2Sauté onion and celery in butter until lightly browned.
3Add water or stock and salt, pepper and poultry seasonings. Cook until hot.
4Remove from heat and add bread.
5Toss lightly until thoroughly mixed.
6Avoid overmixing to prevent soggy, compacted dressing.
7Stuffing should be moist but not wet.
8Transfer to prepared pans.
9Bake for 45-60 minutes or until heated through. Do not overcook.
10HINT: Use 3 ounces of poultry base added to the 1 gallon of water. Stock or soup base is a concentration of cooked meat, poultry, seafood or vegetables, plus cooking juices and seasonings. It generally comes in a puree or paste-like form. Most are highly salted. Reduce or omit salt from the recipe when using the base. Find this product in some supermarkets or in restaurant or catering supply stores.
11VARIATIONS: Sausage: Reduce amount of bread cubes by about 1 cup. Add 2 pounds pork sausage, cooked and well-drained.
Apple: Reduce amount of bread cubes by about 1 cup. Add 1 pound tart apples, finely chopped, to the bread and liquid mixture
Mushroom: Reduce celery and by about 1 cup each. Sauté 2 pounds fresh mushrooms with the vegetables
Chestnut: Reduce amount of bread cubes by about 1/2 cup. Add 1 pound cooked, chopped chestnuts.
Oyster: Add 1½ pounds oysters to the bread and liquid mixture
Fruit and Nut: Add 1 pound raisins or dried cranberries and 2 cups chopped pecans, walnuts or almonds to the bread and liquid mixture. Lightly brown the nuts in 1 stick of butter before adding to stuffing.