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2012 Stuffing or Dressing or Whatever....

Let's not fight about the name of the thing.....if you think about it, both names are somewhat silly and non-descriptive. In the bird (or the pork roll, or whatever), or out, it can be yummy or tasteless. Share your stained, treasured recipes (probably again, but the last thread about it was too long to read!)


Saute celery (1 rib), onions (1/2 cup), and peeled chopped apples (3) (Jonathans!) and S&P in unsalted butter (1/2 stick). Throw into a giant bowl of cubed white bread (high-quality, 1 small or 1/2 large loaf). Add poultry seasoning (2 T.), 2 beaten eggs, 1/4 cup sugar (not kidding - very important), and 1/2 cup to 1 cup homemade chicken stock or good apple cider - enough to make it pretty moist. Stir like mad for a while. Done. NOTE: The bread should be pretty fresh - none of this drying or toasting stuff.

Mind you, this is a family recipe and I've had to work at coming up with exact measurements - if you make this you have to use a few instincts.Taste it for salt, for example.

The most unusual element here is the sugar - it really makes it work and the sweetness is yummy.

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  1. Thanksgivings Past in old newspapers - Recipes & Menus

    The Milwaukee Journal - Nov 20, 1920

    Greensburg Daily Tribune - Nov 30, 1928

    Lewiston Morning Tribune - Nov 22, 1932

    Spokane Daily Chronicle - Nov 22, 1934

    Spokane Daily Chronicle - Nov 14, 1940

    The Milwaukee Journal - Nov 22, 1948

    The Miami News - Nov 25, 1957

    The Spokesman-Review - Nov 23, 1959

    The Evening Independent - Nov 25, 1963

    The Spokesman-Review - Nov 21, 1968

    The Free Lance-Star - Nov 20, 1974

    Youngstown Vindicator - Nov 19, 1977

    The Free Lance-Star - Nov 22, 1982

    The Press-Courier - Nov 20, 1987

    Ellensburg Daily Record - Nov 22, 1993

    1 Reply
    1. re: Antilope

      Wow, I haven't gotten through all of these great links yet, but they are really fascinating. Thanks! It looks like things have changed very little on the Thanksgiving plate over close to 100 years. I wonder what "peas in patty" is. Might have to ask Ms. Google.....

    2. Three or four parts cornbread to one part biscuit
      Sauteed onion and celery
      Rich, homemade, chicken stock
      Salt and pepper to taste (lots of black pepper)

      1 Reply
      1. re: kengk

        I haven't had cornbread stuffing - I need to try it, for sure. Even though my mother grew up in the south and ate cornbread and biscuits every day, when she left she was determined to only eat "light" bread stuffing, so that's what we had. Now I live in the north where cornbread is an oddity.....

      2. I have never been a fan of the soft, eggy type of stuffing - it was what my mother made, and until I was exposed to other kinds, I just thought I didn't like stuffing, period. I've been doing my own Thanksgiving for several years now, though, and have created a stuffing recipe that my husband and I ADORE. It's chunky and rustic, with big chunks of bread that burst with buttery stock juices. A bit labor-intensive but oh SO worth it!

        A few days before T-day I bake baguettes using a basic flour/water/yeast/salt/pinch of sugar recipe. The resulting bread has a nice elastic texture and a crisp/chewy, relatively thin crust. I tear them by hand into bite-sized pieces and let them dry out for several days. The day before T-day, I whiz carrots, celery and onion in the food processor to create a finely textured mirepoix and saute in LOTS of butter. I also roast coarsely chopped fennel, halved cremini mushrooms and loads of shallots until they're caramelized. Finally, I brown up a bunch of sage sausage and reconstitute some dry porcini mushrooms. I refrigerate all of that overnight.

        The morning of, all of those goodies get mixed in with the bread, along with a generous amount of turkey or chicken stock and some of the porcini soaking liquid, and placed in a WELL buttered casserole. I generously dot the top of the casserole with butter as well (at least another stick!), then bake, covered for 30 mins and then uncovered for another 30 or so, until it's VERY well browned. The top (and bottom) cubes have a crispy edge that gives way to unctuous but still distinct bread. The vegetables and sausage just cling to the bread cubes and every bite is a little different - here a chunk of fennel, there a sweet burst of caramelized shallot.

