Posted by: marthabernie | January 5, 2019

A Lesson Learned About Turkey Dressing

I experienced one of my cooking mistakes over Christmas.  It had to do with the turkey dressing recipe that I have made for decades, having tweaked my mother’s original recipe in the 80s.  I cannot even guess how many pans of this dressing I have made over the years.  In early days, I would sometimes stuff the bird with the dressing but gave that up because it always came out of the turkey sort of steamed and mushy.  We like our dressing a bit crispy on top with some texture to it, so I usually tear up white bread and let is dry out, then use a large box of Mrs. Cubbison’s (or similar) dressing mix in the cornbread variety.  This year was a little different because I was not cooking the turkey at Christmas but rather at New Year’s and when the family did not arrive until after dinner time on the  28th, I decided NOT to bake the dressing until the next day when I would be roasting the turkey.  Here is where the mistake was made…instead of waiting to pour on the chicken stock just as the dressing went into the oven the next day, I poured it on and THEN decided not to bake it until the following day.  So the dressing sat in the refrigerator for nearly 24 hours with the stock making it quite mushy.  I did not notice this until it came out of the oven the next day and sampled it.  The top was lovely and crispy from the baking, but the underneath part had the consistency of a heavy pudding.  Everything mushed up together.  It tasted FINE, don’t get me wrong, but the texture was all wrong and I laughed about it because I could not remember ever putting the dressing in the refrigerator BEFORE baking it.  I should have just gone ahead and baked it and then refrigerated it before reheating the next night.  Oh well.  Live and learn….even after 40 years of making turkey dressing!

 

PS (Jan 6, 2019):  I refrigerated the leftovers for a couple of days and then put them in a pan and broke up the dressing with a fork, then reheated for a little while in the oven.  That seems to have taken the mushiness out of the dressing and it’s almost as good as new!  Supports my theory that leftovers are sometimes better than the original servings!


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