Homemade dressing — or is it stuffing? — for Thanksgiving
Posted Thursday, November 13, 2014
Photos/Ellen Fox Emerson
Dressing and stuffing start with the same mix of simple ingredients.
A stuffed turkey ready for carving.
The foundation: 16 ounces of bread crumbs.
Have you ever wondered about the difference between dressing and stuffing?
Actually there is no difference; they have the same ingredients. How you prepare this traditional Thanksgiving side dish determines what you call it.
If you cook the mixture inside the bird, it’s considered stuffing. When cooked in a pan or casserole dish, it’s dressing.
While I normally cook my turkey whole and stuff it, this year I will “spatchcock” — or butterfly — the turkey and serve dressing on the side.
It’s that simple and so is my recipe. The bread cubes can be made days in advance and so can the onion/celery mixture. Just store them separately until you are ready to bake the dressing, but reheat the onion/celery mixture first.
Herbed Bread Dressing Serves 10
16 ounces of dried bread cubes (6 to 7 cups)
¾ cup of butter
1 large onion, diced
3 stalks of celery, diced
1/3 cup of fresh parsley, chopped
2 teaspoons of thyme
1-½ teaspoons of poultry seasoning
½ teaspoon of pepper
2-½ to 3 cups of chicken broth (gluten-free)
Preheat oven to 350° F.
Melt the butter in a large skillet over a medium heat. Add the onions and celery and cook until both are tender and then add the herbs and seasonings and mix well.
Place the bread cubes in a large bowl and stir in the onion mixture. Stir until well mixed. Warm and then add the broth and continue stirring until bread is completely moist but not soaking. Once mixed, transfer to a casserole dish, cover and bake for 30 minutes or stuff your turkey. If stuffing your turkey, there will likely be too much for stuffing so bake what doesn’t in a small casserole dish.
Before starting, keep in mind that if using gluten-free bread it may be denser than most, depending on the recipe or brand. My bread weighs approximately 2 pounds before it is cubed and baked. Once baked its weight is reduced to16 ounces.
Preheat the oven to 325° F. Slice the bread in ½-inch slices and then cube them. Spread the bread cubes in a single layer on a baking sheet and bake until cubes are light brown and crisp maybe 45 to 60 minutes. Stir every 15 minutes. Once golden brown, let cool and then store in a re-sealable plastic bag.