Holiday Stuffing or Dressing

Discussion in 'Side Items' started by tasunkawitko, Jul 18, 2012.

  1. tasunkawitko

    tasunkawitko Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Last edited: Aug 12, 2013
  2. I'm a big lover of stuffing, but can't have much anymore because of blood sugar issues.
    I used to make onion bagel or garlic bagel stuffing frequently, which was a big hit with everyone.

  3. jarjarchef

    jarjarchef Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    That looks absolutely wonderful. I may have to make some this weekend.

    I would say the difference the way you described it is good. Sometime people from different regions of the country will call things a bit different, but they are the same.

    The only thing I would caution anyone on with cooking the stuffing in the bird is the final cook temperature. With adding the stuffing to the inside you have now made a solid mass that needs to get to 165 degrees F. You run the risk of making your turkey dry and if you don't get the stuffing in the very center to 165 degrees you run the risk of a food borne illness.

    What I do during the holidays is this. I buy the turkey I am going to roast or fry. Remove the neck and gizzards out. I will also buy a couple of the breast only turkeys. They have the rib cage and the breast attached, no dark meat on them. I remove the breast and either smoke them or roast them with the whole bird. A day or two before I will take the bones and roast them with onion, carrots and celery. After they are nice and roasted, I will make a stock out of that to make my stuffing with, in place of the chicken stock you buy. You can also put the roasting pan on the stove (medium heat) and add a little water or wine to deglaze the pan (scrapping all the yummy bits stuck to the pan as the water or wine lossen them up) to use for your pan gravy. This way you get the roasted flavor in the stuffing and you run less of a chance a food born illness from not getting the stuffing to 165 degrees.
  4. The way I combat that problem is roasting a spatchcocked bird on top of a bed of dressing, making sure all is cooked to proper temperature, of course.
    I cut into the joints and pop the thigh bone out of the socket so the bird cooks more evenly.

    I do something similar, I roast an entire bird or two ahead of time, pack the meat for later use, and make a rich stock with the carcass, giblets, feet, head and neck, and any drippings.
    Gotta have the real deal, no store bought stock for me.

    Last edited: Jul 18, 2012
  5. jarjarchef

    jarjarchef Master of the Pit OTBS Member


    Love the solution with baking the bird on top of the stuffing. That works very well and less cook time.
  6. tasunkawitko

    tasunkawitko Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    hey, guys - thanks for the comments.

    we keep it pretty traditional, but there are certianly some good ideas there, including the baking teh spatchcocked bird on top of the stuffing.

    dog -  that onion or garlic bagel stuffing sounds really good, as well ~ might have to try that this year, rather than using pre-packaged stuff!
  7. I love to go crazy scientist for stuffing trying just about any recipe I can find.  One of the biggest things that I find can be a game changer in stuffing is the bread.  Most often I will try and find a herbed sourdough or something of the sort.  With bread being the basis of the dish stepping it up and using a "flavored" if you want to call it that can make it so much better. I normally just cube it up and toast till light brown and then treat it like any other stuffing either in bird or pan.

    Different breads I've tried.

    Herb and Tomato


    Garlic and Onion



    Cheddar Sourdough Breadsmith makes this and it is amazing.  PS they make quite a few "exotic" breads atleast for around here in South Dakota that are great for this sort of thing.

    Ciabatta just about any kind

    Plus anything you can find and think would be great.  As you can probably guess I love stuffing hope this helps you guys out with finding something you like best.
  8. Yes, it is good, because the bagels are so dense it works best to cube half and pulse half in a food processor some, that brings it all together better.

  9. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    Tas, my Mom did it pretty much as you described and I thought it was the Best. When I got married my MIL showed me her way to keep my new Mrs' happy. She would fry up a couple of Chub's of Jimmy Dean Breakfast Sausage then add a stick or two of Butter and saute the veggies until golden. Next add the Stock and some Bell's Poultry Seasoning and simmer the whole deal until the veg was tender, we hate crunchy Celery in stuffing too...Add the Bread Cubes mix and stuff the Bird, leftovers in a Casserole. I noticed the family was always fighting over the Crispy Part...So I added my twist...I make the same Recipe but I now press the Dressing into a 1" deep Jelly Roll Pan and bake it for the last Hour or so with the Bird. There is so much surface area the Whole Pan is Crispy Goodness...And...I cut the dressing into 4" Squares so leftovers are the perfect size to Saute Crisp, in more Butter of course, then top with Turkey and Gravy for Hot Open Face Turkey Sandwiches!...If you got some Pics and Recipes for Cranberry Sauce and Green Bean Casserole, we are all going to be ready for the Holidays!!! This has been a fun diversion from posts of Summer time Cooks...JJ
    Last edited: Jul 20, 2012
  10. pops6927

    pops6927 Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Can't find the thread I did last Thanksgiving but I can reproduce it here:

    Been doing turkeys this way for 40 years, and got it from my parents.

    Do it pretty much the same way, except 1st, instead of using packaged broth, I take the neck, heart, gizzard and liver and simmer for about ½ hr in a pan of water w/a little salt and pepper:

    This makes the stock.

    Then, chop up onion, celery:

    Fry up 2 lbs. of Fassett's Homemade Breakfast Sausage (which we get together the weekend before and grind up about 10-12 lbs of it):

    (just starting to cook, still raw)

    Melt 4 sticks of real butter in the microwave:

    pour in with sausage and onion and celery and let cook 5 min. until veggies are starting to soften and cook down:

    using real croutons (not Pepperidge Farms® mushy stuff)  I spread them out, 3 or 4 boxes, in the turkey roaster pan, and pour mixture in and stir a bit:

    Then add 2 or more cups of giblet broth to moisten (and we enjoy eating the giblets and neck!)

    Shake poultry seasoning all over the top of the pan; that is just the right amount, then mix it all together

    Then (loosely packed) stuff the neck and bowel cavities: 

    Which uses about half the stuffing.  Then, the easiest thing in the world.....

    put all the rest in a crockpot and start on high for an hour, then turn down to low and cook until the turkey is done!

    where the neck cavity is stuffed:

    perfectly done crockpot dressing!

    Grandma with kids after a big meal!
    Last edited: Jul 20, 2012
  11. kathrynn

    kathrynn Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Down here in the's "dressing" only.  IF it's not right...the holiday is totally ruined...IMHO!  haha...but I do a cornbread dressing and have a huge pan of it.  Even my Northern buddies love it and have been made into converts! I usually fry 2 turkeys at Thanksgiving...going to smoke one and fry the other this year!  Can't wait!
  12. tasunkawitko

    tasunkawitko Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    looks and sounds really good, guys ~

    yep, stock is ALWAYS the best way to go, i agree 100%. turkey preferred, of course but we never seem to have any around when we need it, so we go with the chicken stock or broth, which is almost as good. never any giblets for us, and even though i like cornbread and sausage stuffing, the beautiful mrs. tas doesn't, so we never have it, unfortunately.
  13. That's very similar to mine except I add a bunch of sage to mine.
  14. kathrynn

    kathrynn Smoking Guru OTBS Member

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