Everybody already wants to know what’s on the Thanksgiving dinner menu. Will it be turkey, duck, or game hens? A pumpkin mousse tart or Pumpkin Crème Brûlées? I haven’t decided yet. The only thing I know for sure is, I want a traditional dressing. In fact, I’ve been craving my traditional dressing so much that I just couldn’t wait until Thanksgiving to have some. So I made it for dinner last night, it was the perfect accompaniment to a roast chicken. The aroma of sage is still in the air.
Traditional Sourdough Dressing
1 1-pound loaf sourdough bread, cut into ¾-inch cubes
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus more for greasing the baking dish
1 large yellow onion, diced
4 stalks celery, diced
1 large green bell pepper, diced
4 to 6 cloves garlic, minced
¼ cup minced fresh sage
1 tablespoon minced fresh thyme
3 large eggs
2 ¾ cups chicken broth
Freshly ground black pepper
Preheat the oven to 350˚F. Spread the bread cubes on a baking tray and bake for about 35 minutes, or until lightly toasted and dry. Meanwhile, heat a large, heavy sauté pan over medium heat until hot but not smoking. Add the oil and butter and swirl to coat the bottom of the pan. Add the onion and sauté for 6 to 7 minutes, or until soft. Add the celery and bell pepper and sauté for another 6 to 7 minutes, or until soft. Add the garlic, sage, and thyme and stir for a minute or so until fragrant. Let cool.
Butter a 9×13-inch baking dish. Lightly beat the eggs in a small bowl. Add the broth and stir to combine. Mix together the bread cubes, vegetable mixture, broth mixture, and a generous pinch of salt and pepper in a large bowl until all of the liquid has been absorbed. Transfer to the baking dish and cover tightly with foil. Bake for 40 minutes. Uncover, increase the temperature to 425˚F, and bake for another 25 to 30 minutes, or until golden brown. Serve immediately or cover and keep warm for as long as an hour.
Serves 8 to 10. Also delicious with the addition of sautéed mushrooms, oysters, or browned breakfast sausage crumbles. May be prepared up to a day in advance and kept refrigerated. Remove from the refrigerator about an hour before baking.