When my husband roasts a turkey, I usually make this bread stuffing to go with it. It is excellent for stuffing a turkey, but can also be baked separately in a casserole, and thus enjoyed by meat-eaters and vegetarians alike. Greg likes to roast his turkey on a spit, with no stuffing in it, just a handful of herbs and garlic, so that suits him just fine.
Use whatever bread you like. I like a coarse-textured country-style white bread, but you could use a whole wheat bread, sourdough, or some of this and some of that. The bread can be fresh, stale, or perfectly dry—the only difference will be in the amount of broth you use. Trim off the crusts if they are very crusty, or leave them if you want extra texture—anything goes!
- ¾ cup butter
- 2 cups chopped onion
- 2 cups sliced or chopped celery
- 1-2 teaspoons salt
- Pepper to taste
- 3 teaspoons dried sage
- 1 teaspoon dried marjoram
- 3 teaspoons poultry seasoning
- ½ cup chopped fresh parsley
- 2-3 tablespoons cider vinegar
- 4 quarts of ½-inch bread cubes
- 4 cups chopped, peeled green apples
- 1½ cups raisins
- 1½ cups lightly toasted walnuts, finely chopped
- 2 cups vegetable broth, or chicken broth, or both
Melt the butter in a large skillet and sauté the chopped onion and celery in it until they are soft and just starting to color. Add about a teaspoon of salt, pepper to your taste, the herbs, and the cider vinegar. Stir well and remove from the heat.
In a very large mixing bowl, combine the bread cubes, chopped apples, raisins, and chopped walnuts. Add the sautéed vegetables and herbs with all their butter, and toss everything together until it is thoroughly combined.
Drizzle on about half the broth, toss again, and test. You are aiming for a mixture that is soft and moist throughout, but not soggy or soupy. Keep adding broth, a little at a time, mixing everything up well after each addition, until you have the consistency you like. The amount of broth used will vary quite a bit, depending on what kind of bread is used and how dry it is.
If you are roasting a turkey, and plan to bake the stuffing separately but want the flavor of the turkey in it, you could add some drippings in place of part of the broth. In that case, however, cut down a little on the butter. If, on the other hand, you plan to stuff a turkey, leave the stuffing just a little on the dry side.
When the texture feels right, taste and correct the seasoning with more salt or pepper if needed.
Spoon the stuffing into two buttered casseroles, or one very large one, cover well, and bake at 350 for about 45 minutes. Or spoon it into a turkey that has been prepared for roasting.