Some foods I cook from scratch, other have a little bit of help, and I deviate from the script. My favorite turkey stuffing recipe varies every year, depending on what I have in my refrigerator and cupboards. But regardless, it always comes out delicious and there is never enough for left over “turkey plates.”
Start with Stove Top Turkey Stuffing Mix
Yes, it’s cheating in a way, but I’m brand loyal and Stove Top stuffing has amazing flavor, the seasonings are already mixed in so I don’t have to guess. But I don’t stop there, I chop 3-4 of the following added ingredients and add them to the pot.
Just follow the ingredients on the box.
- Add water and butter to a large saucepan, bring to a boil.
- Turn off burner
- Add breadcrumbs from box
- Remove from heat
- Add 1-2 cups “EXTRA” ingredients and quickly mix with fork
- Cover and let sit for 30 minutes
- Dried cranberries
- Dried cherries
I normally add about a 1/4 cup of each ingredient to my turkey stuffing, notice I said ABOUT, I don’t measure I just chop until it looks good. If you don’t like apples, leave them out, but it does give a nice sweet flavor to the stuffing. They cook down soft, so most people don’t even notice.
Baking Your Turkey
Yes, there is a debate on whether you should bake your stuffing inside the bird or separately. This is mainly due to “safety” reasons. I bake my turkey with the stuffing inside, the turkey drippings add an amazing flavor which unmatched by just stove top cooking.
What is important to remember is to fully cook your turkey, then when you think he’s done, leave it in for 15 more minutes. Since I only use a giant roasting pan once a year I don’t own a “real” metal roaster. I buy the disposables at the grocery store and reuse them to make Chex Mix for the Christmas season. I do have a “real” metal baster though. Plastic turkey basters have a way of somehow touching a really hot service and getting a hole burned into the syringe. Then they don’t work.
Back to the stuffing. Use a large serving spoon and pack the stuffing inside the main body cavity and under the neck flab, just lift and tuck, lift and tuck. (Sounds like an exercise doesn’t it)
Lift the bird and spoon the stuffing way down inside the body cavity. Pack it full. If the stuffing is sticking out the back end of the turkey, that’s ok. It will get nice and crispy and is perfect for snacking on when you take the turkey out of the oven.
After all of your stuffing has disappeared into the turkey, then proceed to season the outside, slip some butter under the skin and cover with bacon. Yup I make a bacon wrapped turkey. If you’re into that type of thing.
I should fix more stuffing throughout the year. Turkey stuffing isn’t just for Thanksgiving and there are a lot of recipes to use with chicken and pork chops. Maybe I’ll venture beyond just stuffing at Thanksgiving.
More Ways to Cook a Turkey