By Mary-Frances Heck and Victoria Granof, Bon Appétit
It may seem that turkey is best left in the hands of a pro, that gravy takes finesse, and mashed potatoes need some extra love and care. But one Thanksgiving staple that requires little to no technique? Stuffing. "It's hard to [expletive] up," says test kitchen director Mary-Frances Heck. But is it possible? Definitely. We asked her exactly how, and she gave us a few ways, below.
DON'T Start Thanksgiving Day
Trust us: Allow three days for dressing. We promise it's painless. On Tuesday, set out the bread. You'll need day-old loaves to get stale so that the stuffing doesn't get too mushy.
Read More: 28 Delicious Thanksgiving Side Dishes
DON'T Use a Knife
Don't cube that bread! Ragged, imperfect pieces of bread have more surface area; it's those nooks and crannies that give you good texture.
DON'T Add All the Stock at Once
Speaking of texture, that's what stuffing is all about--you want a mix of crispy and soft pieces. We recommend adding stock a little at a time--1/2 cup to 1 cup, depending on how much stuffing you're making--and waiting for the bread to absorb the liquid before adding more. Once the bread is moist but not sitting in a pool of stock, it's ready.
DON'T Skimp on the Butter
Thanksgiving is ALL ABOUT BUTTER. This is not the time to use a low-fat recipe. Half of the stuffing's moisture should come from butter--it helps the edges get crispy and gives the stuffing a rich flavor and texture. (We told you texture was important.)