That one small step can elevate your stuffing to the next level!
Not many of us are able to crack a particularly complicated recipe in the first go, it takes some trial and error, and Ina Garten is no exception to it. After several permutations and combinations, the Barefoot Contessa star has finally managed to crack the one secret that makes all the difference for her delicious Thanksgiving side, and she has now chosen to share it with the world.
Garten first cuts bread into cubes, which she spreads in a single layer on a baking sheet. She then bakes it in a 300 degree Fahrenheit oven for seven minutes. “You can certainly make bread stuffing with fresh bread but I like to take a French boule, one of those round breads, cut it in big 1 inch cubes and then toast it … and what it does is it crisps it and it dries it out a little bit. And then it’ll absorb all the gorgeous flavors of the apples and the onions.”
Next, she melts butter in a large saute pan and adds onions, celery, apples, parsley, salt, and pepper. “I have lots of chunky flavorful things in the stuffing,” she explains. She then cooks the mixture over medium heat for 10 minutes, “until the apples are tender and delicious.”
In a big bowl, she combines the bread cubes with the mixture. Now, the next step is what actually creates the magic. She tried using several different brands of sausage to get the recipe just right. Her trick is using a blend that provides some spiciness and sweetness. “So for the sausage, I tried a few different things,” she explains. “I first started with chicken sausage and basil. Sounds good, right? It was so boring—it was just terrible. And then I started with spicy sausages, like Italian sausage. It was too spicy.”
“So I finally figured out that a combination of spicy and sweet Italian sausage was the perfect blend,” she explains. “It’s really up to you whether you want more spicy or more sweet.” She cooks the sausages in a pan for 10 minutes, over medium heat, and uses a fork to break the meat into smaller pieces. “But it’s really good,” Garten notes. “The sausage and the bread crumbs and the apples and onions—it’s just a great combination.”
Garten adds the cooked sausage to the bowl which has the bread cubes and the mixture and pours in chicken stock. She also adds cranberries and mixes everything together, which she then pours into a 9 by 12-inch baking dish, and bakes the stuffing for 30 minutes.
She also shared another tip. Garten shared that she gets the best results when she doesn’t put stuffing in the turkey. “In the past, when I used to make a whole turkey, I would put the stuffing inside and I had to cook the turkey forever in order for the stuffing to cook,” she explained. “And so, of course, the turkey was dry. Not a good idea. So I found if I made the stuffing separately, I had really moist turkey and a big pan of stuffing that was moist and delicious and crispy and crusty on the outside. Now that’s good stuffing.”
When are you going to try this?
Cover Image Source: Getty Images | Photo by Brad Barke