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Stuffing the bird???


Rosie
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my mother in law makes a dressing of sausage meat, onions, and breadcrumbs.  i dismantle the turkey before roasting and use the carcass(uncooked) to make stock for gravy.

Nothing is better than frying in lard.

Nothing.  Do not quote me on this.

 

Linda Ellerbee

Take Big Bites

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I don't get the point of dressing (it can't be called stuffing) made outside the turkey, yet that is the only way it is served in my family, primarily because of perceived health considerations.  

When I had the turkey responsiblity one year, I made a chestnut stuffing that was rich. satisfying and delicious, although a great deal of work, since I started with fresh chestnuts.  If I were doing it now, I would use the bottled or dried chestnuts, although the result would probably be different.

I've always wanted to try oyster stuffing.

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My favorite dressing for turkey is sausage-and-cornbread. Some family friends from Texas make it every year and bring it to our Thanksgiving dinner. It's the only outside food my mother allows to be brought to the dinner (everything else is prepared by her; all I do is help my uncle carve the turkey). Our Texan friends couldn't give a rat's ass about health (they chain-smoke, they drink heavily, they eat almost exclusively fatty foods, they prefer most things raw and room-temperature) but they nonetheless prefer the dressing be prepared outside the bird. They say, and I agree, that when you make it inside the bird you just don't have the control you do when it's made outside the bird. Cooking it outside the bird allows them to get it to the exact degree of moistness and doneness that they like by adjusting the amount of stock and fat in the recipe and cooking it only as long as it needs to be cooked. Inside the bird, you generally get a soggy, fatty, overcooked mess -- the stuffing must defer to the turkey in terms of all timing and doneness issues. I like inside too, but outside has the potential to be better.

Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

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My mom and I have always made a sausage and chestnut stuffing inside the bird.  Last year, I convinced my in-laws to allow me to bring the stuffing for their Thanksgiving dinner.  (You have no idea how happy my husband and I were that they agreed - my in-laws serve frozen vegetables and stove top - ugh!!)  This meant I had to make the stuffing outside the bird for the first time.  I have to admit, it was a lot better than what we've been used to from inside the bird. It had the same awesome flavor, but had a nicer texture, a fresher taste and not at all soggy.  My mother, however, won't hear of it.  Lucky for me, I have to do it the same way for her this Thanksgiving because we have guests who do not eat pork so the stuffing can't be cooked inside the bird.  She's using another type of sausage for the inside-the-bird stuffing she insists on (see my gourmet sausage quest).  

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I make a bread stuffing that has been made forever. (My mom used to make it before me.)  I still get up at 6 or 7am and stuff the bird!  I love it!  My mother in law used to make a sausage dressing, but the recipe died with her.  

Life is too important to be taken seriously.[br]Oscar Wilde

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  • 2 years later...

i've got about 18 hours to come up with a stuffing/dressing recipe, and i've never made it before.

i want to use these apple/cherry sausages from Whole Foods that i've been scarfing down.

any recipes or ideas???

edit: i should mention that i've deep frying the bird, and as i don't want to offend the pedants, i'm more interested in "dressing."

Edited by tommy (log)
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i've got about 18 hours to come up with a stuffing/dressing recipe, and i've never made it before.

i want to use these apple/cherry sausages from Whole Foods that i've been scarfing down.

any recipes or ideas???

- Crumble and render some sausage. Set aside

- Saute medium dice of onion and celery in the sausage fat until translucent. Add butter to keep moist. Can add small dice of carrot and a little garlic if you like. Set aside

- Toss cooked ingredients with equal parts cubed cornbread & sturdy white bread

- Mince equal parts parsley, rosemary, sage, thyme and toss with bread mixture

- Add pecans or other such things, if you like (I like pecans, and chopped sun-dried tomatoes can be really good too -- some people like slices of apple)

- Moisten with stock and heavy cream -- add a few beaten eggs if you like the dressing more bound together

- Put in baking dish, cover with foil and bake in oven ~30 - 40 minutes. Remoisten with stock to the wetness of your preference and bake with the foil removed ~10 minutes to crisp the top.

--

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i've always made some variation or another of my sausage stuffing.

similar to a lot of people's here - it's cooked outside of the bird, and i like it like that cuz i like a bit of crispness to the edge of my croutons.

over the past several years i've made with white bread croutons, with cornbread, with white and corn, with corn and chestnut and so one and so forth.

this year i'm going back to Mom's offcial white bread version for old time's sake.

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I'll be doing a fairly faithful version of Tom Colicchios' Sausage Stuffing with Caramelized Onions, as written up in last week's NY Times. Seems like you could dump the prescribed raisins in favor of the cherries in your sausage, and it would be pretty tasty.

Hmm. I'm having some trouble getting my mental tongue around cherries and fennel.

Dave Scantland
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dscantland@eGstaff.org
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Eat more chicken skin.

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I add chopped up turkey liver to my dressing, and chopped up gizzard too. I cook the gizzard for a couple hours in the stock I make with the neck. I also deglaze the pan that the sausage was cooked in with white wine, and let it reduce by about half.

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