The Question of Turkey Dressing

I've been looking through Thanksgiving recipes, mainly to find tips to ensure that my 24-pound bird will be the best it can be. Most articles and blog posts on cooking turkey also include recipes for turkey dressing, or stuffing -what you call it usually depends on what part of the US you grew up in. These recipes vary so greatly that I want to find out what other people really serve. I will stick to the recipe I learned from my grandmother, made from cornbread, bread crumbs, onions, celery, butter, sage, pepper, and chicken stock. The amounts of each are dependent on years of helping mom or grandma make it, so I know when it smells and tastes right, multiplied by how many people are coming for dinner.  

The people who try out dressing recipes found on the internet tend to be those who don't have a traditional family recipe, or who didn't particularly like the one they had. And then there are cooks who attempt to replicate recipes from in-laws, which is a hit-or-miss adventure, fraught with consequences. What is your traditional dressing like? If you have a minute to share your recipes and tips, feel free to use the comment section. And since I would feel bad for not including a link or two, here are some recipes I've run across.

Bread-based Skillet Stuffing.

Bread, walnuts, and fruit.

Mushrooms and bacon.

Turkey meat and pork.

Dressing made with White Castle sliders.

(Image credit: Flickr user Rakka)

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What should turkey dressing have in it? You can select more than one answer.












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I love cornbread, but I like my stuffing to be from bread. My mother-in-law makes a great stuffing from bread, sautéed onions and celery, chicken or turkey stock, and I'm not sure what else.
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My grandmother and mother always made a dressing using store-bought bread cubes, and then adding celery, onions, stuffing seasoning (a sage-based seasoning by Schilling), salt, pepper, butter, chicken broth (yes, very similar to DrWhat's recipe), but the most important ingredient was eggs. The eggs make the stuffing into a savory bread pudding. We always cooked it in the bird, and the flavor would be absorbed into the turkey from the inside, and the stuffing came out moist and delicious.

We're also aluminum foil turkey cooks. After slathering the turkey with salted butter inside and out, stuffing and trussing it shut, we put foil over the whole thing and fasten it tightly to the pan. We don't go near the turkey until the last hour or so, when we check the temperature, then loosen the foil and start basting it with butter. The last half hour or so the foil comes off completely, the turkey is basted again, and by the time it's done it has a wonderfully crispy brown skin and stays moist on the inside.
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We keep it simple with using only dried bread cubes, mixed with onions and celery that have been sauteed in lots of butter, then moistened with chicken stock and seasoned with salt and pepper. My in laws make the half-scratch version from above, using Stove Top and adding stuff to it. Also, I generally have always considered stuffing to be cooked in the bird while dressing is cooked separately.
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