Mix and Match Bread Dressing
For dry bread cubes:
Cut fresh bread into 1/2-inch cubes. Measure 12 cups bread cubes. Place bread cubes in a single layer in two 15x10x1-inch baking pans. Bake in a 300 degree F oven for 10 to 15 minutes or until cubes are dry, stirring twice; cool. (Cubes will continue to dry and crisp as they cool.) Or let bread cubes stand loosely covered at room temperature for 8 to 12 hours.Advertisement
In a large skillet, melt butter over medium heat. Add desired chopped vegetable, onion and garlic and cook until onion is tender but not brown. Remove from heat.
If you like, stir in desired meat. Stir in sage, desired dried herb and pepper.
In a very large bowl, toss bread cubes, onion mixture and parsley. If you like, add nuts and/or dried fruit. Drizzle with enough broth to moisten; toss lightly to combine. Transfer mixture to 2-1/2-to 3-quart casserole.*
Bake, covered, in a 325 degree F oven for 45 minutes or until heated through. Uncover; bake for 10 minutes more to crisp top slightly. Makes 12 to 14 servings (about 10 cups).
Mix-and-Match Corn Bread Dressing:
Prepare recipe as above except use 1/2 of a bread loaf (8 ounces) or 6 cups dry bread cubes. Add 5 cups of 3/4-inch cubed or crumbed corn bread (from 1 prepared corn bread mix). Makes about 11 cups.
Mix-and-Match Rice Dressing:
Prepare recipe as above except use 1/2 of a bread loaf (8 ounces) or 6 cups dry bread cubes. Add 5 cups cooked long grain white rice, regular brown rice or wild rice. Makes about 15 cups.
Or use bread mixture to stuff a 12- to 14-pound whole turkey. To stuff turkey, just before roasting, spoon some of the dressing loosely into the neck cavity of the turkey. Pull the neck skin to the back; fasten with a skewer.Lightly spoon more dressing into the body cavity (no more than 3/4 cup dressing per pound of turkey). Do not pack dressing tightly, or it will not get enough by the time the turkey is cooked. (Transfer any remaining dressing to a casserole dish, adding 1 to 2 tablespoons additional broth, if you like, for a moister dressing. Cover and chill casserole. Add covered casserole of dressing along-side turkey for the last 30 to 45 minutes of roasting or until heated through (center of the dressing should be at least 165 degrees F). Remove dressing from turkey and transfer to a serving dish.Store leftover dressing and turkey in separate containers as soon as possible after serving.