This is more or less the dressing of my childhood. I love, love, love stuffing or dressing. You can keep the turkey, but keep the dressing coming. This is herby and oniony and just plain wonderful…it wreaks of the holidays. This dressing is also absolutely exquisite with some oysters pushed down into the mixture. I’ve also used smoked oysters, which add both the oyster flavor and some smoke. Either option is delicious.
Make certain to toast the bread cubes. Toasting adds another dimension of flavor to finished product. I also prefer to use different kinds of bread—this mixture was a mixture of challah, Cuban bread and sour dough.
I added a diced sautéed parsnip and some shredded carrots for both flavor and color. I use either leeks or onions in abundance. Leeks are my preference. And some diced celery, along with some of the leaves. Add plenty of fresh herbs like rosemary, thyme, sage and parsley.
I add the smaller amount of the broth; toss and add additional broth as needed. The bread should be moist, but not soupy or soggy. Let the mixture stand for a few minutes while you make the browned butter.
Brown butter is simply butter that has been melted, and heated until the milk solids brown. This gives the final product a lovely nutty flavor. You can make an entire pound of butter into brown butter, pour it into a jar and refrigerate. Then, it just there for the using and use it you will. It’s nice stuff.
I baked this in a buttered skillet and drizzled that nice, brown butter over the whole thing. It occurred to me to do this after I read a blog by a friend of The Unbound Reader. It’s a good site, with good recipes. The blog is called Today I Cooked.
Bread Stuffing with Leeks, Celery and Herbs with a Browned Butter Drizzle
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 medium-sized parsnip, peeled and diced
- 1 1/2 cups sliced leeks
- 1-2 celery ribs, chopped (I include as many leaves as possible)
- 1 carrot, shredded
- 8 cups cubed bread, toasted and dried in the oven
- 2 tablespoons dried parsley flakes (or 1/4 cup fresh chopped parsley)
- 2 teaspoons dried rubbed sage leaves
- 2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves (lemon thyme is exceedingly nice)
- 1 teaspoon fresh rosemary leaves, coarsely chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon herbes de Provence
- 1 1/2-2 cups turkey or chicken broth, as needed
- 1/2 cup chopped toasted pecans
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
Place the toasted bread cubes in a large bowl; set aside.
In a big skillet, melt the oil and butter over medium heat; add in the parsnip cubes. Sauté until they brown slightly, about 3 minutes. Add the leeks, celery, and celery leaves. Cook, stirring often, until the leeks are golden, about 3 minutes.
Scrape the vegetable mixture into the bowl with the bread cubes. Add the shredded carrots, the herbs and pepper.
Gradually stir in about 1 cup of the broth. Toss and add additional broth, until the stuffing is evenly moistened but not soggy.
In a small shiny saucepan, heat the butter until melted. Continue to cook until the butter browns. Be very careful that the butter doesn’t burn. Set aside when browned.
Transfer stuffing to a skillet and buttered casserole dish; sprinkle with the pecans and drizzle with the browned butter. Cover, with foil and bake in a preheated 325°F oven for 30 minutes. Remove foil and continue to bake for 20-30 minutes. Let stand for at least 10 minutes before serving.
Make ahead: Can be made at least 1 day ahead. Reheat for 15 minutes before serving.
NOTE: Add 8 ounces of fresh oysters, if you wish (and you should wish to!). One small can of smoked oysters, drained, can be added instead of the fresh ones. Feel free to add quartered sautéed mushrooms, diced water chestnuts, and/or diced apples or pears.
Bread Stuffing with Leeks, Celery and Herbs with a Browned Butter Drizzle Recipe©Marcia Lahens 2016. All rights reserved.
We enjoyed this with a Pork Tenderloin Wrapped in Bacon, but it’s great with turkey, too.
Just a quick note. I never actually stuff the turkey. I prefer to bake it separately, because you have no issue with bacteria and frankly, you can never get enough into the turkey. I want more. Life is good and it’s Thanksgiving. Enjoy!