Your Thanksgiving Dressing/Stuffing?
We all know that Turkey Day isn't ultimately about the bird: it's about the dressing. (BTW the only difference between dressing and stuffing is that stuffing is cooked inside the bird, dressing is cooked separately.) So please do tell about what made your stuffing/dressing great this year.
I'll start with mine: a base of store bought Whole $$ stuffing mix with these additions: parboiled (in chicken stock) white pearl onions, chopped celery, shucked oysters with their liquor, browned linguiça, chicken stock-braised carrot and lots of fresh minced sage. Not only good with my Turkey Day smoked pheasant yesterday, but even better panfried in lots of butter today for lunch.
I made mine the usual way. Started with bagged stuffing mix and added sauteed onion and celery, salt, pepper, and poultry seasoning. I then moistened it with chicken stock and melted butter.
We have been smoking our turkeys in recent years, so we haven't been stuffing them. It's a bummer though because stuffing is my favorite, and it's the best when it's cooked in the bird. So this year, I bought a pack of turkey thighs and roasted them on top of the stuffing in the pan, then removed and browned for another 20 minutes. It was almost as good as stuffing from the bird!
And I will always call it stuffing, just because dressing sounds funny to me, haha.
I always use my mother's recipe for stuffing. I brown diced bacon, then saute celery, onion, mushrooms and the turkey liver in the bacon fat. Add all that to cubed french bread that I've dried already, along with sage, thyme, savory and pepper. Pour over that a few cups of chicken stock, two eggs beaten and a half stick of butter, melted. I always stuff the turkey, and can't help but make too much, so some goes in a casserole dish, too.
I do my family's recipe for stuffing. Saute plenty of onions, celery, and peeled apples in a stick of butter. Toss good-quality white bread (cubed) with lots of poutry seasoning and extra sage, along with freshly ground pepper, and, the surprise ingredient: a quarter cup of granulated sugar. Beat up 4 eggs with 2 cups homemade chicken stock and throw it over the bread, along with the cooked veg/apple stuff. Stir really well, salt to taste, and you have it.
Lawd..............Here I was, about to lambaste you about a waste of good oysters,,,,,,,,,,,,,and you said the magic word............................LINGUICA! I do a Linguica cornbread apple mix that I truly love.....and the rest of the family turns up its nose in favor of Traditional.to which I add apples, onions and cook ion chicken stock.
Change your recipe to Quahogs and a water/clam juice mix and you got GREAT stuffed Quahogs! Cut back on the sage and serve it as an appetizer!.........Nirvana!
I'm bumping this thread in anticipation of another Thanksgiving a bit more than a month away, and to respond to your love of stuffies. I've loved stuffed quahogs since college, which I attended in RI, and being close in Boston to the stuffie epicenter in the RI/Fall River/New Bedford area, I know that all great stuffies have to have linguiça in them. Must be an Azorean thing, and the lusophone contributions to our food culture in southern New England are loved and treasured by me.
So I may just try chopped quahogs (instead of oysters) with that linguiça in my dressing this year. But I won't lose the sage, just because I can't imagine dressing without sage, even as I've changed from the cornbread base from my native South to the bread base in these parts.
I make a stuffing with pancetta and chestnuts that I got from Giada on the Food Network, recipe here...
It also calls for a loaf of ciabatta bread, but I have made it in previous years with a baguette or other types of Italian bread. There is also a variation that includes mushrooms and what I sometimes do is omit the pancetta and make that as a vegetarian alternative (also by swapping vegetable broth for the chicken broth).