What Goes Into Stuffing?

oregonwoodsmoke(5 OR Sunset 1A)December 1, 2010

There's an ad running on TV that says stuffing is controversial and it shows people throwing stuffing at each other in some sort of war.

Really? Stuffing is controversial? Since when?

What do you all put into the stuffing?

I use croutons, celery, onion, sage, onion powder, melted butter, turkey broth (made from the giblets), a small can of sliced water chestnuts, a small chopped apple, and occasionally I add pecans.

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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

Can't imagine why it is considered controversial unless they were talking about cooking it INSIDE the turkey. That is controversial.

As to ingredients, about the same as yours. We use dry bread crumbs rather than croutons, diced cooked giblets, turkey broth, diced onions, celery, and carrots, sage, S&P and melted butter.

Dave

    Bookmark   December 1, 2010 at 7:03PM
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pixie_lou

I haven't seen the ad, but my guess is that people have strong opinions as to what should go into stuffing. Our family decides who gets to host Thanksgiving dinner in part by who makes the best stuffing.

I personally gag at the thought of oysters, sausage or corn bread in stuffing. And I'm not a fan of giblets of sage. I like apples and lots of onions, and it needs to be made with my oatmeal bread.

    Bookmark   December 1, 2010 at 8:56PM
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readinglady(z8 OR)

My southern step-mother made wonderful stuffing, and was often recruited for parish dinners where she made stuffing for 400+ people.

Hers was a moist stuffing 1/3 bread, 1/3 biscuits, 1/3 cornbread. Some time before the holiday she would be collecting leftovers for the freezer. The liquid included broth, egg (and some of you may have trouble with this but she would use the unshelled eggs found when butchering chickens), and beer. I don't know how she arrived at the beer because she was a teetotaler, but the result was a light yet moist stuffing to die for. Celery and onion. Lots and lots of sage, salt and pepper.

Mine is totally different, consisting of white Italian bread, whole wheat bread, sausage, apples, sometimes dried cranberries, broth, butter, celery, onion, sage, rosemary, thyme.

Sometimes I make a wild and white rice dressing but regardless of the recipe, I never stuff the turkey.

Which just goes to show there is no one "right" dressing/stuffing and there's plenty of room for variety.

Carol

    Bookmark   December 1, 2010 at 10:27PM
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morz8(Washington Coast Z8b)

Carol, the bread, biscuits, cornbread sounds interesting - no old family favorites to follow here.

I don't mind an oyster stuffing. But most that appeal to me aren't too sweet with fruit, or too heavy with meat...and they need some texture, something that makes for a better 'bite' than just moist bread, like the water chestnuts and pecans first mentioned by woodsmoke.

I tried a new one this year -
Challah bread, cubed and lightly toasted in the oven, celery, garlic, parsley, thyme, sage, toasted walnuts, broth, butter, eggs and lots of slightly sauteed mushrooms. I used button and crimini, recipe had asked for three types but my only choice for a third at a local grocery that snowy week were Portabello and I couldn't justify $8/lb. The stuffing cost more than the bird as it was :)

It was quite good, I'm sure I'll make it again. Put it together on Wednesday and baked it almost through then refrigerated, finished it off in the oven as the turkey was standing and I made the gravy.

    Bookmark   December 1, 2010 at 10:54PM
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readinglady(z8 OR)

That sounds wonderful. We love mushrooms and would agree that any meat should be a "condiment" not the primary ingredient.

Sorry for us that water chestnuts would be verboten unless I prepped fresh ones. DH loathes water chestnuts, primarily due to the tinned taste of the canned version. He hates the Asian canned mini-ears of corn for the same reason.

But mushrooms do sound lovely. With the right dressing I could happily skip the turkey.

Carol

    Bookmark   December 1, 2010 at 11:27PM
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bumble_doodle(Z5 CT)

We always make the stuffing the same way as my grandmother used to - bread, onion, bacon, diced cooked liver & heart, egg, thyme & sage. Definitely not healthy, but quite tasty.

    Bookmark   December 2, 2010 at 11:18AM
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zabby17(z5/6 Ontario)

Me, I can't stand most turkey stuffings. Always soggy or too dry, and tasting of little but stale sage.

I have had a very few I liked, including one made with day-old (no older!) cornbread and more thyme than sage (this is what I make if hosting family for a turkey dinner), and one with wild rice.

And if it's not cooked in the turkey, I say, why bother? (And why pretend it's "stuffing"?)

I do like a lot of different things stuffed into squash. The other day I stuffed a lovely butternut with brown rice, sausage, onion, apple, thyme, salt & pepper, chestnuts (freshly roasted in our woodstove), a little lemon juice, some scraped-out squash flesh, salt and pepper.... Mmmm....

    Bookmark   December 3, 2010 at 2:44PM
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John__ShowMe__USA(5/6)

Zabby writes.. I do like a lot of different things stuffed into squash. The other day I stuffed a lovely butternut with brown rice, sausage, onion, apple, thyme, salt & pepper, chestnuts (freshly roasted in our woodstove), a little lemon juice, some scraped-out squash flesh, salt and pepper.... Mmmm....

I'm salivating all over myself here!! Have the butternut squash, am expecting 15 lbs wild rice in the mail tomorrow, have fresh thyme still alive in my garden, can buy apples, but sadly... no roasted chestnuts over the open fire. :-( Sausage I can buy too. More details pleeease! And maybe a possible sub for the roasted chestnuts?

j

    Bookmark   December 3, 2010 at 3:29PM
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aftermidnight Zone7b B.C. Canada

I use my grans recipe for stuffing which I refer to as dressing up here :). It's a simple recipe but very tasty.

