Try this Classic Holiday Herb Stuffing recipe during the holiday season.
Place turkey neck and giblets (except liver) in a large saucepan. Add 2 ribs celery and 1/2 yellow onion, cut into small pieces. Cover completely with water and bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 1 to 2 hours until well flavored. We prefer to season stock when using it, so we do not add herbs, salt, or pepper when preparing it. If you use dried instead of fresh herbs, convert to teaspoons instead of tablespoons.
• 1 loaf (1 1/2 pounds) French bread, torn or cut into 1/2-inch pieces
• 1 medium batch corn bread (made with 2 cups mixed flour and cornmeal)
• 8 to 10 ribs celery, sliced, including leaves
• 2 to 3 large bunches green onions, sliced thinly
• 1 large bunch parsley, stemmed and coarsely chopped
• 1/2 cup butter, margarine, or poultry fat
• 3 raw eggs, beaten
• 3 tablespoons chopped fresh sweet marjoram or mild oregano
• 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
• 2 tablespoons chopped fresh sage
• 1 tablespoon chopped fresh winter savory
• 4 fresh or dried bay leaves, midrib and stem removed and leaves minced or crumbled
• 2 teaspoons salt
• 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
• 2 to 3 cups turkey stock (above) or bouillon
• Additional butter or margarine
1. Place pieces of French bread on a flat baking pan and bake briefly at 200 degrees Fahrenheit until partially dried. Crumble corn bread and place with French bread in a very large mixing bowl or roasting pan. Set aside.
2. Sauté celery, onion, and parsley in a large skillet. Add vegetables gradually. Cook until just wilted, then add to bread mixture and toss lightly. Beat eggs and add to mixture with the seasonings. Moisten with hot stock until mixture is softened.
3. Stuff cleaned turkey or other bird, filling cavity lightly, and truss with clean kitchen string. Alternatively, or if you have leftover stuffing, pour the mixture into a large, buttered baking dish; dot with additional butter or margarine. Moisten with more stock until rather wet. It is often best to divide dressing into two or more smaller pans so it will cook faster and more evenly. Enough for a 12-pound turkey or two 9-by-12-inch dishes.
Madalene Hill and Gwen Barclay of Cleveland, Texas, are veteran herb growers and cooks. Some of the recipes in this article are adapted from their classic book, Southern Herb Growing (Fredericksburg, Texas: Shearer Publishing, 1987).
Read about cooking tips for seasonal stuffing dishes: Cooking Tips for Holiday Herb Stuffing Recipes.
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