My Favorite Bread Stuffing
This classic stuffing is based on a wonderful recipe by James Beard. Feel free to use whole-grain bread for more flavor. If you want to stuff a bird, plan on roasting the turkey about 30 minutes longer, and cook until the stuffing registers between 155° and 165°F on an instant-read thermometer.
Makes: About 6 cups (enough for an 8-inch pan)
Time: 20 minutes, plus time to bake
1 ⁄ 2 pound (2 sticks) butter, plus more for the pan
1 onion, chopped
1 ⁄ 2 cup pine nuts or chopped walnuts
6 to 8 cups fresh bread crumbs (see below)
1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage or 1 teaspoon dried sage
1 ⁄ 2 cup chopped scallions
Salt and pepper
1 ⁄ 2 cup chopped fresh parsley leaves
1 cup chicken or vegetable stock, or as needed
1. Heat the oven to 350°F. Grease an ovenproof glass or enamel baking dish. Put the butter in a large skillet or pot over medium heat. When it has melted, add the onion and cook, stirring, until it softens, about 5 minutes. Add the nuts and cook, stirring almost constantly, until they begin to brown, about 3 minutes.
2. Add the bread crumbs and sage and toss to mix. Turn the heat down to low. Add the scallions and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Toss again; taste and adjust the seasoning. Stir in the parsley. Turn off the heat. Add the stock a little at a time and stir until the mixture has the consistency of streusel and sticks together when you pinch it. (At this point, you can refrigerate the stuffing, well wrapped or in a covered container, for up to a day before proceeding.)
3. Transfer the stuffing to the prepared dish and bake until golden on top and cooked through, about 45 minutes. (Or you can cook it up to 3 days in advance and just warm it up right before dinner.)
How To Make Fresh Bread Crumbs
To make 6 to 8 cups of bread crumbs (enough for the recipe above), start with about 16 ounces good-quality bread, preferably a day or 2 old. Tear the bread into pieces and put about a quarter of it in a food processor. Pulse a few times, then let the machine run for a few seconds until coarsely chopped. Remove and repeat three more times with the remaining bread. Use immediately or store in an airtight container for up to a month.