Thanksgiving Side Dish Recipes

Thanksgiving: Time to Pick a Side

Bradley Carlson, Kalamazoo Outdoor Gourmet | 01/30/2015 | Food and Drink

Thanksgiving is almost here. Whether it’s smoked, fried or brined, the turkey will take center stage at your dinner. 

But it's the side dishes that make the meal memorable.

Everyone has their go-to side. The one they're famous for. The one others gush about.

For many, that make-or-break dish is dressing – otherwise known as stuffing.

It got that name because the ingredients – bread, celery, onions and pepper – are, well, “stuffed” and then cooked inside the cavity of the turkey.

The term stuffing first appeared in English print in 1538. During the 1800s, Victorian aristocrats started calling it dressing.

Even though the terms are interchangeable, most in the northern states call it stuffing. Many in the South call it dressing. Whatever you call it, cooking it can be risky business.

It's the age old conundrum: how do you make sure the stuffing cooks long enough without overcooking the turkey. 

Stuffing cooks at the same temperature as the turkey. Because it is inside the bird, it needs a little more time to ensure that it’s safe to eat since it's cooked alongside raw meat.  

Skip that stuffing trickiness. Try this delicious Skillet Stuffing with Apples, Shallots and Cranberries recipe from Epicurious, or our tasty and moist Chestnut, Cranberry and Sausage Dressing. Both call for cooking separately from the turkey.  

If you just have to have stuffing that comes out of the bird, cook your turkey to the perfect temperature. Cook the dressing separately and stuff it in the bird. Presto! A beautifully cooked and stuffed turkey for the Thanksgiving table.

For more tips and tricks for a great Thanksgiving, take a look at Inside Hook’s “Gentlemen’s Handbook - Part V.” They've got you covered with fun advice for guests and hosts, cocktail recipes, even after-dinner game ideas and movie suggestions.


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