Was stuffing served at the first Thanksgiving celebration?
It’s unclear what exactly was served at the first Thanksgiving celebration, but Smithsonian Magazine says, “It is possible that the birds were stuffed, though probably not with bread … The Pilgrims instead stuffed birds with chunks of onion and herbs.” So, while it was probably not much like the stuffing we enjoy today, the Pilgrims knew to season the bird from the inside out! The article goes on to say that the Thanksgiving feast we’re accustomed to didn’t take root until the 19th century.
Do I have to use dry bread for stuffing?
While it is not absolutely necessary, drying out the bread ensures that your stuffing won’t be soggy. However, if you just want to use fresh bread out of the bag, it will still work.
How much stuffing should I make?
If you’re stuffing a bird, use 1/2-3/4 cup stuffing per pound of bird. So for a 12-pound bird, you’d need 9 cups of stuffing. When planning how big of a turkey you should buy, it’s common to plan for 1 pound of turkey per person. When stuffing a bird, be sure to pack the stuffing loosely as it will expand as it cooks and it won’t cook evenly if it’s packed too tightly. Any left over can be baked in a casserole dish alongside the bird and tastes just as delicious as if it’s cooked inside the bird.
How do you stuff a turkey?
When the stuffing (see two of our favorite recipes above!) and turkey are both prepped and ready for the oven, fill the neck and body cavity of the bird with your stuffing. In order to keep the stuffing from falling out, you can either truss the bird, or pull the neck skin over the stuffing and secure it to the back of the bird with a skewer. Alton Brown knows how to truss a turkey and he can show you how.
Do I have to cook stuffing inside a bird?
Looking to just bake your stuffing (technically dressing, in this case) in a casserole dish? There’s no reason why you have to cook it inside a bird, that’s just tradition. It tastes just as delicious when poured straight into a casserole dish, dotted with some extra butter (optional) and baked that way. Plus, it’s a little less messy when you aren’t up to your elbows in a bird cavity.
How should I store leftover stuffing?
All leftovers should be refrigerated within two hours of the end of the cooking time, so on holidays, like Thanksgiving, when guests tend stay around the table for a while, it’s important to make sure this gets taken care of. Leftover stuffing can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to four days. If you freeze your leftovers, they’ll have the best flavor if eaten within a couple months.
How should I reheat leftover stuffing?
Leftover stuffing is absolutely delicious. You can reheat leftover stuffing in the oven or microwave or even pan-fry it to give it new life. It all depends on what texture you’re going for. If you don’t mind a softer stuffing, the microwave will be the fastest way to get it to your mouth. If you want a chewier texture, put the leftover stuffing into an oven-safe dish, cover it with foil and bake at 350°F for 20 to 25 minutes. Whatever way you reheat your stuffing, make sure it reaches a safe food temperature of 165°F.
Looking for more creative ways to use your leftover stuffing? Maybe our Leftover Turkey Crescent Bake, Turkey Dinner Pizza or Stuffing Minis are your style!
So you’ve mastered stuffing, now how about we tackle that turkey?