When one thinks of Thanksgiving dinner there are two dishes that come to mind right off the bat. Turkey and stuffing! Some prepare their stuffing and actually stuff the turkey with it. Doing it this way gives you a fifty-fifty shot of having the stuffing turn out either too dry or too moist. Others make their stuffing dishes separately and can keep an eye on its progress and have it ready about the same time the turkey comes out of the oven.
Stuffing usually is prepared from scratch. Some choose to make stuffing from a prepared box mix either per directions or adding other ingredients to enhance its flavors. It all depends on your family and what they are used to and which they like best.
Box mix stuffing:
This way is easy and takes the least amount of time to prepare. There are various flavors to choose from too. You can pick chicken, turkey or even corn bread stuffing mixes. Some of these may be dry. An easy way to keep them moist and add a boost of flavor to a box mix is to add some applesauce once the stuffing is fully cooked. The heat of the stuffing will warm the applesauce as it is stirred into it. A quarter or third of a cup will do just fine depending on how many packages are prepared. Take the applesauce jar out early to bring to room temperature to speed up the time it takes from pot to table.
Another great way to enjoy a box mix is to give it a little more body. Prepare the box mix per the original directions. Place the cooked stuffing mix into a greased glass casserole pan. Add 1 can of cream of mushroom soup, 1 small can of sliced mushrooms, ½ stick of butter cut into pieces, 2/3 of a cup of milk and mix well. You can also add some onion and garlic powder and mix well. Place in oven at 400’ for 30 minutes. Transfer to your serving bowl and set near the turkey.
Serve it with herbs:
- 4 cups of dry bread cubes
- 1 cup of chicken broth
- 1 small onion chopped finely
- ½ teaspoon of thyme
- ½ teaspoon of garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon of sage
- ¼ teaspoon of oregano
- ½ cup of chopped celery
- 2 teaspoons of parsley
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat oven to 350’.
- In a large mixing bowl add all the ingredients.
- Mix all the ingredients well.
- Place in a greased glass pan, Corning wear or Pyrex dish.
- Bake in oven for 30 minutes.
Prepare stuffing as directed above.
Before the turkey is placed in the roasting pan, stuff the turkey with the stuffing mixture.
Make it Italian style:
- 1 package of seasoned croutons
- 2 pounds of Italian style sausage
- 2 cups of water
- 1/3 of a cup of white wine
- 1 stick of butter
- 1 small onion chopped finely
- 2 cloves of garlic chopped finely
- ½ cup of celery chopped into small pieces
- Remove the sausage from its casing.
- In a large frying pan sauté the onion, garlic, sausage and celery. Cook until the onions and sausage just start to get a light brown coloring.
- Add the white wine to the pan and cook until the sausage turns a light and golden brown color.
- Once the sausage turns the proper color remove frying pan from the stove.
- Take a large mixing bowl out and set it on the counter for later.
- In a small sauce pan add the 2 cups of water. Heat on medium until the water gets hot.
- Add the butter to the water and cook until the butter melts completely.
- Remove pan from flame.
- In the set aside mixing bowl add the seasoned croutons.
- Pour the water and melted butter over the croutons and mix together gently.
- Transfer the sausage mixture into the mixing bowl.
- Gently fold all the ingredients together.
- Cover mixing bowl and place in the refrigerator. Allow stuffing mixture to cool overnight.
- Before the turkey is placed in the roasting pan, stuff the turkey with the stuffing mixture.
- When stuffing a turkey with a stuffing mixture be sure to pack it loosely.
- Add ¾ of a cup of stuffing per each pound weight of the turkey.
- If preparing the stuffing mixture ahead of time keep the dry and wet ingredients separate. Always keep them refrigerated. Mix the stuffing right before placing the turkey in the roasting pan.
- Remove the stuffing from the turkey before carving the bird. Place in serving dish.
- For an added little crunch to the stuffing add some chopped apple. This will not only change the texture but will give it a light fruity taste.
- A handful of cranberries can also be added to give your stuffing choice a new and exciting twang to fire up the taste buds.
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