Measurements for a whole frying chicken
6 or 8 slices of bread slightly dried and cut into cubes
1/2 medium onion finely chopped
1/3 of a bunch of fresh parsley finely chopped
Fresh thyme leaves pulled from the stems (lots, I'm guessing here, maybe a tablespoon or more)
One beaten egg
A couple of tablespoons of melted butter or marg.
Toss everything together and stuff the bird.

Annette

    Bookmark   December 3, 2010 at 4:42PM
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mellyofthesouth(9a FL)

Funny how tastes vary. We had half dry bread cubes and half cornbread, mushrooms, celery, onions, and fresh sage. It was yummy.

    Bookmark   December 3, 2010 at 8:52PM
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zabby17(z5/6 Ontario)

john,

Just saute onion in a little oil or sausage fat (and the sausage too if not already cooked---mine was leftover from something else). When translucent, add other stuff [rice already cooked] and saute a few minutes, till it's warm and well acquinted and any liquid (from apples & lemon juice) evaporates.

Butternut squashes don't have a very big empty cavity so I scraped out a bit more of the squash and added it to the stuffing, too. (With an acorn squash you don't have to do this.)

I only had a small amount of sausage (it was good, local stuff and didn't take much).

If no chestnuts, put in something for a little crunch---pine nuts? sunflower seeds?

Actually, if you have wild rice you may not need more texture. Gotta get some wild rice myself. It's so awesome, and would be GREAT in a squash!

Z

    Bookmark   December 5, 2010 at 8:21AM
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kayskats

no stuffed birds here ... but I'd love to have my Aunt Margaret's recipe for Dressing. It was the only thing Margaret ever cooked, but boy was it good. Mother made cornbread and pone bread the day before and Margaret crumbled them and added celery, onions, eggs, stock from the giblets and neck and I don't know what else ... but I cannot match it. It was moist AND browned.

kay

    Bookmark   December 5, 2010 at 10:38AM
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flora_uk(SW UK 8/9)

annette - that is almost identical to the traditional forcemeat I've just made. But mine has lemon juice and zest too. I have been having to do Christmas dinner in other people's houses the last few years so have done the stuffings separately to save cooking time but normally I prefer it inside the turkey. I put the breadcrumb stuffing in the body and sausage meat in the neck end.

    Bookmark   December 5, 2010 at 12:26PM
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zabby17(z5/6 Ontario)

kay,

I've heard of corn bread and corn pone, but what's pone bread?

Zabby of the Great White North....

    Bookmark   December 5, 2010 at 2:36PM
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aftermidnight Zone7b B.C. Canada

Flora, I'll have to try the lemon juice and zest next time I stuff a bird. I sometimes put sausage meat in the neck cavity, DH likes it more than I.

Annette

    Bookmark   December 5, 2010 at 7:46PM
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kayskats

Zabby ... I didn't know what to call it so I made up the term to mean unleaven biscuit dough shaped into two large pones and cooked on a flat cast iron griddle in the oven. The corn pone was cooked the same way with no shortening.

Kay of the frigid middle Atlantic. Please recall that Alberta Clipper AND THE WINDS.

k

    Bookmark   December 6, 2010 at 2:16PM
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John__ShowMe__USA(5/6)

Zabby writes: > I only had a small amount of sausage (it was good, local stuff and didn't take much).

Well... I went nuts and bought mucho sausage earlier this week. Cooked all of it & put in the freezer. The 5 lbs of "Hot Italian" was ridiculously cheap and really good...

Most of the others are rather pricey...




More Zabby: > Actually, if you have wild rice you may not need more texture. Gotta get some wild rice myself. It's so awesome, and would be GREAT in a squash!

I've been buying wild rice from the same company for years now & think have tried everything they sell. My fav is the "Extra Fancy Long Grain"
& I make a really good (to me) breakfast burrito with it. So now am changing my mind and instead of stuffing a squash want to make a squash/sausage/rice casserole of some kind that I can stuff (on topic!?) into burritos.

    Bookmark   December 11, 2010 at 11:06AM
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zabby17(z5/6 Ontario)

john,

Wow, you had a sausage-pa-looza! (How did I know this was going to end in burritos?)

This week I bought slab bacon from the place that has local meats where I got the sausage before. Put some into some baked beans w/ molasses. Baked beans on homemade whole wheat toast is one of our new fave breakfasts.

Kay,

Does "pone" just to the shape of bread, presumably round like you'd get from cooking it in a frying pan?

Stay warm, whatever you do!

Z

    Bookmark   December 12, 2010 at 12:07AM
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kayskats

zabby ...more half round ... you'd make two pones and put 'em on a round cast iron griddle ... we made cracklin' corn pones the same way.

kay

    Bookmark   December 12, 2010 at 8:01AM
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buyorsell888(Zone 8 Portland OR)

I love stuffing/dressing.
I don't make mine the same every time and I make it with chicken as well as turkey. I vary the following ingredients:

dried cornbread
dried wheat/white bread mixed
Jimmy Dean sage sausage
oysters
onions
celery
fresh mushrooms
water chestnuts
apples
raisins
cranberries
rosemary
sage
chicken or turkey broth (made with neck/giblets or bought)

If I stuff the bird I mix that stuffing with that made in a casserole to even out the texture.

    Bookmark   December 12, 2010 at 5:21PM
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