When asked why they hated Americans the French responded “parce que vous achetez les croutons.” (because you buy croutons)
I don’t know who to attribute that quote to, but I’ve always liked it as a statement on French vs American cooking. I usually make bread once a week, a boule or a loaf, but I don’t eat that much bread and it can go stale quickly. In trying to figure out what to do with a ½ a loaf of white bread I thought I would try to make some stuffing as a side dish with dinner. My wife loves stuffing and I have tried making stuffing (unsuccessfully) in the past. It always just tasted like wet bread. So to appease my wife I would buy and happily eat Stovetop stuffing from a box. Finally being ashamed enough that I couldn’t prepare what seemed to be a rather simple dish, and happening to have what I figured were the right ingredients on hand I tried again. This time successfully.
Homemade Stovetop Stuffing
2 cups of croutons
¾ cup chicken stock
Salt if your stock does not already contain it
Pat of butter
1 stalk celery diced
1 leek cut into rounds and separated
1 tablespoon garlic (or to taste)
1 tablespoon of sage
1. Make your croutons. For me all I had to do was cut ½ a loaf of white bread into the right shape and leave it out overnight, you may need to place yours in a low oven tossing regularly depending on how wet your bread it or how quickly you need your croutons.
2. In a sauce pot combine butter, leeks, garlic, celery and ½ the sage. Sautee until the celery and leeks get soft and aromatic.
3. Add your chicken stock and bring to a boil.
4. Add in your croutons
5. Add in the rest of the sage
6. Stir, mixing thoroughly, cover and let sit for a few minutes
7. Serve along side roasted anything
Sage is the secret that I had been missing and caused my previous incarnations to taste like wet bread (no matter how flavorful the stock.) I am now convinced I could add croutons, salt, water and sage to a pot and come out with acceptable stuffing.