Although we didn't have a bird, we did have dressing. Where I come from in southern Indiana, stuffing is prepared in the bird, dressing is prepared and baked in a pan independent from the bird. Myself, I prefer the outside the bird method because I like all the crispy edges you get.
This is my mom's recipe, with a few minor adjustments. Yep, can't leave a recipe alone, I have to tweak it just a bit.
You need to plan a bit ahead of time to dry the bread for this recipe. I've never used croutons because I just don't see the need of trying to soften up rock hard bread cubes. It's more inexpensive to dry your own bread anyway.
For this recipe you will need 2 loaves of white bread. If you have time to poke holes in the bag and let it set and dry out, that's great. If not, tear the pieces into hunks and let the bread set out overnight on a couple of cookie sheets or into a warm oven after baking your holiday pie. If you prefer to make a 9x9 pan, just half the ingredients. The bake time will be the same.
2 bag of white bread torn into pieces and dried
1/4 stick of butter
1 large onion diced
1 cup celery
2 Tablespoons fresh sage (I am a sage fan, you may want to use less)
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
5 cups of low sodium chicken broth
4 eggs slightly beaten
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.
Butter a 9x13 baking dish and set aside.
Place the dried bread into a large (and I mean large) mixing bowl.
In a skillet, melt the butter.
Add in the diced onion and celery and saute, stirring frequently until vegetables are tender.
Pour the mixture into the bowl with the bread.
Add the salt, pepper and chopped fresh sage.
Add two thirds of the broth, stirring and mixing well. Stir in remaining broth and the beaten eggs.
Stir until well mixed. Clean hands do a wonderful job of mixing at this stage.
Taste the dressing and adjust the seasonings.
Pour the dressing into the prepared baking dish and distribute evenly.
Bake for 60 minutes and serve hot from the oven.
....and that's What's Cooking at Cathy's ~ Enjoy!