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Published: Monday, 10/29/2001

Classic Bread Stuffing

1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter

2 cups onion, cut into 1/4 -inch dice

2 cups celery, cleaned and trimmed; cut into 1/4 -inch dice

2 cups coarsely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

2 tablespoons fresh sage leaves, chopped or 2 teaspoons crushed dried sage

1/2 tablespoon freshly chopped thyme or 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme

1/2 tablespoon chopped fresh marjoram or 1/2 teaspoon dried marjoram

Pinch of nutmeg

2 teaspoons coarse salt

1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper or to taste

1 1/2 - 3 cups homemade chicken stock or low-sodium canned chicken broth, skimmed of fat

2 loaves stale white bread (about 36 slices) crusts on, cut into 1-inch cubes

1-2 cups toasted pecans/walnuts, chopped, optional

1-2 cups dried cherries, optional

Melt butter over medium heat in a large, deep skillet or Dutch oven. Add onion and cook for 2 to 3 minutes. Add celery and continue cooking about 5 minutes more. Add the sage, stir to combine and cook 3 minutes. Remove pot from heat.

Place bread cubes in large mixing bowl. Add the onion mixture, thyme, marjoram, parsley, nutmeg, salt, and pepper. Add nuts and/or dried cherries, if using. Mix well. Add 1 1/2 to 2 cups chicken stock. Mix to combine. Add more stock if desired. Taste for seasonings and adjust if needed.

Use to stuff the turkey immediately before cooking or place in casserole and bake it along side the turkey during the last 45 to 60 minutes of cooking. Note that the stuffing in the turkey must reach 165 degrees.

Yield: 12 cups



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