- Start with Stale Bread: Use any type of bread, as long as it can get stale overnight. Drying it out overnight is key to flavor absorption and a good texture (soggy is not good). Torn bread instead of sliced promises extra toasty texture.
- Use some fat: You don’t have to add meat, but it does result in a nice savory stuffing. Brown the sausage or ground meat then use the drippings to cook the vegetables. This adds a nice kick and saltiness to the base.
- Use flavor-building ingredients: Sage, celery, and onion, leek, or shallots are nonnegotiable. These are the flavors of Thanksgiving. Cook until onions are golden brown.
- Deglaze away: Use a little wine or vinegar into the skillet, scraping and stirring to dissolve any crusted-on bits. Next, melt some margarine (this adds richness) into the mixture. This pairs well with the acidity from the wine.
- Stock is a must: Dry stuffing is awful and gummy stuffing equally as bad. Stock is a must, especially homemade if you have it. The bread should be moist with no dry spots but not sitting in liquid.
- Kick it up with add-ins: Now use your flair and palate. Look for balance when choosing add-ins. If you start with sweet cornbread, use tart dried cherries, or other dried fruit. Need crunch? Toss in nuts, pumpkin seeds, or chopped apples. I always finish it with some fresh herbs, like parsley, sage, basil or rosemary. And make sure you finish it with salt and pepper.
Need stuffing recipes? Try these stuffing recipes.