A Thanksgiving plate is a work of art — a canvas carefully constructed so that each dish is paired perfectly with one another. Mashed potatoes wouldn’t be the same without gravy, and the turkey always gets a special boost from the cranberry sauce. Last but not least is the stuffing, that moist, flavorful filling that many would argue makes Thanksgiving dinner the unique meal that it is.
Stuffing’s greatness cannot be disputed; its light and flavorful qualities make it arguably one of the best parts of the meal. In fact, a recent study conducted by Mrs. Cubbison’s Kitchen found that stuffing ranks at the top of the list for many Americans.
Traditionally, stuffing was prepared by roasting it in the turkey’s cavity, but more recently, many people have chosen to forgo the stuffed turkey because of the health dangers that can go along with it. Despite its original preparation being eschewed to ensure kitchen safety, stuffing still makes its way to the Thanksgiving table every year (when it's not literally "stuffed" into the bird, it's known as dressing), and for many, the meal wouldn’t be complete without it.
|The Three General Rules of Stuffing to Remember|
|1. Always use bread that has been dried out for at least a day so you have the perfect consistency for whichever stuffing recipe you choose.|
|2. Stuffing can be as wet as you’d like it, but always remember to add the stock in increments so you don’t overdo it.|
|3. If you choose to make stuffing, rather than dressing, make sure to make it on the drier side because it will be become wet during roasting from the turkey’s juices. If it’s not at 165 degrees by the time the turkey is finished, bake it off in the oven for a few minutes more until it is at a safe temperature.|
Whether you choose stuffing or dressing, the doughy goodness can be prepared in a number of ways. Some say cornbread or go home, while others are devoted to packaged bags of stuffing because of their consistent flavor. There are even a few Italians who add their own touch to the stuffing with crumbled sausage. Because so many variations exist, we’ve decided to include a wide variety of stuffing recipes that provide you with fun and innovative ways you can dress up the essential Thanksgiving side. Whether you’re a traditionalist or looking to change things up a bit, these recipes will give you everything you’ll ever need to complete your Thanksgiving masterpiece.
Anne Dolce is the Cook Editor at The Daily Meal. Follow her on Twitter @anniecdolce