From now 'til Thanksgiving, we'll be sharing various stuffing recipes -- all tested and taste-tested first-hand by Chow Bella contributors. On Thanksgiving Day, our "celebrity judge," New Times food critic Michele Laudig, will weigh in with her favorite of the lot.
All year, we dream about stuffing. The crunchy, onion-y Pepperidge Farms kind our mom makes, or our mother-in-law's mushy, sausage-y, Wonder Bread kind.
And yet, if you're looking for a low-fat, healthy substitute for one of Thanksgiving's most sinful dishes, we recommend giving this recipe a try. Just don't try it for a Stuffing Showdown, against the likes of Nicki's vegan, Jonathan's sausage and Wynter's bacon varieties. (And stay tuned for Cheri's cheesy family recipe tomorrow!)
We do recommend some tweaks to the recipe, which we're happy to share.
First off, don't go to the grocery store exhausted. We did, and came home with scallions instead of chives, so technically, our stuffing was just sage. Also, bread choice is key. We opted for some heavy-duty fiber-filled multi-grain bread, which made our stuffing healthy -- but dense. Next time, we'll opt for a milder version as a compromise between health and taste.
Health be damned, you're going to have to use a little more olive oil than the recipe calls for (we doubled the amount). But olive oil is good for you, right?
We cut our onions into large pieces rather than dicing them, which worked out well. We kept the celery the same and recommend cubing the bread smaller than we did (we'd go for postage stamp-size next time, or even smaller).
Sizzle the heck out of those veggies. Then you're ready to mix them with the bread cubes and add the broth.
Do your palatte a favor and go for the regular chicken broth, rather than the sodium-reduced version we so virtuously chose. Also, we found we needed a bit more broth than the two cups the recipe called for, but that might have been because of our super-fibrous bread.
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Bake according to the recipe.
The only thing we can think of that might make this recipe better would be to pour a stick of melted butter over the whole thing before baking. Of course, that would defeat the purpose entirely. Hey, look at it this way: This might not be the stuffing of your dreams, but now you can have a piece of that pumpkin pie that's kept you up nights....