This is just how we always made it and I’m sure other brands will work fine. (Bell Seasoning can be hard to find on the West Coast although I have found it online at Amazon.)
I’ve also substituted turkey breakfast sausage for my friends that don’t eat pork. Just be sure you use breakfast sausage and not Italian sausage. The seasonings are just different. This recipe serves a lot of people but can easily be cut in half.
This is also a great dish to make in advance. You can assemble this whole recipe and put in a baking dish, cover with plastic wrap and keep in the fridge overnight. Just bring to room temperature before baking. This makes this a fabulous make ahead dish for the holidays. I hope you’ll enjoy this tried and true recipe…a gift from my home to yours.