From our Family Recipe Book to yours: Our Famous Starky Challah Bread Stuffing for Thanksgiving!
Thanksgiving is kind of a huge deal in our house. We’ve been hosting Thanksgiving dinner for so many years and although new dishes might make an occasional appearance, the tried and true family recipes prevail. Making challah from scratch has been a family activity since I can remember and nothing smells better coming out of the oven. It never lasts long and gets demolished the same day…sometimes without any butter or jam. Grandpa Saul always proclaimed about the challah in his booming, craggy voice; “it eats like cake!” For the Thanksgiving feast, there is no better bread to use for stuffing than challah. It’s eggy, slightly sweet, and has a dense texture that holds up to gravy.
Since we have to be genius about oven space on Thanksgiving Day, we went way outside the box and tried cooking the stuffing in a crock pot last year. Skeptical, we held our breath and watched as the stuffing puffed up, browned up nicely on the edges and was held on warm while everything else baked in the oven. It got a little baste of turkey drippings at the end and then was tasted-oh my! The stuffing was tender & moist and served right out of the crock pot vessel which kept it nice and warm for the second wave. We share this method with you as it sure did save time, pans and space when you are in high gear to get this dinner on your Thanksgiving table!
Our challah recipe is not listed here; they are easy to find online. The challah bread we make each day at Starky’s is so delicious and is available for sale if you call ahead.
CHALLAH BREAD STUFFING
(1) 2lb loaf of challah, crusts removed and cut into 1″ cubes
2 Tablespoons olive oil
2 cups celery, chopped
2 cups onions, chopped
2 cups button or cremini mushrooms, chopped
1 teaspoon garlic, minced
6-8 sprigs fresh thyme, leaves removed and chopped
4 sprigs fresh rosemary, leaves removed and chopped
6 leaves fresh sage, chopped
1/4 cup fresh flat leaf parsley, chopped
3 cups chicken, veggie, or turkey stock (preferably homemade)
3 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup melted butter
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon pepper
Two days before assembling the stuffing, cut the challah and leave it out in a large bowl or sheet tray to dry. If you do not have time, you can lightly toast the challah cubes in a 350 degree oven for 15 minutes.
Heat the olive oil in a large skillet and saute the celery, onions, and mushrooms until they are softened and very lightly browned. Add the garlic and cook another minute. Remove the veggies to cool (can be made the day ahead and chilled in the frig). In a large bowl, mix the veggies with the chopped herbs and set aside. In another bowl, beat the eggs and add the stock and seasonings; mix well. Toss the bread cubes, veggies and stock mixture together gently until the cubes are moistened. Drizzle the butter over the unbaked stuffing and toss again. You can add more stock if you like a more moist stuffing.
Grease the vessel of your crock pot and loosely spoon the stuffing in the vessel. Place on high setting (usually 4 hours). Watch the edges and if it is getting browned too quickly, you can turn it down. Once the stuffing is puffed and gorgeous, drizzle some turkey pan drippings or a little more butter over the top. The stuffing will hold on the warm setting for a good hour until serving time. Serve it up and watch your guests swoon over your amazing Thanksgiving feast!
Starky’s is closed on Thanksgiving Day so we can all celebrate gratefulness with our friends and family. We are open Friday and Saturday for BREAKFAST, LUNCH AND DINNER and open on Sunday for BREAKFAST & LUNCH. Starky’s is a great place to bring a crowd; we have reservations available for large groups. Call us at (406)556-1111 to reserve your weekend table now!