Old Fashioned Bread Dressing – we just call it Dressing in our family and it wouldn’t be Thanksgiving without it. Grandma Betty used to make it half with oysters and half without. My husband’s family did the same thing. Since we moved to Florida and have no family here, it’s up to me to make all of the traditional dishes our kids enjoyed at the big family dinner at our grandparents’ house up north. Of all the wonderful, iconic fare associated with the holiday, this is the one side Jimmie and I can’t live without. The boys love it, too, so I have to make a huge batch so there will be plenty of leftovers. 🙂
The secret to an awesome dressing is… Sage, turkey broth, AND chicken stock. It doesn’t matter if I cook the turkey in a bag or a roasting pan, I save every drop of liquid and split it between the dressing and Old Fashioned Dumplings. I only use chicken broth as a back-up if I feel the bread isn’t moist enough with the stock I have on hand.
Old Fashioned Bread Dressing
My mother-in-law taught me to microwave the onions and celery for 5 minutes before adding them to the bread. It ensures that they’ll be nice and tender when the dressing is done. Tear the bread up a day or two before Thanksgiving so it can dry out as much as possible. I usually don’t remember to do it until Wednesday afternoon, the bread is rarely ever completely dried, but the dressing always tastes wonderful. Every time I walk by the table though, I give the bread pieces a quick toss/turn-over. That’s three whole loaves of bread spread out on the table in the pic below. Gram never used as much as I do, but she never had leftovers.
Bake in oven for about an hour, give or take 10-15 minutes depending on the level of moistness/dryness you prefer.
Happy Thanksgiving and happy eating!