How was your Thanksgiving? I had a great family day!
My oldest son Matthew (on the left) came home from college for 2 days, so I was grateful for the time we had together. That’s my youngest son Andrew on the right. Yep, I caught him with his cell phone!
I cooked for 15 people this year. Isn’t it funny how much time goes into cooking the Thanksgiving meal and how little time it takes to eat it?! I made a 25 lb. turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, turnip, butternut squash, green beans, boiling onions, stuffed celery sticks, pumpkin pie, chocolate cream pie, and chocolate chip cookies.
I’m tired just thinking about it again! I want to give a shout out to my wonderful husband Dave for helping me with the meal and cleaning the house! I couldn’t have done it without you!
The picture above and below is not the most appetizing picture I ever took, but this Bread Stuffing is a great family recipe from my husband’s side of the family. I’ve been making it for about 10 years. I didn’t grow up eating this in my family. My mother always made a French stuffing with mashed potatoes, ground beef and pork, and poultry seasoning. My mother’s recipe is more hardy and filling. She usually made meat pies with her leftover stuffing. I love my mom’s recipe but if I had to choose one or the other, I’d have to go with this one.
This recipe is a bit time-consuming, but so worth it. I always make it the day before Thanksgiving.
First, you simmer the neck and giblets for an hour to make a great broth for the stuffing.
Meanwhile, cook the celery and onions in butter until lightly browned.
With the oven broiler on, toast the bread on both sides on your largest sheet pan. You’ll need to do this in several batches.
In a huge bowl, tear up the toasted bread into bite-size pieces.
Add the celery, onions, and all of the melted butter.
Add the broth until it is thick and mushy. Sorry! I can’t think of a better word than “mushy!” Season with poultry seasoning, salt, and pepper and stir well. Cover and refrigerate. Do not stuff a turkey with warm stuffing.
Use this Poultry Seasoning. It’s a must!
Fill the clean turkey with stuffing, leaving room for it to expand. Heat the rest of the stuffing in a covered baking dish about 30 minutes before serving.
Bread Stuffing for a Crowd
turkey neck and giblets, rinsed under cold water
12 cups water
5 stalks of celery, diced
1 large onion, diced
8 tablespoons salted butter
2 king-size loaves of white bread
2 tablespoons Bell’s Poultry seasoning
salt & pepper, to taste
Directions (A Day Ahead)
1. In a large stock pot, add 12 cups of water and the turkey neck and giblets. Season with salt & pepper. Bring to a boil, then turn the heat down to medium-low and gently boil for 1 hour. Remove the neck and giblets.
2. In a large skillet over medium to med-low heat, cook the celery and onions in the butter until golden brown; stirring occasionally. Set aside.
3. Meanwhile, heat the oven broiler and toast the bread on both sides using your largest sheet pan. Keep a close eye on the bread and flip them over with tongs as they brown.
4. Tear the bread into pieces and place them in an extra large bowl. Add the celery, onions, and all of the butter to the torn up toast. Add the broth, a cup at a time, and stir well. Continue to add the broth until you reach the desired consistency (between 7 – 10 cups of broth). You want the stuffing to be slightly wetter than how it would look when you eat it cooked because it thickens up a bit when you refrigerate it overnight. The picture above is how we like it.
5. Season the stuffing with salt & pepper, cover, and refrigerate overnight.
1. After the turkey is cleaned inside and out, use paper towels to absorb any liquid inside of the turkey. Fill the turkey cavity with stuffing, leaving some room for the stuffing to expand while cooking. Cook the turkey according to the package directions. (I usually check out the cooking chart on www.butterball.com to see how long to cook a stuffed turkey for whatever size turkey I have. They have some great turkey tips!) I spread vegetable oil all over the skin of the turkey and cook in a large roasting pan on the lowest rack in my oven at 325°F.
2. Place the rest of the stuffing in a covered baking dish and cook at 350°F for about 30 minutes before serving the meal.
Serves 17 – 20 people