Recipe courtesy of Denise Bryson

To-Die-For Thanksgiving Stuffing

This is a basic recipe that continues to evolve each year (one that was itself extrapolated from an intriguing Bon Appetit recipe). Add, subtract, go wild: the rich flavors of pumpernickel, bacon, and rye can stand up to just about anything! Warning: This is a HUGE recipe. Stuffs a 24 lb. turkey with leftovers to spare. Adjust as needed.
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  • Level: Easy
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1 dense store-bought loaf dark pumpernickel bread, torn or cut into 1-inch cubes, stale (or dried in a 200-degree warm oven)

1 dense store-bought loaf light rye bread, torn or cut into 1-inch cubes, stale

1 lb. thick-cut bacon, chopped and browned, fat reserved

8 eggs, lightly beaten

2 large onions, chopped

8 cloves garlic (or more to taste), crushed

2 tbsp. rosemary

1 tbsp. thyme leaves

1 lb. toasted pecans

2 quarts rich chicken or turkey stock (more or less depending on your preference for dry or wet stuffing)

1 cup bourbon


  1. Saute onions, garlic, and rosemary in 4 tablespoons of the reserved bacon fat until golden and soft.
  2. In a huge bowl (or the nearest thing you've got--I use the turkey roaster), combine bread cubes, eggs, and remaining bacon fat. Then add onion/garlic mixture, the thyme, and pecans.
  3. Combine the bourbon and chicken stock; starting with 1 quart, add enough stock to produce the consistency YOU recognize as "stuffing."
  4. When combined, stuff bird or place in separate large baking dish(es).
  5. Bake at 350 for at least 45 minutes--longer if you prefer a dark crust on your stuffing.
  6. Serves 12 or more as part of a Thanksgiving feast.

Cook’s Note

There's no good way to mix this stuffing without using your hands, so just dive in and do it.