Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Rocking Turkey Dressing

Denise’s Rocking Turkey Dressing


½ Bag Pepperidge Farm seasoned corn bread dressing
½ bag Pepperidge Farm seasoned bread dressing
1 tube Jimmy Dean Sage sausage
1 stick margarine
3-4 stalks of celery, washed and chopped
1 large onion, chopped
1&1/2 apples, cored and chopped (red delicious or other)
1 c walnuts, chopped
1 cup water (approximate)
Poultry seasoning
Garlic powder

1. Crumble and cook sausage until done, set aside. (Make sure you break the sausage up into tiny pieces)
2. Melt margarine over low heat in large sauce pan, add onions and celery and sauté until tender or as us cooks say, translucent. Add apples, walnuts and sausage. Turn off heat.
3. In separate bowl toss together the two dressing mixes. Add sausage/margarine mixture. Toss until combined. Add a couple shakes of pepper, poultry seasoning, garlic powder and salt. (Not too much. The bread is already seasoned and less is more)
4. Drizzle water 1/3 cup at a time and mix. You only need a little water to bind. If you add too much it will be too wet once it combines with the juice from the turkey. (and yes, we are stuffing the turkey, no self respecting cook wouldn't)
5. Spoon into turkey (don’t forget that strange hole at the butt) but don’t over stuff or pack too tightly. There will be enough left over for an extra pan. You are going to need it. It’s just that good.
Now enjoy the best dang dressing in the whole wide world.

How it all began:
I married my husband 13 years ago. The first Thanksgiving after we tied the knot, my husband keep telling me how good his mother's dressing was. She made corn bread dressing. I didn't know anything about corn bread dressing because my mother was famous for her bread dressing. I remember sitting at the kitchen counter breaking up the loafs of bread into the large bowl. I fought the urge to tell my hubby to stuff it because I wasn't his mother and actually called her for the recipe. Well, just like my mother she didn't use recipes. No self respecting cook from the old school did. At least that's what my mother told me. I tried to make her dressing the best I could, really I did. It was okay but 'not his momma's'. The next year we traveled to Chattanooga, TN for the holidays and I got a chance to taste that famous dressing. Oh my God! It was beyond good and I knew immediately, I would never be able to emulate it, so why even try. The next holiday, I decided to experiment and I combined what I thought was the best of two worlds, my mother's bread dressing with my mother in law's corn bread. I then tossed in my own flavor because neither of them used the sausage and apples and walnuts. Well, damn, I had a hit. People were scrapping the poor turkey's carcus for the last bit of dressing and fussing when it was all gone. So there you have it. Denise's Rocking Turkey Dressing! Enjoy!

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