Good Old Country Dressing, by Beverly Hicks Burch

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Good Old Country Dressing

I’ll just start out by saying this recipe is adapted from a Paula Deen recipe. As they say, that should be `nuff said…

I was looking at my original copy of the original recipe. It’s from 2005. Tall & Handsome and I were away from “home” that year…we were solo for the holidays, so we got adventurous. He grilled his first brined turkey that year and I made this “dressing” for the first time.

Now, I’ll have to admit I had never had dressing with sausage in it. I had a few trepidations about using sausage since I’m not a big sausage fan and I’m a very traditional dressing type gal. But, it was a Paula Deen recipe, so what the heck, I was ready for an adventure. Boy, our mouths were certainly happy with the result. We had new taste adventures with each new bite. I discovered sausage in dressing wasn’t such an odd thing after all. Now, it seems downright normal. You will never convince me that oysters are a normal ingredient for dressing…no, never!

Over the years I’ve made this dressing several times. Yes, I’ve tweaked it just a tad. And, although it may be based on a Paula Deen recipe, it is not swimming in butter. When I purchase my sausage, I look for the leanest one I can find. When I made this batch I used Jimmy Dean’s. There was negligible grease in the pan when we browned the sausage.

So, if you’re looking for a way to add a little excitement to you dressing for the holidays, I would recommend this recipe!

Good Old Country Dressing

2 small loaves of white bread, oven dried (Pepperidge Farms is the preferred choice here)

2 cups cooked white rice (I cook mine in low sodium chicken broth for added flavor)

1 sleeve crushed saltine crackers, crushed

1 pound bulk breakfast sausage

2 cups chopped celery hearts

1 large onion chopped

7 cups low sodium chicken broth

Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper taste

2 – 4 teaspoons poultry seasoning (to taste)

3 eggs, beaten

2 tablespoons butter, melted

1. Preheat oven to 350°.

2. Crumble the oven dried bread into a large bowl. Add the crushed saltines.

3. Begin to brown sausage in a large pan that can also go into the oven. Break the sausage up.

4. Add the chopped celery and onions and sauté 5 to 10 minutes until the vegetables are soft and transparent. Next add the 2 cups of cooked rice and mix well.

5. Remove from sausage mixture from heat and begin to add the bread/saltine mixture to the sausage mixture. Gradually add the 7 cups of chicken broth as you add all of the bread/saltine mixture.

6. Salt and pepper to taste. Add poultry seasoning to taste. Mix well.

7. Add beaten eggs and the melted butter. Mix well. Reserve 2 tablespoons of the dressing for the gravy.

8. Bake for about 45 minutes or until cooked through and golden brown.

Mushroom Giblet Gravy

4 cups turkey or chicken stock (again, I use low sodium chicken stock)

Giblets from the turkey*

2 chicken bouillon cubes

2 tablespoons reserved dressing

3 tablespoon cornstarch

1/3 cup cold water

2 pints button mushrooms, sliced

3 tablespoons butter

1 hardboiled egg, chopped

Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper to taste

1. Bring stock and giblets to a boil. Add bouillon and reserved dressing.

2. Combine cornstarch and cold water to make a slurry. Add to the boiling stock. Cook 2 to 3 minutes.

3. Meanwhile sauté mushrooms in butter until brown. Add mushrooms and chopped egg to gravy. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

*I am not a fan of giblet gravy, so I have made this gravy sans giblets and it still has a wonderful taste!

Good Old Country Stuffing

© 2010 Beverly Hicks Burch All Rights Reserved.

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