This week on Thursday in the US is Thanksgiving. I totally love that holiday for a lot of reasons. My friends from other cultures put their own spin on it. Along with turkey, they will have side dishes that speak their cultural language.
My grandfather used to make dressing every year. It’s totally simple but it’s good. It goes better if you drink a little wine while you are making it. Each member of my family puts their own spin on it. Here is my version. All quantities are variable depending on how many people you are having.
I remember when “family recipes” were a closely guarded secret. Like it was the formula for Coke or Kentucky Fried Chicken’s unique blend of spices. Not so much in the internet sharing age! Especially because I am not commercializing it. I just want to spread the joy.
White seasoned bread croutons. You can make your own if you want. Get white bread, lay it out and let it dry. Chop it up. Toast it a little if you like. This batch I am making will have 2 bags, maybe three depending.
Pork sausage. The more fat in it, the better. I am using 1.5 packs of Jimmy Dean pork sausage. Might throw the whole thing in. You can buy seasoned sausage or plain, just depends on your taste.
2-3 onions finely chopped
Celery, finally chopped 3-4 ribs
Garlic, 2-3 cloves crushed
roasted chestnuts, chopped up (I have also used water chestnuts)
mushrooms chopped or sliced (I have never added Shitake mushrooms, but they have more umami than regular mushrooms)
Butter, Thyme, Rosemary, Parsley, Sage, Fresh Ground Pepper, Salt, Liquid Smoke
In a pan, cook the sausage. Leave the fat in the pan. Cook the chopped vegetables in the fat. You might have to add some more.
Butter the bottom and sides of a roasting pan. Add the dried bread, the sausage, the vegetables, the garlic, and the chestnuts. Then add at least 8 cups of chicken bouillon. You want the dressing to be wet. Season it to taste.
Stir it up really good. Mix all the stuff together.
Then roast it in an oven at 325. Every half hour or so, mix it up. You want it to crisp up. In my family, some people like it dry, and others like it wet. It takes 3-4 hours to get right. You can also make it ahead. It gets better after a day or two.
There are plenty of variations. I have put dried fruit in it-but didn’t care for it. I have used a mix of white bread and corn bread. That’s okay, but I didn’t think it made that much of a difference. If you went crazy, putting some truffles in there might be fun.
Have a good Thanksgiving.