Bread stuffing with fresh herbs
fine cooking oct/nov 2009 pg33
- 1 lb. crusty Italian or French bread, art into 1/2-inch cubes (10 to 12 cups)
- 2 oz. (4 Tbs.) unsalted butter; more for the pan
- 2 medium-large yellow onions, cut into medium dice
- 2 medium celery stalks (or 3 celery heart stalks), cut into medium dice ,3/4 cup)
- 2 to 3 cups lower-salt chicken broth
- 1/3 cup finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
- 1 Tbs. finely chopped fresh sage
- 1 Tbs. finely chopped fresh thyme
- 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Spread the bread cubes in a single layer - a large rimmed baking sheet. Let dry overnight.
Position a rack in the centre of the oven and heat the oven to 400°F. Bake the bread cubes until light golden-brown, 12 to 15 minutes.
Heat the butter in a 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onions and celery and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft but not browned, 6 to 8 minutes. Let cool. (The recipe may be prepared to this point up to 6 hours ahead.)
In a large bowl, mix the bread cubes with the cooked vegetables, 2 cups of the broth, the parsley, sage, thyme, eggs, 3/4 tsp. salt. and 1/2 tsp. pepper. If the liquid isn't immediately absorbed by the bread, toss occasionally for a few minutes until it is. If the liquid is immediately absorbed, toss in another 1/2 cup broth. The bread should be moist but not soggy. If necessary, add the remaining 1/2 cup broth.
Butter a 3-quart baking dish (13x9-inch works well). Transfer the bread mixture to the dish, cover with foil. and bake at 400°F until heated through, 25 to 30 minutes. Remove the foil and continue to bake until the top is slightly browned and crusty, about 20 minutes more.