Stuffing or Dressing? What's The Difference?

The battle between "stuffing" and "dressing" has waged for years.  What is the difference anyway?  Some say "stuffing" is prepared and cooked inside the turkey while "dressing" is baked separately and served alongside the bird.  Michele Kayal does an excellent job of outlining the differences in this article for Associated Press and it all appears to boil down to being a regional thing.  Where I come from, it's referred to as "dressing."

Call it what you will, but this recipe for Sausage, Apple and Cranberry Dressing is and excellent accoutrement to your Thanksgiving turkey.  It's also great any other time of year served with pork chops or pork roast and gravy.

Sausage, Apple and Cranberry Dressing

1 lb. turkey sausage (breakfast flavor)
1-1/2 cups onion, diced
1 cup celery, diced
3 tsp. fresh sage, minced
1-1/2 tsp. fresh rosemary, minced
1/2 tsp. dried thyme
2 Golden Delicious apples, cored and chopped
3/4 cup dried cranberries
1/3 cup fresh parsley, minced
1 cup turkey or chicken broth
1/4 butter, melted
6 cups homemade bread cubes, toasted*

*Make homemade bread cubes from your favorite sandwich bread. Stack bread 6 slices high on a cutting board. Using a bread knife, saw all the way through the stack, making 1/2 inch strips of bread. Turn bread and cut strips into 1/2 inch cubes. Toast cubes on a baking sheet at 350 degrees for about 10-15 minutes.

In a large non-stick skillet, cook the sausage and onions together. Break the sausage into small pieces using a spatula. Cook until onions are cooked through. Add celery, apples, sage, rosemary and thyme. Cook for 2 minutes.

In a large bowl, combine the bread cubes and dried cranberries. Add the fresh parsley and toss well. Add meat mixture and butter and toss well. Spread the mixture into a 9x13 baking dish and pour broth over stuffing. Bake uncovered at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Stuffing can be prepared up to the point of baking the night before. Add 15 minutes to baking time if baking from a refrigerated state (I also wait to pour the broth over just prior to baking.)



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