The Holidays are coming up and that means dressing. Making it, tasting it and stressing over getting it just right. Stuffing the turkey is a time-honored tradition but there are so many different kinds of dressing it can be hard to know which one to pick.
Everybody makes dressing their own way, my Uncle, for example, makes a very traditional dressing. He carefully cuts and slices onions, celery, and giblets. Then he sauteed them in butter in his favorite cast iron frying pan until everything is a perfect golden brown. He then gently mixes it with the bread he’s already dried and prepared ahead of time for the dressing. Next, he adds spices like salt, pepper, sage and poultry seasoning and just enough butter to make it stick together. He stuffs the turkey about 6 am and puts it in the oven for a long slow roast. This has been his process for many years and it always results in a delicious dressing the whole family adores.
If you’re not into drying your own bread to be used in the stuffing, most grocery stores offer bags of it already dried, cubed and ready to use.
Of course, that’s not the only way to make dressing! There are a ton of traditional and non-traditional recipes out there. Here are more examples:
Pork and Apple dressing.
This a nice non-traditional dressing. It requires a pound or two of ground pork, one or two celery stalks, a good sized onion and a large red apple. To make this dressing you would brown the pork, add your diced celery and well-cut onion. Spice with salt, pepper, and sage. Saute in a good sized frying pan until the onions are nice and soft. Add your apple sliced nice and small (some like to leave the peel on for added color in their dressing and others prefer it without) to the frying pan and cook a minute or two longer. Put everything in your pan into your bowl of bread cubes and gently stir it together. Some people add a small amount of chicken or turkey broth and others prefer to add a small amount of melted butter. Sample it in case you decide to add more spices and once you’re happy, stuff your bird! You’ll be able to enjoy it in no time.
Don’t forget to stuff your turkey just before you pop it in the oven! Stuffing it the night before is a definite no-no and can easily lead to food poisoning!
This is a fun, make-ahead dressing that a lot of people enjoy. To make this you need to start by buttering a large casserole dish or a lasagna pan works great for this too. Using a rather large pot, melt butter over medium heat and add your diced carrots, celery and onions. Cook until tender. Add your salt, pepper, rosemary (optional) and poultry seasoning. Continue cooking for another minute or two. Remove from heat, slowly add your bread cubes and mix until spices and vegetables are evenly distributed throughout your bread. Then add chicken or turkey stock and stir again. Move this from your pot into the baking dish you prepared earlier, cover with foil and bake at 325/350F for 20 to 30 minutes. Remove the tin foil and bake another 10 minutes. This dressing can easily be reheated in the oven while you’re making your gravy.
Last but not least, store-bought stuffing in a box. Everything you need is in the box, just follow the directions carefully. It’s delicious and quick! You can always throw in a handful of dried cranberries or an apple for that made-from-scratch look. Just hide those boxes and no one will know the difference!