December 19, 2011

By request: My mom’s traditional turkey stuffing recipe

Day 353 of Vintage 365

A fun idea occurred to me a couple of nights ago (or should I say, more accurately, in the wee hours of a pitch black, rainy morning), spurred on by a comment that was left on last Wednesday's vintage recipe post about cornbread stuffing.

In the course of that post I briefly discussed my mother's turkey stuffing, which certainly has roots stretching back to further generations and pulls quite heavily from a traditional British onion and sage stuffing, though that side of my family tree does not contain any direct ties back the UK.

This quick mention of my mom's classic recipe lead a Chronically Vintage reader named Nuranar to leave the following comment, "Your mother's stuffing sounds wonderful! Would you be open to considering sharing the recipe? I've never been much of a stuffing fan, but this one sounds like I might really like it. :)".

I'm always happy to try and give my fabulous readers what they ask for, so today (on the heel's of yesterday's post about Historical US Christmas Dinner Menus) I'll be sharing the stuffing recipe that my mom made (much to my delight), without fail, every Christmas (and Thanksgiving) dinner during my childhood.

{Bacon drippings adds a wonderful depth of flavour to this delicious stuffing recipe, while also helping to keep the finished dish pleasantly moist. You can - as I've frequently done - chop up some of the cooked bacon and add it to the stuffing before cooking. Alternatively as this charming 1940s ad for Armour Bacon suggests, it also makes for a hearty addition to your Christmas morning meal. Vintage image by clotho98 on Flickr.}


Before delving right into that recipe however, let me tell you about the neat idea I had. Much like the countdown down to Halloween series of articles back in October, I thought it would be oodles of fun to share five Christmas recipes (including today's), over the next five days (a mini series of entries within the bigger scope of the Vintage 365 post series) with all of you, that are especially near and dear to my heart.

Between today and this Friday (the 23rd), I'll post a different holiday season recipe from my own personal achieves. Each one meaningful and deeply cherished by me not only because of the fact I've enjoyed them since I was a little girl, but also because they've come to be a cherished part of my own Christmas menu, whether I'm cooking simply for myself and my husband, or a dinner party of twenty people.

I sincerely hope that you enjoy the next five days of classic Christmas recipes from my collection (which will include a selection of both savoury and sweet dishes, all of which have a traditional mid-century feel to them), and would certainly like to know about the holiday season recipes that you and your family adore.

So, without further ado, my I present to you my mom's marvellously fragrant, classic turkey stuffing recipe.


Traditional Schill family Christmas bread stuffing


-2 cups water or stock (chicken, turkey, or mild vegetable)

-6 cups day old white bread cubes that have intentionally been left out to air-dry overnight (the night before making your stuffing)

-2 eggs

-1 tsp salt

-1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper

-1/2 tsp nutmeg (freshly grated if possible)

-4 tsp ground sage

-3-4 tsp poultry seasoning

-1 cup chopped onion

-1/2 cup bacon drippings (cook bacon right before before starting the stuffing)

-1/2 cup finely chopped celery (including celery leaves, if desired)

-1/4 cup finely chopped fresh flat or curly leaf parsley

-1/2 cup raisins (or more if desired - I usually put at least a full cup's worth when I make this recipe, as I adore raisins; dried cranberries, cherries, and even apricots all work delightfully well in this recipe, too, if you'd rather use one of them instead)



In a large mixing bowl, pour hot water or stock over the dried bread and allow the bread to absorb the liquid for a few minutes before adding in the eggs and all of the seasonings.

Next sauté the onions in the bacon drippings just until they begin to turn softly golden. Stir onions and drippings into the bread mixture, followed by the celery, parsley and raisins. Mix thoroughly and adjust (based on smell) the seasonings, if you feel like you'd like more sage, poultry seasoning or black pepper.

Prepare your turkey (this recipe makes enough to stuff one large, approx. 10 to 18lb, turkey; however if you need more if can very easily be doubled or even tripled) and fill cavity with stuffing. If you have more stuffing than will fit in you bird, bake the remainder separately in an over-safe baking dish alongside your turkey during the last 45 to 60 minutes of cooking.

This stuffing smells absolutely fantastic when warm - rich, as it is, with many classic holiday meal scents - and is always a crowd pleaser. Should you happen to have leftover, it will keep (well covered) in the fridge for at least three days or can be frozen for up three months.


Many thanks for the stuffing recipe request, Nuranar, and lovely inspiration for five of this week's festively themed posts.

I really look forward to sharing four more time-honoured and much loved Christmas dishes with all of you, and would absolutely love to know if you give any of them a whirl yourself this year!

1 comment:

  1. Yay, this is lovely! Thank you SO much for posting the recipe. It DOES look yummy - I'll have to try it. And I'm looking forward to the next recipes, too!