Turkey Dressing Recipe-Confident in the Kitchen-Jean Miller

Turkey Dressing

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My mom used to make this Turkey Dressing every Thanksgiving for my dad. As a child, I peeled the crusts from Wonder Bread, buttered each slice, sprinkled seasonings on top, and then helped tear up the pieces. When Dane and Jessi were little, I had them do the same. Over the years my method evolved. I began using my homemade Bread from Heaven, and inevitably variations emerged. There is just one constant. Thanksgiving is absolutely not Thanksgiving until this dressing is on the table. Miss you, Mom and Dad. Always.

Turkey Dressing Recipe

    • Servings: 8
    • Calories per: 229
    • Active Time: 15 min
    • Total Time: 1 hr 30 min
    • Difficulty: Easy
WHAT YOU NEED WHAT TO DO WHY
  • 1 turkey neck
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 carrot broken into pieces
  • 1 celery stalk broken into pieces
  • ¾ teaspoon fine sea salt
  • ¾ teaspoon onion powder
  • ¾ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon parsley flakes
  • ¼ teaspoon thyme flakes
  • ¼ teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/16 teaspoon cayenne
Stock (bone broth): Rub the turkey neck with olive oil and add to a heavy ceramic nonstick 3-quart saucepan over medium heat. Add vegetables and seasonings and brown the turkey (~5 minutes). The neck is prone to sticking in cookware other than nonstick. Using additional oil causes excessive spatter. Regular olive oil is sufficient here; heat destroys and wastes the subtle flavors of expensive extra-virgin. The Maillard (my YARD) reaction (browning) adds rich flavor.
  • 5 cups tap water
Add water to saucepan; bring to a boil (~5 minutes). Cover (a glass lid works well for monitoring) and promptly reduce heat to hold at a simmer for 1 hour. Extract the neck, celery, and carrot with a slotted spoon. The stock will be a rich, amber color with very little fat. Long, gentle simmering produces clear stock with silky mouthfeel from dissolved collagen. A slotted spoon leaves behind all the beautiful thyme and parsley.
Cube the bread to ½-inch (trimming the crust is optional). Add to a 3-quart mixing bowl and set aside. Center an oven rack; preheat to 350°F Convection (verify with an oven thermometer). Meanwhile… Flavorful bread makes this dressing exceptional. Internal oven thermostats are often improperly calibrated.
  • 2 tablespoons butter, cut into pieces
  • 2 teaspoons sage, rubbed
  • 1 teaspoon poultry seasoning
  • ¾ teaspoon fine sea salt
  • ¾ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 1/2 ounces (½ cup) yellow onion, finely diced to 1/8 inch
  • 2 1/2 ounces (½ cup) celery, finely diced to 1/8 inch
In a 1-quart tri-ply saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter. Add seasonings, onion, and celery, occasionally tossing with a bamboo spoon until onion is tender and translucent (~3 minutes). Distribute seasoned onions and celery over the bread cubes. Drizzle the stock, lightly tossing as you go with a spoon or your hands. Stop adding when you reach your preferred moisture level. We like ours moist but not soggy. A fine dice allows the flavor to come through without overt celery texture. Salted butter spatters. Bamboo is gentle on cookware.
  • ½ cup chopped raisins, dried cranberries, or peeled and diced Granny Smith apple
Spread dressing evenly on a quarter sheet pan; distribute fruit on top. Cover tightly with aluminum foil and bake 30 minutes. Remove foil and continue baking until the top has crispy edges (~12 minutes). Arrange decoratively around the turkey or under the carved pieces. Covering holds in moisturizing steam. Baking separately is safer than baking inside the turkey.

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