Ultimate Turkey Dressing

Turkey Ready for the Oven
Turkey Ready for the Oven | Source

Thanksgiving was a special holiday when I was growing up in the Midwest, as it was for most Americans. The whole family gathered together to enjoy the typical holiday fare; roast turkey with dressing, mashed potatoes, candied yams, string beans, cranberry sauce, and pumpkin pie. We would overload our plates with gluttonous portions and force ourselves to finish the repast, sopping up that last bit of gravy with a yeast roll. We made pigs of ourselves and never indicated the least bit of shame.

I have to admit, though, that I am not a big turkey fan. I would take small portions of the savory meat while concentrating on the stuffing that had soaked up its luscious juices. My mother’s dressing was fairly simple, having bits of onions and celery to offset the sweetness of the breading. I could make a meal out of this delicious side dish topped with copious amounts of turkey gravy.

Since then I have developed many means of ensuring that my turkey comes out moist and flavorful. Daily injections of white wine for three days preceding the feast provide the perfect marinade for this delicate bird. Hourly injections of butter guarantee moistness as it slow cooks the entire day. I regularly receive accolades for the flavor of my creation. But it is my stuffing that steals the show.

My dressing is more than a doughy substance of breadcrumbs and spices. It is a cornucopia of flavors concocted in the mind of a connoisseur. A mixture of meats and vegetables combine to create a festive dance on the tongue. Others can devour the turkey; to me it is a mere cooking utensil for the main course.

Notes

  • I generally do all of my slicing and dicing the day before the big day. That way I can combine all ingredients in the morning and stuff the bird for a long days roasting.
  • I make my own sausage, which becomes a key flavor ingredient in the mixture. However, for the less industrious any good breakfast sausage will do.
  • I cut up the bread cubes from some good French or Italian loaves a couple days in advance to allow them to dry sufficiently before preparing the dressing.

Ingredients

Quantity
Measure
Ingredient
1
cup (2 sticks)
butter (softened)
1
cup
onion (diced)
1
cup
celery (diced)
1
cup
mushrooms (diced)
1
cup
ham (cooked and diced)
1
cup
chicken (cooked and diced)
1
cup
sausage (cooked)
12
cups
bread cubes (dried)
2
tsp
poultry seasoning
2
tsp
ground sage
1
tsp
salt
1/4
tsp
pepper
1/2
tsp
paprika
3
 
eggs
  1. In skillet large enough to easily accommodate all ingredients, melt ½ cup butter.
  2. Add onion and celery. Sauté until golden and limp.
  3. Add bread cubes and all other remaining ingredients. Toss together lightly but well.
  4. Add remaining ½ cup butter. Toss with fork until blended.
  5. Stuff turkey with as much of mixture as possible. Put any remaining stuffing in baking dish to cook and serve as dressing

Summary

The finished product is a moist combination of flavors and textures that will compliment any main course. This side dish can go well with other poultry as well as pork. Topped with a thick spoonful of giblet gravy and you have a feast beyond compare.

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Comments 4 comments

Just Ask Susan profile image

Just Ask Susan 5 years ago from Ontario, Canada

This stuffing/dressing sounds delicious. At my house it isI a competition between my husband and I as to who makes a better stuffing :) I prefer mine and of course he prefers his.


ColibriPhoto profile image

ColibriPhoto 5 years ago from Quito, Ecuador Author

We are all proud of our creations. Hope you have a great Thanksgiving.


Arlene V. Poma 5 years ago

Very, very nice! I would love to try your recipe. There was a time when I helped my mom make sausage. Voted up, useful, bookmarked, interesting, and AWESOME for the well-written recipe. So timely for the upcoming holidays. Thanks!


ColibriPhoto profile image

ColibriPhoto 5 years ago from Quito, Ecuador Author

Thank you. Give it a try, I am sure you will enjoy it. Try the sausage recipe as well, it is great for breakfast.

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