When I was growing up the stuffing we had for Thanksgiving was made from white bread cubes rather than cornbread. Because my grandmother was from the North this was the type of stuffing my father preferred.
It was sometimes stuffed into the turkey and also had giblets, herbs, onions and celery as ingredients. Over the years, we stopped stuffing the turkey and just served it alongside.
I've made some additions to the recipe that include mushrooms, chopped apple, pecans and dried cranberries. After 15 years of minor adjustments, I think this year we might be eating the perfect stuffing.
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Cranberry-Pecan Bread Stuffing
1 loaf Italian bread, cut into 1 inch cubes
1 cup mushrooms, sliced
1 cup onion, chopped
1 cup celery, chopped
1 cup apple, chopped
4 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup dried cranberries, chopped
1/2 cup pecans, chopped
1 tablespoon fresh thyme
1 tablespoon fresh rosemary
1/2 cup parsley, chopped
1 to 3 cups chicken broth, as needed
2 eggs, beaten
Toast bread cubes in a 200 degree oven until dry. Let cool and transfer to a large bowl. In a large skillet melt butter over medium heat. Saut onion, celery, and apple until soft. Add mushrooms and saut until softened. Season with salt and pepper and set aside to cool. When cool, add the vegetables to the bread. Toss to combine. Add the cranberries, pecans, thyme, rosemary and parsley and continue to toss.
Gradually add enough broth to reach a wet, sticky consistency while gently tossing. Taste and add more salt and pepper, if necessary. Once you are satisfied with the seasoning add the eggs and gently toss. Do not overmix. Pour into a buttered baking dish and bake for 30 minutes at 400 degrees.
Time-Saving Tip: Vegetables can be sauted and refrigerated up to two days in advance. Stuffing can be made the day before and baked after turkey comes out of the oven while it is resting. If stuffing is refrigerated remove from the refrigerator an hour before baking.