Author Notes: When my family came to this country, we never had turkey or turkey stuffing. My mother decided that we would also have turkey and stuffing on Thanksgiving just like everyone else. The recipe that follows is pretty much the original recipe she came up with – of course nothing was ever written down and when I got married I asked her for her recipe for the stuffing because I planned on hosting Turkey Day at our house. Well, she told me a little of this, a little of that, etc. That’s how I started making the stuffing (actually for the last 34 years now) for our Thanksgiving Dinner – it was always a little of this and a little of that – until now. With “Food52” I felt forced to write down some of my favorite recipes and I think that’s a good thing. I hope you enjoy my mother’s stuffing as much as we have been enjoying it all of these years. One more thing, you have to like butter and giblets in order to make this stuffing. —eleonore
ounces loaf of American White Bread – cut up in cubes or just tear apart
cups Bread Stuffing Mix (any flavor will do)
pound unsalted butter – melted
large bunch of celery – cut into 1″ pieces and rinse – either steam or microwave celery until fork tender
neck, gizzard, liver from a 20 lb. turkey
large onion – peel and leave whole
salt/pepper – to taste (many pinches)
- Rinse giblets and put into 4 quart pot with 1 large onion, salt/pepper and 4-5 cups of water. Bring to boil and lower heat and let cook with cover on leaving a little opening. Cook for about 3 hours until onion falls apart and giblets are beyond fork tender. Let cool down and refrigerate over nite. I do this step on Tuesday nite.
- I continue on Wednesday. You’ll need to use a very large bowl for the mixing of the stuffing. Start by cutting up neck meat, gizzard and liver – cut into very small pieces – do not put into processor – the trick is to have small pieces in the stuffing. I usually have a problem with this step because as I’m cutting, I’m eating. Reserve the stock.
- Add the cut up white bread and the 4-5 cups of stuffing mix and mix together.
- Add cooked celery and mix.
- Slowly mix in melted butter.
- At this point add salt/pepper to taste.
- Add 8 beaten eggs and mix.
- Add some of the giblet stock and mix. You can also add more bread stuffing mix if you feel the stuffing texture is too loose or continue to add more stock and mix.
- I would recommend you check if you’ll need to add more salt/pepper. If so, add and mix.
- Now I cover the stuffing and refrigerate and stuff the 20 lb. turkey cavities on Thursday morning and roast. I found that the stuffing is far superior when cooked inside the turkey instead of a separate dish.
- I roast the turkey to about 165-170 degrees and let it rest and the turkey and stuffing comes out great. Before roasting, I also put butter, seasoning and herbs under the turkey’s skin.
- I take the stuffing out of the turkey and serve in a bowl and of course try and hide some of the stuffing from the guests so we have some for the next day.