Prep Time:30 minutes |
Cook Time:45 minutes
Say what you will about whose stuffing is best (my mom’s, your mom’s), but no one will argue that the best thing about stuffing is the leftovers. Especially stuffing stuffed in a turkey sandwich the next day. It’s the apotheosis of stuffing (I’ve always wanted to use “apotheosis” in a post and now I have). This is my mother’s classic, time-tested, evolved-by-me recipe. She used Jones pork sausage while I use fresh sausage from the butcher. She roasted and peeled her chestnuts; I buy vacuum-packed peeled ones. She used Pepperidge Farm Herbed Stuffing mix and I do, too, because some things should never change. Except the arrival of vegetarians or vegans at the holiday table. To welcome them, you can eliminate the sausage and butter in this recipe.
1 pound herbed stuffing mix (such as Pepperidge Farms)
2 tablespoons oil (any kind)
12 ounces bulk pork sausage
1 yellow onion, chopped
4 celery stalks, thinly sliced
1 cup (about 5 oz) chopped peeled chestnuts
2 large green apples, cored and diced
2 tablespoons minced fresh sage
1 stick (4 ounces) butter
about 3 cups warmed turkey stock or chicken broth
salt and pepper
Place the stuffing mix in a large bowl. Heat the oil in a large frying pan and add the sausage; cook over medium-high heat, stirring, until the meat is broken up and no longer pink. Add the onions and celery and cook until the veggies start to soften, about 4 minutes.
Transfer the contents of the pan with a slotted spoon to the bowl of stuffing mix, then add the chestnuts, apples and sage to the bowl. Discard the extra fat in the frying pan, then melt the butter in the pan. Pour over the stuffing. Add 2 cups of the warmed stock or broth and stir gently to moisten everything; if bread seems dry, add 1/2 cup more stock (save some stock if you are making the stuffing ahead to remoisten it before baking). Taste stuffing and season with salt and pepper. If making the stuffing ahead, cover and refrigerate while your turkey is roasting or up to overnight.
About 45 minutes before your turkey is ready, place the stuffing in a large baking dish (or 2 smaller dishes if that’s what you have). If you made the stuffing ahead and refrigerated it, drizzle about 1/2 cup more broth over the stuffing. Cover with foil and place in the oven with the turkey (or in another preheated 375°F oven) and bake for 30 minutes. Remove foil and bake another 15 minutes until slightly crusty and hot through (if it was refrigerated, it may need more time).
note: if you really must have stuffing cooked in the bird, I suggest you stuff the area under the neck flap. Just before roasting the turkey, spoon enough stuffing to fit loosely under the skin, then fold the flap over it and secure with trussing pins. If you have no idea what I’m talking about, ignore this!