Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Ga-Ga's Turkey Dressing

Catagory: Side Dishes
Difficulty Rating: Easy-Medium

Dressing, or stuffing, is a touchy business. Everyone has their own version of perfection. This year, a lot of people are going for a sausage and cranberry stuffing, which sounds very good indeed. But not for the people in my family that don't eat anything but poultry and fish! Hence, I go for a stuffing that's all veg and bread. My grandmother (GaGa) used to make this. She got the recipe from an Italian gardener that worked alongside of her in her huge kitchen garden. If you want it to taste like a traditional dressing, use pre-seasoned dried bread crumbs. If you want to experience something very subtle and different, use un-seasoned dried crumbs. Both ways taste wonderful. Basil...that's the difference and the key.

In a soup kettle, saute in butter or turkey fat:

2 yellow or white onions, chopped to about 1/3 inch chunks
3 C celery with leaves


One bag or box dried bread cubes (I use "Mrs. Cubbison's" from Safeway) or a cubed loaf of stale bread
1 1/2 t. Accent or MSG (yah, but she used it--what can I do?)
1 1/2 t. Beau Monde (it's a spice)
2 heaping dried T Sweet Basil or 4 T fresh Basil
1/2 t ground nutmeg
1/2 t garlic powder or salt
salt and pepper to taste
a very large handful of chopped parsley
chopped giblets (optional-- personally, I prefer to not have them lurking in my dressing)

Toss the above with 1/2 C melted butter and 1 C turkey or chicken broth (I used Swansons if I don't have any home-made in the freezer). You will most likely need to use more broth than what GaGa specified. Make sure the combination is wet, but not soggy. Remember, it's better to have too little moisture than too much. You can always add more broth, but you can't take it away. Throw the stuffing into a buttered crock-pot or a large buttered casserole with a top. Turn the crock pot on until it's done, but not burned! About, 4 hours? If you use a good old casserole, put it in the oven at about 250 degrees until done, then keep it warm on a low temperature or warming tray.