½ loaf good quality bread, cut in ½ inch cubes. (day old bread is best)
2 stalks celery, finely diced
1 medium onion, diced
1 medium carrot, peeled and coarsely grated
2 tbsp. butter
1 tbsp. fresh sage, chopped (or 1 tsp. powder)
1 tbsp. fresh thyme leaves (or 1 tsp. dried)
salt and pepper to taste
optional: ½ pound of sausage meat, broken up and browned.
If bread is fresh, allow cubes to dry on a cookie sheet for a few hours.
In a large frying pan, melt butter. Add onion and celery and sauté until onion is translucent and celery is tender-crisp. Add carrot and sauté for a few more minutes. Add herbs and a little salt and pepper. Put bread cubes in a large bowl and pour vegetable mixture over, and stir to combine. Taste and adjust seasoning.
If desired, you may add cooked sausage meat and combine.
At this point, you can store the mixture in a ziplock bag or a storage container in the freezer.
When ready to use, thaw and place in a buttered casserole dish. Pour about ½ cup chicken stock or a combination of chicken stock and drippings. Cover with foil and cook for about 45 minutes at 350 degrees.
Remove foil and continue baking for about 20 minutes.
If mixture seems dry, add chicken stock, drippings or gravy to keep it evenly moist.