You know how your oven is always STUFFED on Thanksgiving? The turkey takes up most of the space, but then there’s stuffing, a tray of rolls, green bean casserole … candied yams, for those of you who believe in making dessert out of a vegetable … haha 🙂 Can you tell I’m not a fan of sugared-up yams? Butter. Just give me butter. Anyway, I have a solution for you. Move your stuffing to the crock pot. Not only will it NOT suffer, I actually think it tastes considerably better when it’s been slow cookin’ all day. We had our Thanksgiving two days early, because we’re heading down to Dave’s parents’ house tomorrow. Here’s how I made crock pot stuffing (I’m giving you my very private, no-fail, let’s-just-keep-this-between-you-and-me recipe. You. And me.
First, chop up two large onions (I used regular old yellow onions), three or four stalks of celery, and one Granny Smith apple. Okay. This is not a Granny Smith. But that’s because we are snowed in and the Granny Smiths are in the trunk of the car way, way, way up on the hill (where we moved it so that we could drive away in case of emergency), and I do NOT feel like walking up there to retrieve one apple, and I happen to have one very nice Braeburn apple sitting in my fruit bowl. But let’s pretend that this is a picture of a nicely chopped Granny Smith.
Spread all those chopped veggies in your favorite big pan (I use a 12″ cast iron … do you like cast iron?) and add 2 cubes of butter. You might be balking at that, but I actually cut one cube from the recipe this year just to see what happened. So be thankful. 🙂 Cook and stir until everything is wonderfully brown and fragrant. Then add about 1 TBSP poultry seasoning, 1-2 tsp dried rosemary, 1 TBSP dried parsley, 2 TBSP minced garlic, 1-2 TBSP scoop-able chicken bouillon (I get mine at Costco. It’s called “Better Than Bouillon” and I cannot imagine not having it in my fridge), and 1/3 cup white wine. Alternatively, you could add water, milk, or chicken broth. Stir this together and cook for a few minutes more. Then, if you have one ENORMOUS bowl, get that out and set it on your counter. Otherwise, if you’re like me, you have to pull out two PRETTY BIG bowls. Into the bowl(s), add 3 – 12 oz bags of bread stuffing. Now, normally, I buy 12 oz boxes/bags at my regular grocery store. But this year, I bought one giant box at Costco, which contained 3 – 16 oz bags. So I just opened two and dumped one in each bowl. I figured we won’t miss the extra four oz of bread crumbs. (Go with your instinct. There’s nothing wrong with experimenting.) On top of those bread crumbs, pour your onion/celery/apple mixture evenly and mix. Now, you want to brown one 12 oz tube of Jimmy Dean’s sausage. Over the years, I’ve tried sage, maple, and regular. All are great. I can’t help you here. Once the sausage is browned and chopped into small bits, spoon it over the mixture in your bowl(s). While you’re at it, beat two eggs and add those to the mix. Now open 3 cans of chicken broth. You might not use it all. You want to moisten your stuffing to the point where it’s not dry, but it’s not soggy. Only you can make that determination. Stir and mix and stir and mix until it’s all just the way you like it. Here’s what mine looked like at that point:
And now, if you have time, let it rest for awhile. Overnight in the fridge is ideal, but if you don’t have time, don’t worry about it. It will still be delicious. Spray Pam all over your crock pot, ladle this crazy-delicious mixture into it, and set it to “low.” Check on it every hour or so and give it a swirl if you feel like it. Depending on its moistness, you can leave it in there for three hours or six hours … you just have to check on it now and then and decide how it’s doing. This is my favorite stuffing recipe, borne out of years of trial and error. And it makes a hefty amount. I had enough to stuff the turkey (both ends) AND fill my crock pot. Enjoy! 🙂