Classic Sage Stuffing with Hearth Bread

One of my favorite things to do is think up new flavor combinations. When I’m sitting next to Lance on the sofa and he’s ingrained in Pawn Stars or whatever’s on the screen, I’m usually dreaming up new creations. (Ssh, don’t tell him.) There are some things that you just know will taste great together without having ever tried the combo – gorgonzola and balsamic, anyone? To be fair, I have yet to find something that balsamic vinegar doesn’t go well with. And while in general, I trend toward out-of-the-box flavor pairings, there are a few instances where I think tried and true trumps all. And right at the top of that list: stuffing.

I’m all for changing it up and putting your own spin on most things but I have yet to try a better stuffing than the classic one my mom always made. There’s a reason that flavors like sage and thyme came to be a part of the traditional Thanksgiving spread in the first place: they go so well with the centerpiece of the meal, the turkey. And if you actually cook the stuffing inside of the turkey, it soaks up so much flavor that blends with the thyme, sage, and rosemary. Perfection.

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Stuffing is one of the only things I like to make on the day of Thanksgiving but the prep work can be done ahead of time. Cut or rip your bread into small squares 3-4 days ahead of time and leave them out, exposed to the air, to stale. It may sound strange but the more they stiffen, they better they’ll hold up with all the moisture that will be added. I use a brown paper grocery bag, just like my mom always did, to store them in.

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At this point, your turkey should already be brining away in the fridge. I hope you’ve set aside your neck and giblets because they add some flavorful oil to the pan to start with. Brown them in a pan on medium heat for 2-3 minutes each side, then remove them and set them aside for a broth! (You’ll get a lot more out of this if you do not use a pan with a non-stick coating. If only I had known this when I created our wedding registry! Santa, can you hear me?)

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Drizzle some olive oil in the pan and let that heat up. Saute your onions, garlic, and celery until translucent.

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Stir in your fragrant spices – now it’ll really start to smell like Thanksgiving! I’m in my happy place.

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Beautiful. Now just add the bread crumbs, egg, and broth, and stir to coat. Easy as pie. Mmm pie, we’ll get to that. 😉

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Classic Sage Stuffing with Hearth Bread

  • 1 hearth bread loaf (I got mine at Whole Foods)
  • Turkey Neck & Giblets
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 2 yellow onions, chopped
  • 6 stalks celery, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon ground sage
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons ground thyme
  • 2 tablespoons fresh rosemary, minced
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup organic turkey broth, or to taste (recipe follows)

In a medium pan, sear the turkey neck and giblets for a few minutes each side, until golden brown. Remove and set aside for broth if you’d like.

Drizzle in the olive oil and let it heat up. Saute the onions, celery, and garlic until translucent. Stir in the salt, thyme, rosemary, and sage.

Stir in the egg next and stir until coated. Add the broth, 1/4 cup at a time, until all of the breadcrumbs seem slightly dampened, being careful not to soak them as that will make them take too long to cook. Remove from heat and stuff into cleaned turkey cavity just before putting the turkey in the oven.  If there’s extra, or if you prefer to cook it outside the turkey, add some extra broth and place it in a casserole dish. Bake at 350 for 35 minutes.

**Safety tip: When you stuff a turkey, the important thing to remember is that it needs to reach 165 degrees along with the turkey. If your turkey is done before your stuffing, don’t fret. Just remove the stuffing and place it in a casserole dish to continue cooking separately.

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Simple Turkey Broth

  • Turkey Neck & Giblets
  • Water
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 6 stalks celery, chopped
  • 2 carrots, rinsed & chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped

Add the ingredients to a medium sized pot and fill with water just until everything is covered. Bring to a boil and them reduce to a simmer for 1 1/2 hours. Turn off heat and use immediately or place in air-tight container in the refrigerator.

Happy almost turkey day!

About Kristinhttp://haveashnick.comWelcome to Hangry Tales. Kick your feet up and stay for a while. :)

5 thoughts on “Classic Sage Stuffing with Hearth Bread

  1. Pingback: Baked Apple Scrapple Pumpkin French Toast | Hangry Tales

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