My mom used to make this every Thanksgiving for my dad. As a child, I peeled the crusts from store-bought bread, buttered each slice, sprinkled seasonings over top, and then helped tear up the pieces. When Dane and Jessi were little I had them do the same.
Over the years my method evolved, I began using my own homemade Bread From Heaven, and then variations were created. The one constant is this… Thanksgiving is absolutely not Thanksgiving until this dressing is on the table.
Miss you, Dad! Always.
|WHAT YOU NEED||WHAT TO DO||WHY|
|1 pound bakery-style bread, such as Bread From Heaven, cubed||Spread evenly on a quarter sheet pan. Set aside.
Tip: Slice bread to 1/2 inch. Cube slices to 1/2 inch.
|Bakery-style bread gives good body to this dressing.|
|Position an oven rack just below center; preheat to 350°F “Convection” (verify with an oven thermometer).||Ovens often run hot or cold, or preheat slowly.|
|1/2 cup (2 1/2 ounces) finely diced white or yellow onion||Set aside.
Tip: With onion on its side, cut off and discard both ends. Cut in half from pole to pole, peel off any dry/tough layers; discard. Place cut sides down and slice to 1/8 inch, holding the pieces together as you work. Cut across slices to dice.
|Holding slices together reduces exposure to eye-irritants.|
|1/2 cup (2 ounces) finely diced celery||Set aside.
Tip: Rinse celery; cut off light colored bottoms and leafy tops. Cut lengthwise into 1/8-inch strips; cut across strips to finely dice.
|Celery flavor is desired, but celery texture is not… at least, not for us!|
|2 tablespoons unsalted butter||Melt in a 1-quart tri-ply saucepan over medium heat.|
|2 teaspoons rubbed sage
1 teaspoon poultry seasoning
3/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
3/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 cup chicken broth
|Add seasonings and prepared vegetables to butter. Sweat onion, stirring occasionally with a bamboo spatula, until tender and translucent (3-4 minutes). Add broth, stir, and bring to the boil over high heat.
Remove from heat to drizzle evenly over bread cubes, lightly tossing as you go with your hands. Add additional broth, if a very moist dressing is desired.
|A bamboo spatula’s edge offers good coverage and is gentle on cookware.|
|1/2 cup chopped raisins, or dried cranberries, or peeled and diced Granny Smith apple||Distribute over bread, cover tightly with aluminum foil and bake 30 minutes.
Tip: Place apples stem ends down; cut in half with a chef’s knife. Place cut sides down; cut in half from stem to blossom end. Core each quarter and peel. Place quarters cut sides down; cut into 1/8-inch slices, holding the slices together as you work. Cut slices every 1/8-inch (like very thin French fries); cut across slices to dice.
|Chopping discourages the dried fruit from swelling.
Covering holds in steam.
|Remove foil and continue baking until top has crispy edges (12-15 minutes). Transfer to a serving dish, or arrange decoratively around the turkey.|