Our stuffing mix, made from four of our classic loaves sliced, cubed and ready to go, gives you a big head start on this Thanksgiving side dish. We love the classic version, studded with toasted pecans and scented with fresh sage and thyme, but you can go lots of directions with the variations listed below.
Makes about 7 cups, enough for a 10- to 14-pound bird
6 tablespoons butter
1 cup diced celery
1 3/4 cups diced yellow onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley
1 tablespoon each chopped fresh sage and fresh thyme
1 teaspoon poultry seasoning
1-2 cups low-sodium chicken or turkey broth, divided
1 package (10 ounces) Grand Central Rustic Stuffing
2 cups pecans, toasted and coarsely chopped (optional)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
2 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
If serving as a side dish (instead of stuffing a bird), butter a 9-by-13-by-2 inch rectangular baking dish or 2-quart casserole dish.
Melt butter in a large skillet; add celery and onions; sauté slowly until tender. Add garlic and cook for 1 minute. Remove from heat and cool slightly. Add parsley, sage, thyme, poultry seasoning, and 1 cup of the broth to the sautéed vegetables; stir to combine.
Combine stuffing mix with vegetable mixture and optional pecans. Season with salt and pepper. If stuffing a bird, add 1/2 cup additional broth for a moist but not soggy consistency – stuffing will absorb drippings as it cooks. As a side dish, add 1/2 to 1 cup additional broth and place in prepared baking dish. Dot with 2 tablespoons butter. Cover with foil. Bake in preheated oven for 30 minutes or until hot; uncover and bake for additional 5 minutes or until golden brown.
With Figs and Prosciutto – Use only one cup of chicken broth. Add only 1 cup of toasted pecans along with 1 cup of Madeira wine, 1/4 cup chopped prosciutto and 1/2 pound chopped dried figs.
With Oysters, Water Chestnuts and Tarragon – Omit pecans and sage. Substitute 1 cup slightly sauteed small oysters, 1 cup of sliced water chestnuts and 1 tablespoon of fresh tarragon (1 teaspoon dried).
With Sausage and Wild Mushrooms – Omit pecans. Add 1 cup of browned sausage meat and 1 cup sauteed mushrooms (such as chanterelles) or reconstituted dried porcini. If wild mushrooms aren’t available, try cremini, although you may want to double the amount.
With Fresh Fennel and Leeks – Substitute a large, fresh fennel bulb for the celery and two large leeks for the yellow onion. Omit the sage and substitute 2 tablespoons chopped fresh fennel tops. Peel and cut the fennel bulb into julienne strips. Clean leeks and cut into coins. Saute leeks and fennel and proceed as above. If desired, subsitute white wine for part of broth.