Thanksgiving was always a BIG holiday in our family. Our house was filled with family, good food and even better stories. There was always a pot of chicken soup on the stove (get that recipe here) and plenty of my family’s signature stuffing.
A Thanksgiving Tradition
My Dad was very involved in the Detroit Thanksgiving Day parade and would go downtown in the middle of the night to help get the parade set up. He was always in it, along with a host of cousins, carrying giant balloons or dressed as clowns. As I got older I got to go with him and even ride on a float. We would then race home to squish the stuffing before heading to the Lions game. My mom would have all the ingredients prepped so the master could come and do his work. My Dad knew that the squish was the secret to a great stuffing and it was a job we all took very seriously.
This stuffing is quite easy to put together but takes some planning and preparation. Buy your bread a week ahead of time and cut open the loafs. I highly recommend using Wonder white bread but any loaf will work.
Fluff them so that the bread can dry out a little bit before you trim the crust and cube it. Once it’s trimmed and cubed, lay it out for a couple days, yes a couple days, to harden. This is a crucial step. Bread that isn’t hard enough won’t absorb all the flavors your are about to squeeze into it.
When you are ready to assemble, it’s helpful to have everything on the counter and staged so that you can easily grab it to add it. Your hands will be a mess. You can make this stuffing the day before or the morning of your feast.
My Mom would always use this gadget to peel/core/slice her apples and it saves so much time.
The Stuffing Squish
Start with half of the bread and half of all the other ingredients. Be careful to not put any hot butter or water on the eggs to avoid cooking them. Sprinkle the top with salt/pepper and a dusting of ground sage.
Let the squishing begin. Once it’s worked through well, add the rest of the ingredients and another sprinkle of salt/petter and a generous dusting of ground sage. I have cut down on the amount of butter that was traditionally used and add very hot water in it’s place. It’s important to make sure that there are no dry bread pieces. Don’t go overboard with the water though, you don’t want it runny.
At this point, my Dad would always do a taste test but I wouldn’t recommend it given the raw egg. He was very particular about how much sage was used and swore this was the best way to tell. Personally, I think he was just hungry.
You can use the stuffing in the turkey pan or you can transfer to buttered pans and pop them in the over along with your bird. If you are cooking them alone, then give them plenty of time to cook through and take the foil off to get the top nice and golden brown.
- 3 loaves white bread crusts removed, cubed
- 2 apples red delicious pealed, cored and diced
- 3 apples macintosh or gala pealed, cored and diced
- 8 eggs
- 2 sticks butter melted
- 1 cup hot water as needed
- 8 oz chicken stock
- 1 large yellow onion diced
- 1 stalk celery diced
- 1 tsp ground sage
- 2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp pepper
Allow bread to dry out for a couple days.
Combine half of all ingredients (except water) and squish together
Add remaining ingredients and water (as needed), squish together to mix well.
Transfer to turkey pan or buttered loaf pans. Bake at 400 for 45 minutes covered. Remove foil for the last 10 minutes to get a golden crust.