- 1/4 lb. (1/2 cup) unsalted butter
- 3 cups chopped onion
- 2-1/2 cups chopped celery, including leaves
- 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
- 1-1/2 Tbs. chopped fresh sage or 1-1/2 tsp. dried
- 1-1/2 Tbs. chopped fresh thyme or 1-1/2 tsp. dried
- 2 tsp. celery seeds
- Pinch of grated nutmeg
- Pinch of ground cloves
- 1 tsp. kosher salt
- 1-lb. loaf good-quality white bread, cut into 1/2-inch cubes (10 to 12 cups), stale or lightly toasted
- 1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 cup homemade or low-salt chicken broth, milk, or dry white wine
- Turkey stock or homemade or low-salt chicken broth as needed
In a large skillet over medium heat, melt half of the butter. Add the onion, celery, garlic, sage, thyme, celery seeds, nutmeg, cloves, and salt. Cook, covered, until the onion is soft, 5 to 7 minutes. Remove from the heat. In a large bowl, toss the sautéed vegetables with the bread cubes. Season with pepper. Melt the remaining butter. Pour it over the stuffing, along with the broth (or milk or wine), and toss to coat. The stuffing should just hold together when mounded on a spoon.
If cooking in a turkey, put the stuffing in the bird just before roasting. Pack the stuffing loosely, leaving enough room to fit your whole extended hand into the bird’s cavity. Cook the stuffing in the bird to 160º to 165ºF, checking with an instant-read thermometer. If the bird is done before the stuffing is, take the bird out of the oven, spoon the stuffing into a casserole dish, and continue to bake it while the turkey rests.
If baking some or all of the stuffing in a casserole, pour a cup or two of stock over the stuffing to replace the juices the stuffing would have absorbed from the bird. Bake it covered until heated through, 45 minutes to 1 hour. For a crunchy top, uncover it for the last 15 minutes of baking.