        Why is Thanksgiving still 3 weeks away????

        5 Replies
        1. re: biondanonima

          Yours sounds like an animal that I might have to roll out this winter....thanks.

          1. re: biondanonima

            That sounds right up my alley! As a fellow stuffing lover, let me suggest adding one small dimension to your recipe. I also use a whackload of butter when I make my stuffing, but a couple of years ago, I started setting aside a cup of turkey fat that I skim off when I make my turkey stock (for the advance gravy, of course!) and use the turkey fat to make the stuffing -- I saute all the onions and veggies in the fat and butter. I find the combination of the butter + turkey fat really gives my stuffing the flavour it would have gotten had it truly been stuffed into the bird. I also use the turkey stock for the stuffing instead of chicken stock.

            The rest of the turkey fat goes into making the roux for the gravy. Waste not, want not. :o)

            1. re: TorontoJo

              Ooh, the turkey fat idea sounds great - I've got some schmaltz rendered that might do the trick as well. I always use turkey fat for my gravy roux but there's usually more than I need...

            2. re: biondanonima

              How do I convince these folks that this is the way to go? Yum!

              1. re: melpy

                Stuffing is a family thing! See my post further down about baking it in the dish with turkey wings. It adds the turkey flavor without as much fat, and you have cooked wings to make into stock later!

            3. We've had this one for the past few years, it's from Sunset magazine. My mom grows chard so she started doing it as a way to use it up, and it's quite tasty. As a kid, for some reason we never really had stuffing that much if we had Tgiving at home. At my aunt's she just used Pepperidge Farm.


              Italian Chard Stuffing

              3/4 loaf (3/4 lb.) French bread
              1 1/2 cups nonfat milk
              2 pounds Italian sausages
              1 cup chopped parsley
              1 garlic clove, minced or pressed
              1 medium onion, chopped
              1/2 cup finely chopped celery
              1 1/2 pounds green Swiss chard, stem ends trimmed, coarsely chopped
              1 1/2 cups freshly grated parmesan cheese
              1 1/2 teaspoons dried basil
              1/4 teaspoon dried rubbed sage
              1/4 teaspoon dried rosemary

              1. Cut bread into 1/2-in. slices. Place slices in a large bowl and add milk. Mix gently with a spoon to saturate with milk and let stand about 30 minutes. Stir occasionally.

              2. Meanwhile, place a 6- to 8-qt. pot over high heat. Squeeze sausages from casings into pot. Discard casings. Cook meat, stirring often to crumble, until lightly browned, 10 to 15 minutes; discard fat. Add parsley, garlic, onion, and celery. Cook, stirring often, until vegetables are lightly browned, 5 to 8 minutes. Add chard and 1/2 cup water and cook, stirring often, until wilted, about 5 minutes.

              3. With your hands, squeeze bread slices to break them into tiny pieces. Add cooked meat mixture, parmesan, basil, sage, and rosemary. Season with salt to taste.

              4. Preheat oven to 325° or 350° (use temperature turkey requires; see Note below). Spoon stuffing into a shallow 3-qt. (9- by 13-in.) casserole. For moist stuffing, cover with foil; for crusty stuffing, do not cover. Bake until hot (at least 150° in center) or lightly browned, at least 30 minutes.

              Make ahead: Up to 1 day ahead, make stuffing, put in casserole, cover, and chill. Allow about 1 hour to bake.

              1 Reply
              1. Once big enough to help in kitchen and not just get in the way, my Grandmother would put whichever grand kids were available to work.

                A day or 2 before T-Day... lots of "day old" bread was ripped up into a HUGE bowl... to stale up a bit.

                Day before... all the "goodies" from inside the bird went into a pot to make some stock... neck, heart, gizzard, etc.

                Early the day of... LOTS of chopped celery and onions into BIG cast iron skillet with a LOT of butter... and HADDA be Bell's seasoning and some S&P. Not browned, just cooked till soft and cooled till ya could handle it. Poured over all that bread and mixed around by several pairs of hands... if a little dry, some of that stock went in.

