Ollie's Savory Stuffing for Turkey

Stuffed Turkeys Ready to Eat
I've been making stuffing for the Thanksgiving and Christmas turkeys for so many years that I don't have a recipe. I don't know amounts of each ingredient, I just go by feel and by how it looks.

But my daughters-in-law keep asking me for my "recipe" for stuffing so I figured I better write it out as best I can and hope I've got the proportions right!

Start Gathering Your Stuffing Ingredients

Bread cubes
First I start with a loaf of white bread. Sometimes I mix white and brown (wheat) bread together as in this photo on the left.

Cut the bread into cubes. Don't buy the horrid stale bread they sell specifically for stuffing! Use nice fresh bread and cut it yourself. Then you're going to add the spices and herbes and extras you like.

Saute onions, celeryand innards in lots of butter
I like to make extra stuffing because that is what goes first on my Christmas buffet table. So I use two loaves of bread. But if you are just stuffing the bird, one loaf is more than enough.

All the chopped bread cubes go into the biggest bowl you have. You need room to add more ingredients and room to toss and mix it all well.

Here is what I like to add:

* finely chopped sauteed onion - at least one onion, two if you like more

* chopped sauteed celery - a couple of stalks, it's your choice how much to add

*chopped mushrooms - I chop mine very fine as my son doesn't like mushrooms so I have to disguise them. Don't saute these, you just add them to the bread cubes

Fresh Sage Mmmmmmm

* fresh sage which you chop fine. You can use sage which you have dried, just crumble it into pieces. I hate the powdered sage you buy in stores and never use it so I can't tell you how much you need if that's what you choose to use. For fresh or dried from fresh, I use about 2 heaping teaspoons for each loaf of bread

This is how I measure. No, that is not my hand, it belongs to hubs!

* finely chopped innards. I use a wee bit of the heart, liver and kidney that come in the little envelope inside the bird. I chop it really fine as my son has a phobia about eating those organ meats if he knows it's in the stuffing but if he can't see the pieces he doesn't realize I used them and loves the final product. I don't use more than one teaspoon of innards for every loaf of bread

Mixing everything together

* salt, pepper to taste

* some poultry seasoning (a couple of tablespoons)

* butter, about 1/4 cup melted

* chicken bouillion cube added to 1/2 cup of water (you have to add enough liquid to the bread mixture to make a semi-moist stuffing. It can't be too wet or too dry and I'm afraid I can only advise you to feel the mix as you are adding the liquid to be sure it's just right)

* 1/2 cup white wine (this might be too much, it's the same deal as the water, you must add a total of liquid that makes a semi-moist stuffing)

* fine herbes, about 2 tsp. per loaf of bread

Stuffing Bird Cavities
You mix this well, then start stuffing it into the bird's cavities. Don't pack it down tight, let it stay a bit loose. When done, put your turkey breast side up in a roasting pan, cover loosely with foil and cook 20 minutes per pound in a 350' oven. Be sure to remove the foil and slice where the leg joins the body about 30 minutes before your time is up.

If you have extra stuffing that won't fit in the bird (and I always plan on this on purpose as my family loves stuffing) here is how you cook it:

Layer extra strong tin foil or 3 pieces of tin foil in a casserole dish. Add more liquid to the leftover stuffing.  You need liquid as this isn't in the bird so is not getting all the lovely juices to keep it moist. The liquid can be chicken stock or wine or... your choice, just make sure it has a bit of flavor.

Put the neck of the turkey into this mix and push it down so it's covered. It will help add flavour and some moisture to the stuffing as it bakes. Seal the tin foil well and put a lid on the casserole dish. Then pop it into a 350' oven for about one hour. 

You can also cook the extra stuffing in a slow cooker but that's a bit trickier as the stuffing tends to get crispy on the edges. If you don't mind crispy, then go for it.


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