Extra-Oniony and Celery Stuffing

Time 3 hours
Yields Serves 8 to 12
Tons of celery add vibrancy and punch to this classic Thanksgiving stuffing, teeming with onions and garlic.
(Jennifer Chong / For The Times, Prop styling: Dorothy Hoover)
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Tons of celery add a verdant brightness to this classic stuffing, while lots of garlic bumps up the intensely onion-y, allium kick. The bread you use here makes a difference, so look for a nice crusty loaf that can stand up to the aromatics. Save time by drying out the bread the day before you plan to make the stuffing. You can also cook the aromatics ahead of time as well and combine the components just before baking.


Extra Onion-y and Celery Stuffing


Place racks in the bottom and second-highest positions in the oven, then heat the oven to 300 degrees. Tear the loaf of bread into 1 ½- to 2-inch pieces. This doesn’t need to be perfect — if anything, you’re striving for imperfection. Divide the bread between two rimmed baking sheets and spread the pieces evenly on each sheet. Place the sheets in the oven and bake, tossing the bread and rotating the baking sheets from top to bottom halfway through cooking, until the bread is dried out but hasn’t taken on any color, 30 to 40 minutes. Remove the baking sheets from the oven.


Move the top rack to the center of the oven, then increase the oven temperature to 350 degrees.


Heat 5 tablespoons butter and the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and onions, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the aromatics are soft but not brown, 6 to 8 minutes. While the onions and garlic cook, separate the leaves from the celery stalks and reserve them (you should get about ½ lightly packed cup); cut the celery stalks into ¼-inch-thick slices. Add the sliced celery to the skillet, season with salt and lots and lots of pepper, and cook until the celery is tender and brighter, 4 to 6 minutes. Pour in the wine and cook, stirring, until it has mostly evaporated, about 3 minutes. Remove the skillet from the heat.


In the largest bowl you own, combine the dried bread chunks and the celery and onion mixture with the reserved celery leaves, parsley, chives, rosemary and thyme. In a medium bowl, lightly beat the eggs with the broth, then pour over the bread mixture. Season with salt and pepper and toss everything with your hands until evenly combined. Let the stuffing mixture sit for 10 minutes, tossing a few times throughout, so the bread evenly soaks up all the liquid.


While the stuffing mixture sits, smear the remaining 3 tablespoons butter over the bottom and sides of a 9-by-13-inch baking dish. It should be a thick coating because you want to really get all the sides and corners where the stuffing will get deeply crisp.


Transfer the stuffing mixture to the buttered dish, cover with foil and bake on the center rack until very hot throughout, 30 minutes. Remove the foil and increase the oven temperature to 425 degrees. Continue baking the stuffing until golden brown and crisp all over, 35 to 40 minutes more. Remove the pan from the oven and let the stuffing cool for 10 minutes before serving.

Make Ahead:
The stuffing can be assembled 1 day ahead and refrigerated, covered, until ready to bake.