You can have all the arguments you want about whether the turkey should be brined, roasted, smoked or fried. You can contemplate sweet potato crisp instead of your grandmother’s dish with the sweet potatoes from a can and little marshmallows nestled among them. You can fight in your mind about whether or not you should make mashed, roasted, or boiled potatoes.
But really? Let’s face it. Thanksgiving is all about the stuffing.
I loved my mother’s stuffing when I was growing up. Simple and classic, it came to the table steaming hot, laden with celery and onions, and flavored with dried sage. She made a giant Pyrex casserole pan for our family of four and we each spooned 1/4 of the pan onto our plate. And then, we covered it in gravy.
She learned to make two or three pans of stuffing so we could have the leftovers with our hot turkey sandwiches the next day. So, what to do when you have to eat gluten-free and it’s stuffing day?
That’s easy. You make this stuffing, gluten-free.
The only struggle is finding the right bread. This Thanksgiving, we will be using bread cubes from the crusty bread recipe in our recent cookbook. It’s easy to make, bakes up golden light, and makes a darned fine stuffing. We suggest you buy our cookbook so you can eat this too. (Get Shauna’s recipe for sandwich bread.)
There are, however, a number of good gluten-free breads on the market. You can find them in the freezer section of your grocery store. Or, try a gluten-free baking mix. It’s much easier to be gluten-free at Thanksgiving than it was 5 years ago.
Once you find the bread, you simply make the stuffing. Dig in.
Classic Gluten-Free Stuffing
8 cups gluten-free 1-inch bread cubes (that’s about 2 sandwich loaves)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
2 ribs celery, diced
1 large onion, peeled and diced
1 teaspoon each fine-chopped fresh rosemary, sage, and thyme
2 cups hot stock (turkey or chicken)
3 large eggs
salt and pepper
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Put the bread cubes in a large bowl. Set a small pan on high heat and pour in the stock. Cook until it is boiling hot, then leave it simmering on the back burner. Beat the eggs together in a bowl.
Set a large saute pan on medium-high heat. Put the oil and butter in the pan. When the liquids move around the pan easily, add the diced celery and onions. Cook them, stirring, until they are soft and translucent, about 7 minutes. Add the fresh herbs to the pan and cook, stirring, until they release their fragrance, about 1 minute.
Toss the softened celery and onions into the bowl with the bread cubes. Put it all into a 3-quart casserole pan.
Pour a few tablespoons of the hot stock into the beaten eggs. Stir, quickly, until the stock is incorporated. Add the remaining stock, slowly, continuing to stir.
Pour the eggy stock over the pan of bread cubes. Press down on the cubes with your hands, distributing the liquid evenly. Cover the casserole pan with aluminum foil.
Slide the stuffing into the oven and cook for 20 minutes. Remove the aluminum foil and cook until the stuffing is steaming hot and browned, but not dry, about 10 more minutes. If you can insert a toothpick into the middle of the stuffing and have it come out clean, the stuffing is done.
Cover with gravy, immediately.