Thursday, October 9, 2008

Homemade Stuffing

The Thanksgiving table simply is not complete with out a dish of steaming hot stuffing. Maybe you grew up on the stuff from the box that you make on the top of the stove, and it is fine for a camping trip, or a quick dinner. But for Thanksgiving? Call me a Thansgiving snob, but I want my stuffing made from scratch.

Stuffing (or perhaps you call it dressing) at its most basic level is simply moistened bread and spices mixed together and baked. Making a basic stuffing is good, but what makes a stuffing great is the little bits of meat or vegetables that you add in. Add in finely chopped onion, celery, carrot, or even apple. Add meat in the form of chopped giblets, oysters or shredded pieces of chicken or turkey. It is one of those dishes that you never quite make the same each time, but is always delicious. 

Amish Stuffing
First make your own broth - Use the the liver, gizzard, neck, and any other parts included with your turkey. Fill a medium pot with water, add the turkey parts, and boil for 15- 20 minutes until the meats are cooked through. Strain the broth. Cut the organ meat into small pieces. (This is optional, but it does add a lot of flavor to the stuffing.) You can get some meat from the neck, but we normally discard the neck. If you do not have giblets to use, use canned broth.

8 C dry bread cubes - I'm not sure why, but I always buy these (unseaseoned.) They could very easily be made from your own bread or from saved heels or stale bread
1/2 each grated carrots, finely chopped onion, and finely chopped celery
small tub of fresh oysters with their liquor, chop if the oysters are large 
1 TB poultry seasoning. You can use the premixed or mix your own using thyme, sage and even a bit of ginger is good.
2 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper

Mix all the ingredients in a large mixing bowl, except for the broth. Add broth about a cup at time until the bread mixture is throughly soaked. Don't add too much liquid, just enough that the bread is saturated. Water or milk can be used if you need a bit more liquid. Extra broth can be used to make gravy.

Personally, I don't stuff the bird. I think the turkey stays more moist and has a better flavor if you fill the cavities with celery and onions. You can use the dressing to stuff the bird if you prefer. 

To cook the stuffing, grease a 9x13 pan. Put the stuffing mixture in the pan and bake at 350F until done to your liking, about 45 minutes to an hour.

It is hard to go wrong with homemade stuffing. It is easy to make, inexpensive and delicious. Give it a try!

A Made from Scratch Thanksgiving

11 comments:

  1. Good recipe! Dressing is either really delicious or really quite terrible, isn't it? I feel sorry for those who have only had the latter--it takes a lot of courage to try it again after a bad dressing experience (think school cafeteria!) Thanks for a tasty version!

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  4. I'm not sure the Amish would add the oysters. That was something your grandmother always did - I don't know when or why she started that but it has become a great family tradition. That's anaother great thing about Thanksgiving -love the traditions.

    Mom

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  5. Is there a way that you can cook this without putting it in the oven. Can u do this recipe on the stove top?

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  6. Dianna,
    I've never tried this on the stove top. i suppose it could be done, but I wonder if it would be too soggy.

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  7. Thanks, I will do it in the oven. this is my first thanksgiving that i am making everything so I want everything to be perfect!!! Thanks fr the help Stephanie

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  8. I would like to make my stuffing from whole grain bread. Do I toast it and let it sit out to harden? How do I do it?

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    Replies
    1. cut it in cubes and let it sit out or bake it in the oven to crisp

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