Thanksgiving is right around the corner. Over the years I’ve added and subtracted from this recipe, and now it’s my go-to dressing for Thanksgiving, with plenty left over to freeze for later.
Mushrooms, bacon, pecans and water chestnuts add flavor and texture
This is dressing rather than stuffing. The difference is that it’s not actually stuffed into anything. Cooking it inside the bird can make it mushy, plus you have to cook the turkey longer so the stuffing will reach a safe temperature. That can dry out the meat. So baking the dressing in a casserole dish generally works better. It’s rich enough without soaking up drippings from the bird.
Purple sage from the garden is now dried in the cupboard
This makes a LOT, which is good if you cook Thanksgiving for a crowd. You can also freeze it either cooked or uncooked to have with chicken or pork (or turkey, of course) later. Or halve the recipe for fewer people.
- 3 (14 ounce) dried bread cubes – a mix of white, wheat and cornbread (or dry your own)
- 1 pound uncured bacon, cooked and crumbled (and save the grease (!))
- 1 pound mushrooms, sliced
- 1 1/2 cups pecan pieces
- 1-2 (8 ounce) cans water chestnuts, diced
- 1-2 white or yellow onions, diced
- 1 1/2 cups celery, diced
- 1 Tablespoon dried thyme
- 2 Tablespoons dried sage
- 2 Tablespoons dried parsley
- Salt and pepper to taste
Heat together 1 quart chicken stock, 1 stick of butter, and the bacon grease (more or less according to your taste). Add to the bread mixture, being careful not to over- or under-soak. You might have to add a little more chicken stock or hot water.
Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes to 1 hour, depending on the size of the pan(s).