When we first moved to France, I was determined to make Thanksgiving dinner. It was just Marc and myself, but I was going to have everything I wanted. Of course, I didn’t realize then just how few of those Thanksgiving staples you could find in a French grocery store. I quickly realized that there would be no cranberry sauce – especially not the canned jellied kind – no pumpkin pie, no stuffing. I mean come on, there wasn’t even any turkey breast at the store the day I went shopping. After I cried a little, I figured that we would just have to make due. I went to another store and found a weird rolled-up turkey roast and I decided to make stuffing from scratch.
To be fair to France, I never had problems finding turkey again after that Thanksgiving, and I have since found many more ways to prepare myself for Thanksgiving – like making my own pumpkin puree. But ever since I made that first batch of stuffing from scratch, I won’t make any other kind. We’ve had it for three years now, and last year we cooked Thanksgiving dinner for all of our friends in Angers and it was the best time.
Making homemade stuffing isn’t the quickest fix, but it sure is worth the time and effort. You can customize it to suit your taste by changing the herbs or even using different types of bread to make croutons. For the recipe, I am assuming you know how to make your own croutons or that you have purchased a package of unseasoned stuffing croutons – which is what I did when I made these at home. If you’re making your own, try doing it a day or two ahead of time because that’s the most time-consuming part.
- 1 bag unseasoned stuffing mix (or about 8 cups of homemade croutons)
- 1 large onion (sweet or yellow), chopped
- 6 stalks celery, chopped
- 6 tablespoons dairy free margarine or butter
- 1 tablespoon dried rosemary
- 1 tablespoon dried thyme
- 1 tablespoon dried tarragon
- 1 tablespoon dried parsley
- 1/2 cup dried cranberries
- 2 – 3 cups reduced-sodium chicken or vegetable broth
- In a large stockpot, melt margarine or butter over medium heat.
- Add onions, celery, spices and cranberries.
- Sauté until onions stirring occasionally until are completely translucent and tender – about 10 minutes.
- Add 2 cups of chicken broth and simmer for 10 minutes.
- Remove from heat and add croutons.
- Slowly stir in chicken broth – one cup at a time – until croutons have reached desired softness.
- If baking: Preheat oven to 325F (160C).
- Place stuffing in a large baking dish and baking for 15 – 20 minutes.
- Calories: 0
- Sugar: 0 g
- Sodium: 0 mg
- Fat: 0 g
- Saturated Fat: 0 g
- Unsaturated Fat: 0 g
- Trans Fat: 0 g
- Carbohydrates: 0 g
- Fiber: 0 g
- Protein: 0 g
- Cholesterol: 0 mg