>> Wednesday, December 2, 2009
I'm from the school that I don't stuff my turkey. I know this is a subject of great debate! My reasons are is that it takes so much longer for the turkey to cook and there is such a risk of not getting the stuffing cooked all the way through. I discovered several years ago that you can make REALLY great dressing in a crock pot. You don't have to use that coveted oven space for your dressing. It is also great because you make it and forget about it until dinner time. Wonderful!
*Note: as a time saver the night before prepare all your vegetables for the next day. Cut your carrot sticks, broccoli, celery, etc for your veggie tray and while you have your cutting board and knife ready prepare your onions and celery for your dressing and turkey (I always put onions, celery and herbs inside my turkey while it cooks). Put your cooking onions and celery in a zip lock bag already for the next day.
Crock Pot Dressing
(Large Recipe, adjust as needed serves approx. 20)
2-3 tab olive oil
3-4 stalks celery finely chopped
1 large onion finely chopped
2-3 leaves of Sage
2-3 stems of Rosemary leaves
2-3 stems of Thyme leaves
3 boxes of stuffing/dressing mix
2-3 cans of chicken stock
1 Crock-Pot cooking bag
In a large stock pot heat your olive oil and add in your celery and onions. Cook until tender, but not brown. Add your fresh herbs that are finely chopped and allow them infuse your onions and celery. If you don't have fresh you can use a couple of teaspoons of poultry seasoning that is available in your supermarket.
Add the stuffing/dressing mix. I use the already seasoned mixes and add more flavors as described above. I also mix bread and corn bread mixes as you like. Add the chicken stock and mix until starting to moisten, add eggs mixing well. The mix should be moist, but not too wet. You can always add more liquid as it cooks if you think it appears too dry.
Place the crock-pot bag in to your crock pot and add the dressing mixture. Of course you can cook it without the bag, but it makes cleanup a snap. Be sure to spray your crock with cooking spray if your don't use a bag. Cook on high for 1.5 hours and then turn down to low for 2-3 hours. If you want your dressing to have more of a "crust" around the edge leave it on high for longer.
Some fun things that can be added to dressing: cooked sausage, pecans, walnuts, or dried cranberries. The simple dressing above is a winner, but adding one or two of the things above makes it even better. Good eats from the Queen of Yum!