If we’re being honest — really honest — stuffing might actually be the main event at a holiday meal. It’s equal parts crispy, herby and savoury, and totally delicious. Making it on the stovetop saves precious oven space for other roasted stuff (like a big bird or that pumpkin pie you’re eagerly awaiting). Here, it gets a friendly helping hand from a crisp pilsner, which adds its signature hint of bitterness to bring harmony to the table.
1 large loaf (about 600 g) French- or Italian-style white bread, torn or cut in 1- to 2-inch pieces
1/2 cup (125 mL) unsalted butter
5 ribs celery, cut in 1/4-inch pieces
1 large onion, cut in 1/4-inch pieces
1 cup (250 mL) no-salt-added chicken broth
2 large eggs
1/3 cup (80 mL) chopped parsley (approx)
1 tbsp (15 mL) finely chopped thyme
1 tbsp (15 mL) finely chopped sage
1-1/2 tsp (7.5 mL) salt (approx), divided
1/4 tsp (1 mL) pepper
1 large clove garlic, minced
1/2 cup (125 mL) pilsner
Place bread pieces on a large baking sheet and let stand, uncovered, at room temperature until dry, 18 to 24 hours (see tips).
In an extra-large lidded skillet or shallow Dutch oven, melt butter over medium-low heat. Transfer 1/4 cup (60 mL) melted butter to a medium bowl or large measuring cup and set aside.
Add celery and onion to skillet. Cook, stirring occasionally, until soft, 10 to 12 minutes.
Meanwhile, whisk broth, eggs, 1/3 cup (80 mL) parsley, thyme, sage, 1 tsp (5 mL) salt and pepper into melted butter in bowl. Set aside.
Add garlic to celery mixture and cook, stirring, until fragrant, 30 to 60 seconds. Stir in pilsner and remaining 1/2 tsp (2.5 mL) salt. Increase heat to medium and simmer until almost no liquid remains, 3 to 4 minutes.
In 2 batches, add bread to celery mixture, stirring to coat as much as possible. Pour broth mixture overtop and stir to coat. Cover and reduce heat to medium-low. Cook for 5 minutes.
Uncover and taste, adding up to 1/2 tsp (2 mL) more salt, if desired. Cook until almost no liquid remains, about 5 minutes more.
Optional (see tips): Preheat broiler. Transfer skillet with stuffing to oven and broil until top is golden and crusty, 3 to 5 minutes.
Garnish with more chopped parsley, if desired, before serving.
If you’re in a rush to dry the bread, you can pop the baking sheet into a preheated 275°F oven. Bake, tossing occasionally, until dry and lightly crisped, about 45 minutes.
If you choose the optional step of broiling the stuffing, make sure you use an ovenproof skillet or Dutch oven.
This stuffing is a terrific make-ahead side for super-high-traffic holiday cooking days. Store the finished batch in the fridge, and warm it back up in the oven or on the stovetop, tossing occasionally to get the edges extra-crispy.