Sunday, December 4, 2011

Grandma Hall's Bread Stuffing

Everyone seems to have a family tradition for making turkey stuffing, including us.

I use a simple bread stuffing recipe from my Grandma Hall.  I have to cut the recipe in third.  She cooked for a big crowd.

The title of her recipe says From Brazil - Thanksgiving Dinner, Dressing for 18.  The Brazil part is a mystery.  Maybe Grandma sent us the recipe when they were living in Brazil in the 60's?  (If anyone in the family remembers, please let me know!)

Anyway,  here's how to make Grandma Hall's bread stuffing.

Grandma Hall's Bread Stuffing
Dressing for 18

20 c. bread cut up
3 c. onion
3 c. celery
2 heaping Tbsp. sage
1 Tbsp. salt
1 Tbsp. pepper
6 cups chicken stock
8 whole eggs beaten
1 1/2 sticks butter

Buy the loaves of bread far in advance of Thanksgiving so they aren't fresh and soft.  You want stiff, dry bread.
I usually lay out the bread the night before, on top of the stove grill, so air can circulate around the slices and dry them out.  You could also toast them on a cookie sheet in a very low oven in a pinch.

I buy two loaves of potato bread.

Then on Thanksgiving morning, I pull out the roasting pan and cover, and pile up the hard bread, make my way to the TV 

to watch the Macy's Thanksgiving's Day parade while I pinch them up in to bite size pieces.   This year our 4 year old granddaughter, Grace, helped me break up the bread.

It is important to make them bite-size.  Don't get lazy.  Pinch, pinch, pinch.
When it is time to get the turkey ready, then start to make your stuffing.  Not too far in advance. 
Chop up the onions, and the celery.  You can saute them until soft, if you wish, but usually I don't because I am in a hurry to get the turkey in the oven.
Melt the butter and let it cool.
Whisk the eggs together.
Open the can(s) of chicken broth.
Get everything ready to assemble before you start.
Add the onions, celery, and sage to the brown and toss thoroughly.  Salt and pepper.  If you are short on celery, you can add celery seed, too.
Add the wet ingredients next.  
Use two spatulas to toss and coat until moist but not wet. One can of broth is usually enough, but have more on hand if needed.
LOOSELY stuff the turkey with the dressing.  Be sure to salt the cavities of the turkey beforehand.   
Cover with aluminum foil and grease up the turkey with olive oil or butter.  Salt and pepper it well.  (Slide some fresh herbs and butter under the skin, beforehand, too.)
Put the remaining stuffing into a separate casserole (2 quart).  Make sure it is wet enough.  I usally add about 1/2 can more of broth.  Cover tightly and bake for an hour at 350 degrees.
If you aren't going to bake the stuffing right away, be sure to refrigerate it until you do, due to the raw eggs.

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