Thanksgiving is going to be big for me this year. It’s the first year I cook a turkey solo. Sam and I will be visiting family in Florida, and as much as I would like to think I’ll be sipping a margarita poolside between meals, I’m more likely to be calling the fire department on a turkey gone wrong. Whole birds are not my strong suit. Regardless, I’m always most excited about the side dishes. Even if the turkey is a bust, we will have delicious Apple and Onion Stuffing and my favorite sour cream mashed potatoes to fill us up. Let’s get real, the sides are the best part anyways.
This stuffing is actually vastly different than what I grew up with. My grandpa made a more Cajun version of stuffing with rice, sausage and chiles that couldn’t be beat. This is the same man that starts prepping the turkey at 4:00 am and sneaks into our house to put it in the oven before anyone is awake. He’s legendary. So rather than try to outdo something that’s already perfect, I took a different route and made a lovely classic stuffing with bits of herbs and sweet apples. It’s the perfect accompaniment to your turkey and even for a weeknight side to a pork loin dinner. Let’s not confine stuffing to just one day.
The apples are such a nice crunchy surprise, and they’re the perfect way to dress up an otherwise boring stuffing.
Here’s the thing, it’s gonna get soggy. But if you dried out the bread cubes (which I totally didn’t do for long enough) it will be the perfect texture! Good stuffing takes a little forethought, so make sure you dry out your bread cubes. If you don’t have time, I’ve used pepperidge farm stuffing mix and it’s almost as good.
Look how deliciously baked those apple bits are! Love this recipe. See the full recipe below and let me know what you think!
APPLE AND ONION STUFFING
Adapted from Food52
1 loaf of ciabatta (10 ounces) cut into 1 inch cubes, set out to get stale for two days
(if you don’t have the time, you may substitute 8 cups of Pepperidge farm stuffing mix)
4 apples, skin on, cored
2 yellow or white onions
2 celery stalks
3 tbsp. butter plus 1 tbsp for greasing
1 sprig thyme
3 sage leaves
1 sprig of rosemary
2 cups vegetable stock
4 tbsp. melted butter
salt and pepper to taste
Get a loaf of ciabatta or crusty bread and dice into one inch cubes. Let it sit out for two days until thoroughly stale. If you don’t have time, 8 cups of pepperidge farm stuffing mix works great!
Preheat the oven to 350 F.
Dice the apples into 1/2 inch cubes, dice the onion, and thinly slice the celery crosswise. Remove the stems from the rosemary and thyme. Roughly chop the sage, rosemary, and thyme. In a large sauté pan, add the 3 tbsp butter over medium heat. Add the onion, celery and apples with the herbs and saute for about 10 minutes, until the onion is translucent. Remove from heat. Mix in the bread cubes.
Butter a 9×14 inch dish. Pour the vegetable and bread mixture into the dish. Add the melted butter and vegetable stock with a pinch of salt and pepper. Mix together. Cover with foil and bake for 35 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for another 15 minutes. Serve hot.