My Mother’s Aunt Annie was an amazing cook and her stuffing has been on our Thanksgiving Table every year of my life. This is a dish that is never, ever left off of our menu. Even this year when it was only my mother and I, we made a 1/2 recipe. I eat it for breakfast for days after and love a runny egg on top. Just thinking about it now makes me hungry even though I just ate a turkey sandwich, haha!
Some people don’t like stuffing and from what I understand this is often because it comes out dry. I’ve read that people struggle to make their stuffing moist, but this has never happened with Aunt Annie’s recipe because it’s really a savory bread pudding, made with a custard. This is our version adapted from Aunt Annie:
Aunt Annie’s Stuffing (Nonna’s version)
Makes a 10×10 square casserole dish
1/2 loaf Whole Foods Organic White Sandwich Bread (5-6 cups cubes)
1/2 loaf Whole Foods Organic Wheat Sandwich Bread (5-6 cups cubes)
1/4 tsp black pepper, ground
1 tsp fennel seeds
1 tsp Aleppo pepper flakes
1-1/2 tsp dried sage
1/4 cup butter (add more if needed when cooking veggies)
1-1/2 cups sliced celery
2 cups large dice onions
2 Tbsp minced fresh sage
2-3 Tbsp minced fresh parsley
1 tsp chopped fresh thyme
3 organic pastured eggs
1-1/2 cups milk
1 cup turkey broth
Three days before Thanksgiving, cut bread into cubes and allow to dry (takes about 48 hours) in roaster pan lid in cold oven. You want to allow a good amount of room for the air to reach each cube.
The day before Thanksgiving, brown the sausage sprinkling with black pepper, salt to taste, Aleppo pepper flakes, fennel seeds and dried sage. Remove from pan and set aside. Wipe out pan.
Sauté celery and onions in butter until soft and translucent. Set aside and allow the vegetables to cool completely. Mix together the cooled veggies, bread cubes, sausage, and seasonings of sage, parsley, thyme, salt and pepper. This can sit again covered in the refrigerator over night at this stage or you can mix in the custard, cover and refrigerate in the casserole as well.
Beat 3 eggs with milk and 1 cup turkey broth; add to bread and stir to ensure that bread is thoroughly “wet”. Place in a buttered casserole dish.
Remove from the refrigerator a half hour before you plan on baking the stuffing. While the turkey is resting, cook the stuffing. Cover with foil and bake at 350° F for 20-25 minutes. Remove foil and bake another 15-20 minutes.