If you love the taste of butter, this highly unusual stuffing is for you
2-pound loaf white bread, sliced
1/2-pound loaf whole wheat bread, sliced
1 1/2 pounds unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups chopped celery
2 cups chopped onions
1 cup peeled and chopped apple
3 cups chicken stock, turkey stock, or water
8 sprigs of fresh thyme
30 sage leaves, stems removed and the leaves cut into thin strips
1 cup dark raisins
2 tablespoons salt
10 to 12 turns of freshly ground pepper
1. The night before cooking, spread all the bread out in a single layer on sheet pans or towels and allow to dry out overnight.
2. The next morning, in a large bowl break the bread into coarse 11/2-inch pieces. (Don't worry about being precise.)
3. Melt the butter in a large saucepan over low heat, making sure not to burn it. Add the celery, onions, and apple, and cook over low heat for 5 minutes. Add the stock or water. Increase the heat to moderate and bring to a boil. Turn off the heat and allow to cool for 3 minutes.
4. Pour the mixture over the bread. Remove the leaves from the thyme sprigs, and add the leaves to the bread mixture. Add the sage to the bread mixture. Add the raisins, salt, and pepper, and mix well.
5. Either stuff a 14- to 16-pound turkey with the mixture and roast immediately, or put the mixture in a large roasting pan and cover with foil. If baking separately, bake the stuffing in a 375 degree oven, covered, for 30 minutes. Remove foil, bake for another 30 minutes, and serve alongside roast turkey.
We like to cook this stuffing, in particular, outside of the bird, in a separate pan; the chunks of bread achieve a crunchy, chewy texture that way. In fact, the dish seems more like a delicious bread pudding than a stuffing. The amount of butter in the recipe may raise an eyebrow or two -- but at holiday time, who's counting? Amazingly, the dish ends up tasting intensely buttery without being greasy. If you love the taste of butter, this highly unusual stuffing is for you. Makes enough stuffing for a 14 to 16-pound turkey