Dressing or Stuffing? What’s the difference? It seems there a ton of different opinions about this. Some think ‘stuffing’ isn’t stuffing unless it is cooked in the bird. There was a time that I did stuff the bird, both ends of the bird! *I stopped doing that quite a few years ago and we will discuss why in a little bit. Let’s get back to the topic at hand.
- There is Cubed Stuffing which are little cubes of seasoned dried bread, a little bit like croutons. Which I believe is ‘stuffing’ even it is not stuffed in the turkey.
- Then there is ‘Dressing’ which is course dried bread crumbs. Very much like cubed stuffing but a very different texture.
- Of course there is cornbread stuffing, of which I know little about but did call in a expert for the perfect recipe.
I have a couple of confessions. First, I don’t know the first thing about cornbread stuffing. Fortunately, my friend Tina over at Touch of Modern Hospitality has the perfect recipe for ‘Southern Charm Cornbread Stuffing’. After seeing Tina’s pictures of her cornbread stuffing, No Baking Papa now wants me to make it this year – in addition to our ‘regular’ stuffing.
Talk about a Carb Fest! (Well, it is Thanksgiving!)
Now for my second confession. My family really likes ‘Mrs. Cubbison’s’ cubed stuffing. (I know, I am hanging my head in shame.) One look at the label is proof that this box stuffing contains several ingredients that we have cut out of our diet. High Fructose Corn Syrup and Partially Hydrogenated Soybean Oil along with Calcium Propionate (a preservative). Sorry, Mrs. Cubbison & other packaged stuffing mixes, you won’t be making an appearance on our table this year.
That said, I was on the hunt to make ‘Real’ cubed stuffing. Marianne’s personal recipe for “Tip’s Turkey Dressing” seemed like it would fit the bill perfectly.
These ingredients where exactly what I was looking for.
- 3/4 of a 1 1/2-lb loaf white bread, cubed and dried
- sausage links cooked & chopped
- Granny Smith apple, grated or minced
- celery, finely diced
- onion, chopped
- dried parsley
- ground sage
- rubbed sage leaves
- dried thyme
- dried oregano
- celery salt and ground pepper, to taste
- 1 egg, slightly beaten
- broth to moisten
Marianne had said that the bread that they used to make this with is no longer available. While at Trader Joe’s I found some white bread that seemed as if would work well. This isn’t the airy Wonder Bread. (Do they make that any more?) This bread has some body to it but it isn’t as heavy as the whole grain breads I make.
I used about 3/4 of the loaf, cut into cubes and dried the bread cubes in a 170° oven, next time I will probably toast them a little more at a little higher heat. I also sprinkled the cubes of bread with a little poultry seasoning and ground thyme. I cut back on the amount of seasoning added to the actual dressing. Over all, this bread worked very well and the dressing was a real hit with very few changes. Because I was cooking this as a side dish for only 30 minutes in the oven, rather than for hours in the turkey, I sauteed the onions, celery and apples with a stick of butter. I did have to use more broth, about 2 cups total. You just have to eyeball the amount of broth, it depends on how dry the bread cubes are and how moist you like your stuffing.
Thanks for a wonderful recipe, Marianne! This is officially, ‘No Baking Papa’ approved and will be making an appearance on the Thanksgiving table for years to come.
Turkey Herb Dressing / Stuffing – Here is my version of Marianne’s recipe, made in a covered casserole dish.
Check out Marianne and Tina’s personal recipes. You won’t be sorry!
* So now you are asking why I no longer cook the stuffing in the Turkey? For food safety reasons the internal temperature of the stuffing must be 160. To get the stuffing that hot the turkey will overcook and dry out. With a little extra broth, stuffing cooked covered with foil will be as good as the ‘real’ deal!