American Thanksgiving is in 12 days.
The stuffing recipe I make for my turkey brings back memories from my childhood Thanksgivings. It is from the McCall’s Cookbook that my dad executes every holiday that involves a turkey.
The McCall’s Cookbook is one of the more popular collectible cookbooks from the 60s. It is a thick, over 700-page cookbook in the same vein as Betty Crocker Cookbook. In general, it is loaded with recipes and how-tos. Most of the recipes are short and easy-to-follow. A Betty Crocker Cookbook definitely had an edge up in terms of cookbooks from the 60s era since McCall’s has no photos.
I’m still hoping that in the future to add my mom’s bright yellow copy to my cookbook collection. 😉
I presently use a beautiful bright pink printout of the stuffing recipe. One funny thing from the original recipe is that it calls for fine fresh-white breadcrumbs. Eeew! I can’t even imagine that. It would be the consistency of mashed potatoes with onion and celery pieces. My dad always used cubed bread.
My Best Stuffing for Thanksgiving Dinner
Adapted from the McCall’s Cookbook for Golden-Brown Turkey
12-15 lb. Turkey
Mise En Place
- 2 onions, medium-sized, peeled
- 2 cloves of garlic, peeled
- 2 heads of celery, cleaned
- 1 bunch of Italian parsley, washed
- ¼ cup butter, melted
- 2 tsp. salt
- 1 tbsp. poultry seasoning
- 5-6 leaves of fresh sage, finely chopped
- ½ tsp. hot paprika
- 1 ¼ tsp. white pepper
- 2 eggs, slightly beaten
- ½ cup honey
- ½ cup applesauce
- 2 loaves stuffing bread or your choice of day old bread, cubed*
My Best Stuffing is a combination the bite size pieces of the ingredients for texture and finely chopped in food processor. I chop half of each vegetable into ½ inch pieces with my knife and the other half I will place into a food processor to be very finely chopped.
Remove the root ends from the onions and dice 1 onion and the other onion cut into quarters for the food processor.
Remove the inside stalks and leaves from the head of celery. Set aside for the stock and gravy.
Cut 1 of the head celery stalk into ½ inch pieces, set aside. The remaining stalks cut so they will fit in a food processor.
Remove the stems from the parsley and reserve for the stock and gravy.
Place the bite size pieces of celery and onion into a large microwavable bowl with melted butter.
Place the remaining onions, garlic cloves, fresh sage, celery and parsley into the food processor.
Pulse in the food processor until very finely chopped but not liquid.
Place in the microwaveable bowl with bite size ingredients and butter; cook covered in the microwave for 5-7 minutes.
Note: At this point, the celery/onion mixture can be covered, refrigerated and stored several days in advance. On the day that you are stuffing the turkey, removed from fridge and bring to room temperature and then mix with dried out cubed bread.
Add the eggs, poultry seasoning, salt, pepper, hot paprika, applesauce, and honey to the cooked celery/onion mixture. Mix well.
Place the dried out cubed bread into a large mixing bowl.
Toss lightly the celery/onion mixture with the dried cubed bread.
Bend wings tips of the turkey under the body.
Spoon stuffing into the neck cavity of the turkey; fasten close with poultry pins.
Spoon stuffing into the body cavity of the bird. Do not pack.
With twine, tie ends of legs together and truss the turkey and using pins secure the stuffing in the cavity.
Never place a warm stuffing into bird. Once the turkey is stuffed it should be placed in the oven immediately to begin roasting.
Bake any left over dressing in a well-greased covered casserole.
* My local grocery store makes their own stuffing bread which is a flavourful bread baked with thyme, sage, marjoram, rosemary, black pepper, and nutmeg. A day or two ahead of making the stuffing, cube the 2 loaves of stuffing bread and spread out evenly on baking sheets. Leave on the counter to dry out overnight or bake the cubes in a low oven until lightly crisp and toasted.