Thanksgiving 2006: Crockpot Stuffing

As any Thanksgiving cook knows, oven space is especially tight on Thanksgiving (unless you have two ovens – I haven’t had that luxury!). I don’t cook my stuffing in the turkey (the timing always throws me off), and have always done it in the oven. Finding this recipe was a God send. It’s easy, keeps my oven free, and is very tasty. It’s one of those recipes that you need to adjust for your altitude and climate (warmer/drier climates would use more broth, cold/wet climates would use less). If you have a newer crock-pot (I find they cook a bit faster), periodically check on your stuffing to make sure it’s not cooking faster then you want.
Ingredients:
1 cup butter or margarine
2 cups chopped onion
2 cups chopped celery
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
12 ounces sliced mushrooms
12 cups dry bread cubes
1 teaspoon poultry seasoning
1 1/2 teaspoons dried sage
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon dried marjoram
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
4 1/2 cups chicken broth, or as needed (2-3 14 oz cans)
2 eggs, beaten
Instructions:

Melt butter or margarine in a skillet over medium heat. Cook onion, celery, mushroom, and parsley in butter, stirring frequently.

Spoon cooked vegetables over bread cubes in a very large mixing bowl. Season with poultry seasoning, sage, thyme, marjoram, and salt and pepper. Pour in enough broth to moisten, and mix in eggs. Transfer mixture to slow cooker, and cover.

Cook on High for 45 minutes, then reduce heat to Low, and cook for 4 to 8 hours. (If necessary, remove the lid for the last hour to eliminate some of the moisture)

Yields 16 servings

Notes:
~ If you use store bought dry bread crumbs, use less water. (Less for fresh bread and more for store bought hard packaged)
~ Try adding sausage (go for the sage sausage and leave the sage out of the listed ingredients).
~ Alternative additions: 1/4 c. dried cranberries, 1/4 c. diced (cooked) pork tenderloin, 1/4 c. raw cashews, 1/4 c. roasted almonds and 1 t. each Emeril's Essence, Montreal chicken seasoning, celery salt, marjoram and onion powder
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