Homemade Turkey Dressing
By Nikki Willhite
How did your turkey and dressing come out this year? Our turkey
came out better than ever this year. About a week before Thanksgiving we got a
packet in the mail of a Turkey glaze mix (a powdery substance). We had never
used a glaze like this before. It was from a freebie that was sent for and
listed in Tightwad Tidbits.
We just patted it over the turkey. The meat was more tender this
year, and had a better flavor. Now my husband wants to know where to get more. I
donít even remember how long ago I sent for this particular freebie. However, my
husband is now sold on glazes, and we will be looking around for other mixes.
Our stuffing came out well also- not dry or too wet. This is not
always the case. We've had our share of overly dry or moist stuffing.
There are some general rules you can follow to minimize this
from happening. Since many people will also be serving turkey for Christmas,
here are some tips to help your stuffing come out better. If you've never made
stuffing from scratch before, you may want to give it a try.
Homemade Stuffing Tips
*Stuffing can be made out of many types of bread. Be sure and
choose the kind your family likes best. Your stuffing will turn out better if
made out of a bread with a firm texture.
*Cut your dry bread into 1/2 inch cubes. Try and get them as
uniform as possible.
*Choose ingredients your family likes to add to the stuffing.
Some choices are: onions, celery, mushrooms, bacon bits, and nuts. Finely chop
up all the ingredients you add to your stuffing.
*Flavor your cooking oil or butter before you begin the sauteing
process. This will give your celery and onions a better flavor. You can do this
by sauteing fresh garlic in the oil before you add the rest of the ingredients.
Remember not to cook the garlic too long, as it burns easily.
*Once your vegetables begin to get soft, turn down the heat and
add your bread crumbs and seasonings and mix well. You want to mix the flavors
together by cooking another 5 minutes, stirring frequently.
*The most common spices are garlic, poultry seasoning, paprika,
oregano, parsley, sage, salt and pepper.
*For your final flavoring, you are going to add some vegetable
stock. This is where you have to be careful not to add too much or too little.
Add just enough to lightly moisten the bread.
Many people just add water to their breadcrumbs, figuring the
spices will add enough flavoring. This is the difference between good food and
great food. Water has no flavor. If you want to be a great cook, use less water!
Great cooks are known for their sauces. Make a good vegetable stock, or buy one
in a can, and use it in the place of water to add wonderful flavor to many
*In order to make your stuffy light and fluffy, be careful not
to pack the bird too firmly. The stuffing will expand as it is cooking.
*One safety tip: Do not add the stuffing to the Turkey until you
are ready to put it into the oven. Remove it as soon as the turkey is done
Try and add one special ingredient to make your stuffing
special. Perfect a recipe using ingredients such as chestnuts, apples, pecans or
cornbread. Try using leeks instead of onions, real butter instead of margarine,
adding pork, pecans, or different spices.
"Signature recipes" are often handed down through
generations. Bring memories of happy holidays and your familyís celebrations
to your children through the unique cooking smells of your holiday meals.