                As much as possible was smooshed into both ends of the bird and secured with these sad, bent up, trussing "pins"??. Whatever just would NOT fit inside the bird, went into a casserole... frankly, NOT as tasty as stuff in-bird, but still yummy... especially with great gravy over the top.

                1. The only constant at our Thanksgiving table other than the turkey & gravy is this sausage stuffing:

                  Sausage Stuffing for Turkey

                  Yield: stuffing for 11 lb Turkey

                  ½ pound small pork sausages
                  1 turkey liver
                  2 slices bread, dried in the oven
                  1 pound finely ground pork
                  Salt and Pepper
                  1 ½ cups chopped onion
                  2 cloves garlic minced
                  1 turkey gizzard, ground
                  2 teaspoons chopped leaf sage or one teaspoon powdered sage
                  ½ teaspoons rosemary
                  1 bay leaf
                  ½ teaspoon thyme
                  ¼ cup dry white wine
                  ½ cup brown sauce or canned beef gravy
                  1 Tablespoon minced parsley
                  1 cup cooked chestnuts
                  1 truffle, sliced (optional)

                  1. Preheat oven to 350 0 F degrees

                  2. Cook the sausages until done. Grind liver with bread.

                  3. Cook ground pork in a skillet. Season it with salt and pepper. Add chopped onion and 1 of clove garlic and cook five minutes, stirring occasionally. Add gizzard and cook 10 minutes. Add sage, rosemary, the bay leaf and thyme. Sprinkle with one-quarter cup wine, one-half cup brown sauce and parsley. Stir. Bake uncovered, 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

                  4 Remove from oven. Stir in chestnuts, liver mixture and truffle. Drain sausages and fold them into the stuffing.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: AGM_Cape_Cod

                    That looks like a true classic gourmet recipe.

                  2. Your recipe is similar to mine (I toast the bread) but I miss that "cooked in the turkey" flavor.

                    My butcher told me to get turkey wings, brown them in a very small amount of oil, then put them on top of the stuffing in the dish and bake until the wings are cooked. I did it last year and it's GREAT! The stuffing needs a little time in the oven to brown up after you remove the wings, but not long. I do the initial cook the day before, then brown the day of.
                    Take the wings, add some stock and chucks of carrots, onion and celery and boil.
                    Strain and you have turkey stock all ready for gravy.

                    1. Mine is similar to yours. I just posted this on another thread, but stuffing in my family has always started with the Pepperidge Farm Herb Seasoned stuffing in the bag. To that we add chicken stock, lots of melted butter, and sauteed celery and onion. We also add lots of salt and pepper and extra herbs. It's the best when it's baked inside the bird (yes, we still do that, although we have been smoking our turkeys in recent years). It's my favorite dish at Thanksgiving dinner. :)

                      I know a lot of people are into gourmet stuffings, but I have been making this stuffing since I was a child when I started preparing Thanksgiving dinner with my grandmother. To me, it wouldn't be Thanksgiving without it.

                      1. I can't bring myself to make any stuffing but my mother's. It starts with chopped up bacon, cooked till almost crispy, remove bacon, add chopped onion, celery and mushrooms to the bacon fat. Cook down, add finely minced turkey liver and cook briefly.
                        Throw all that, with the bacon, on top of a big bowlful of cubed dry french bread, add a stick of melted butter, sage and thyme, pepper, a beaten egg or two, and a couple cups of chicken stock. Mix it up and feel if it's moist enough. Add more stock if it needs it. Stuff into both ends of the bird.
                        I make a separate dish for son #2 sans liver. His is baked out of the turkey, so I squirt some turkey drippings into it when I'm basting the bird.
                        This stuffing is not for the fat-conscious. It is absolute comfort food.

                        1. We make oyster stuffing. Start with onions and celery sauteed in butter, add to big bowl of dried Pepperidge Farm white bread cubes. Pour 1 pint of chopped oysters with liquor into skillet and add to bowl once the edges start to curl. The standard recipe calls for an egg to bind, stock to moisten, fresh parsley, poultry seasoning and s&p. I've modified it a bit to add some chopped chicken livers and the meat from the turkey neck. I normally cook it in the bird, but found that adding the neck meat makes it acceptable for a casserole.