We wanted to share some quick tips for making great turkey stuffing:
- Use “Dried-Out” bread. Try to dry out your bread a few days before you are ready to make your stuffing by letting it sit out. If you forget this step you can still do it the day of by cutting it into cues and letting it toast in the oven on low heat. Typically around 350 degrees works well for about 20 minutes or until bread is thoroughly dry. Starting with bread that is too moist can make your stuffing mushy so this is an important step.
- Cook Your Extras First. Many people think that since the stuffing will be in the bird that all the other ingredients like onion, celery etc. will cook well enough just from being inside the turkey (if you decide to cook them in the bird – see tip #5 below). It is much better to pre-cook the extra ingredients before adding them to the stuffing. You run less risk of vegetables that are not cooked through enough and it just tastes better with the vegetables and seasoning pre-cooked together.
- Careful With Seasonings. Taste your stuffing before you put it into the Turkey to be sure the seasonings are good. Add seasonings gradually, especially if you are using store bough broth as a base. Many of these already have salt and your seasoning can end up too salty if you are not careful.
- Be Slow to Add Liquids. Too much liquid at once and your stuffing can get soggy. Add your broth slowly and let it absorb before using the full amount in the recipe. Depending on the bread you are using and other ingredients that may have their own ‘juice’ the ideal amount of liquid you want to add may be less than the recipe calls for.
- Don’t Stuff Your Stuffing. While many people like to cook their stuffing in the bird because “that’s how we’ve always done it”. Stuffing cooked outside the bird typically turns out more consistently and has better texture. Cooking the stuffing inside the turkey can cause the stuffing to not get cooked enough or result in an overcooked bird. Cooking/baking your stuffing separate from your turkey will typically yield you much better, consistent results (plus you can taste test it as you go 😉
Prefer to let us do the cooking this Thanksgiving? Check out some helpful menus below that can be used for Thanksgiving and throughout the holidays: