Some people call it stuffing. Some people call it dressing. It just depends on what part of the country you live in. Northerners call it stuffing. Southerners call it dressing. I just call it delicious.
Believe it or not, some version of “stuffing” has been around since about 200 BC, created by a chef knowns as Apicius. Back then it was a combination of herbs, vegetables, nuts, brains and liver (yuck to the last two) that were combined and stuffed into the cavity of an animal carcass that was all cooked together. Prior to the the times when stove tops were a household staple, turkey, as well as most other meats, were roasted on a spit over an open fire. There were not a lot of ways to cook other foods, so the “stuffing was inserted inside the carcass and was cooked at the same time. Today, most people cook the stuffing separately from the turkey, due to health reasons. The stuffing and the turkey cook at different temperatures and there is always a concern of cross contamination when cooking different foods together, especially if they do not cook completely. I always prepare my stuffing separately from my turkey, just to be on the safe side.
Today, there are many different versions of stuffing or dressing. Some use bread and some use rice. Some have meats added and others donot. Once again, there is no right or wrong way to make either a stuffing or a dressing. The only limitations are that of your own imagination. Southerners use cornbread in their “dressings”. This came from a dish brought over by the slaves from Africa, known as kush. A lot of Northerners use oysters. The Northern versions also use a lot of rice, and were based on Native American dishes. Stuffing/dressing has been an American tradition served on Thanksgiving tables since at least 1836.
As you may have noticed, when I get busy, especially if I am busy hosting a party, I forget to take a lot of pictures of what I am cooking. I am more focused on getting everything out and ready for my guests than I am on taking pictures. Such was the case this time too, and I forgot to take pictures of my stuffing. So, unfortunately, I will be using a stock photo, and you will will just have to use your imagination, and Julia’s testimony, ” I would love your dressing recipe. You made some of the best dressing I’ve had” on what I actually made. http://retirementrvdream.wordpress.com/ Julia is an excellent cook, so I am greatly honored she has given it such high praise.
My stuffing was very similar to this version. I filled it with ground Andouille sausage and apples.
Andouille Sausage and Apple Stuffing
1 lb day old bread, cubed – you want it kind of crusty and hard
2 apples, peeled and diced
1 1/2 lbs ground Andouille sausage
1 1/2 TBSP garlic
1 onion, diced fine
3 celery stalks, diced
salt & pepper to taste
2 TBSP chopped herbs – a combination of rosemary, thyme, oregano, parsley and sage
2 cups chicken or turkey broth
Preheat the oven to 375* F or 190* C
Spray cooking spray in a 9×13 baking sheet.
Cube the bread and add the seasonings, then set aside.
Cook the sausage, celery, onion and garlic together in olive oil until the sausage is completely cooked and the vegetables are tender. Then add them to the bread cubes and combine well. Add everything into the prepared baking pan. Pour the stock over the mixture and press it firmly into the mixture to make sure everything is completely saturated. This to make sure the stuffing stays moist and does not dry out. Cover with aluminum foil and bake for about 1 1/2 hours, or until the stuffing is completely cooked.
When it is ready, serve it with your turkey and the rest of your meal and enjoy.
Happy Holidays Everyone. Stay safe and stay well. ‘Til next time.