The holidays are quickly approaching. And so, it’s time to talk about gravy. In my early experiences with gravy, both my grandmother and my mama (and likely their grandmother and mama) would take a sauce pot of boiling stock and thicken it with a slurry or mixture of milk and flour. The flavor wasn’t as full as it could be and lumps were an issue — not that I’m complaining because the lumps reminded me of mini dumplings. I like dumplings.
This is my momma’s stuffing recipe. Though she tried various additions over her many decades of making it (mushrooms, oysters, etc.), this was her ultimate recipe that always made it to the Thanksgiving table year after year. Although admittedly biased, I just can’t imagine a stuffing recipe that tops either my mom’s or grandma’s.
1 box Uncle Ben’s Original Recipe Long Grain and Wild Rice
1 12-ounce bag Pepperidge Farm stuffing cubes
4 Tablespoons butter
1 large onion, finely diced
3 stalks celery, finely diced
1 teaspoon poultry seasoning
Salt and pepper to taste
2 cups poultry stock (or broth)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 8×8 baking dish with nonstick spray.
- Cook rice according to package directions.
- Using a 12-inch skillet over medium heat, melt butter. Add onion and celery, cooking until onion is translucent and begins to brown.
- Pour stuffing cubes into a large mixing bowl. Add rice, onion-celery mixture, poultry seasoning, salt, pepper, and stock. Mix together well.
- Place stuffing into the baking dish, cover with aluminum foil, and bake for 30 minutes.
One Thanksgiving about 10 years ago in my misguided youth, I was intent on creating a delicious and overly complicated stuffing. I can’t remember the exact ingredients (pancetta, fresh herbs, chestnuts, and load of other items since forgotten. Prunes, I think…). It was a recipe that was both needlessly complicated and expensive. The result was good, but not great. It then occurred to me: some things don’t need to be complicated to be great. Take my grandma’s stuffing for instance. It uses a handful of ingredients you probably already have on hand. It is buttery, moist, and simply seasoned. It’s also one of my all-time favorites — both because it’s her recipe and because it’s just plain good.
- 2 pounds bread
- 2 cups milk
- 6 eggs
- 8 Tablespoons butter, melted
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Spray 9x13 baking dish with cooking spray.
- Melt butter, set aside
- Cut bread into cubes
- Using a medium bowl, beat eggs. Stir in milk, salt, and pepper. Whisk in butter.
- Add milk mixture to bread cubes. Mix thoroughly
- Place stuffing into into baking disk. Cover with foil. Bake for 45 minutes or until internal temperature reaches about 160 degrees.