Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Cranberry Dressing or Stuffing

I found this recipe a few years ago - and made it then.  It was well loved, and I've been making it annually since.  It's really got a unique flavor with the berries in it, and it's very different from stuffing that has that cut up meat remnants baked in ... those little hidden "jems" aren't my cup of tea... these cranberries are a perfect option for me!

And do you know the difference between dressing and stuffing?  Stuffing is "stuffed into the cavity of a bird prior to cooking".  So, stuffing has to be treated with care - it has to be cooked to at least 165 degrees because it's been soaking up raw turkey juices for hours in the bird.  And, it slows down the cooking of the bird because it blocks the heat that could otherwise go into the cavity of the bird and cook it from multiple directions.  I also read that a stuffed bird is frequently drier because you have to cook it longer to over come what I just said... so dressing is the same stuff, but not in the bird, rather in a pan, and it's used to "dress up your plate".  I pick dressing!

Cranberry Dressing

1 16 oz package preseasoned bread cubes called stuffing mix
1 can whole berry cranberry sauce (this is not that strange can-shapped log that is sliced and served on a plate at the holiday table, this is a soft gel that flops out of the can )
2 cups chicken broth, water or turkey broth
1cup onions
1 cup celery
1/4 cup butter or margarine

in skillet, cook celery and onion in margarine or butter until quite soft - about 10 minutes. 
Add turkey broth to cranberry sauce - mix.
Put the bread crumbs in a big baking dish, add the celery and onion, then the liquids and mix everything well, then bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes (this is the perfect amount of time for your turkey to rest and be carved, so put the stuffing in when the bird comes out!)

makes alot of servings - at least 8 but with everything else planned for thanksgiving, it'll serve 16ish!

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