The men in my husband’s family are great at teasing people; having a good sense of humor and an ability to throw it back at them is a must. A great sense of humor is something I am quite proud to say, my husband and I both passed down to all three of our kids. Even before I joined the family 32 years ago, Grampa was already teasing Aunt Laura about her turkey dressing. When Laura was growing up, her family always called it turkey dressing, Grampa thought if you stuffed it in a turkey, it should be called stuffing, not dressing, your not dressing the bird, your stuffing it….so the debate went on around the Thanksgiving table each year. Laura making her amazing dressing/stuffing, and Grampa teasing her the whole time, depending on who was doing the passing of the dishes, if you didn’t call it the right name, it wasn’t going to be passed down the table to you! To quote Laura’s husband Mike, “As far as I was concerned, as long as Laura made it the way she did, she could call it whatever she wanted!”
Each year we switch back and forth between Jeff’s family and my family where we eat our Thanksgiving dinner. No matter who’s house we are eating at, Jeff has to have Laura’s dressing so I have tried over the years to perfect this recipe or at least get close to his expectations (the bar was set quite high on this one) Laura always spoiled Jeff completely, she made sure to send left overs home with us when we had dinner there and even on those years we had dinner with my family and dessert with his, Laura would always give him a big hug and sneak a package of dressing into Jeff’s hands as we left. Needless to say, when my husband found out I would be blogging this recipe, he hung around the house all day, wandering into the kitchen and repeatedly volunteering to be my official taster before everything went into the oven.
The World's Best Turkey Dressing (or Stuffing!)
1 24 ounce Loaf Bread, cubed and toasted
*1 20oz package of ground turkey (I use 99% fat free), browned, rinsed and drained
*1 lb Turkey Sausage, browned, rinsed and drained
1 whole bunch of Celery Stalks, sliced into bite size pieces
1 whole onion, chopped
1 package Mushrooms, chopped (8-10 ounces)
6 Cloves Garlic
½ to ¾ tsp Black Pepper
5 tsp Poultry Seasoning
¼ cup Water
2 10-3/4 ounce cans Cream of Mushroom Soup
Toast bread cubes on parchment paper, 350 degrees, stirring occasionally as they bake (20 -25 minutes). Brown the hamburger and sausage, rinse, drain, set aside.
In a medium saucepan combine celery (about 5-6 cups), onion, mushrooms (about 2 cups), garlic, pepper, poultry seasoning and water. Cover and cook until onion and celery are tender but not fully cooked.
In an extra large bowl, combine meat and breadcrumbs, stir well, pour vegetables and liquid over the meat and breadcrumb mixture, and continue stirring. Mix in both cans of soup. Mixture should be moist but not mushy or soupy. If you are worried about getting your mixture too moist, pour vegetables in and reserve a portion of the liquid in the pan until you mix all ingredients well, add reserved liquid as needed for desired consistency.
Do NOT add any salt until everything is well mixed and you taste it, more than likely, you will not need to add any salt at all!
Stuff your bird, any left overs can be placed in a well greased baking dish, covered and heated at 350 degrees for about 45-60 minutes. I cook covered for 30 minutes, give it a good stir to check consistency, remove foil and continue cooking for an additional 15 to 25 minutes to brown it up. If your stuffing got too moist, remove the foil and bake for an additional 10-20 minutes to firm it up. Enjoy!!
* I slightly modified the original recipe and use ground turkey and turkey sausage instead of ground beef and pork sausage. This cuts down on the fat and my daughter is allergic to pork. Feel free to use ground beef and sausage instead!
Happy Thanksgiving and Enjoy!!