Thanksgiving Stuffing Tips

How to cook and serve Thanksgiving stuffing.

When prepared just right, Thanksgiving stuffing is everything Americans love about food: it's savory and a little sweet, warm and soft but a little crunchy on the outside. In short, it's the ultimate comfort food. To make sure your stuffing fulfills all your expectations this year, here are a few guidelines:

If you want to play it extra safe with poultry, don't stuff your bird at all. Instead, make a traditional "dressing", which is simply stuffing that's cooked in a buttered casserole or soufflé dish. You won't be sacrificing flavor, especially if you drizzle the dressing with pan drippings from the cooked turkey.

If you do plan on baking the stuffing and turkey together, stuff your turkey just before putting it in the oven and cook it to 180 degrees F. If the turkey is done but the stuffing isn't, remove the turkey, transfer the stuffing to a casserole dish and return the stuffing to the oven to finish cooking.

If stuffing your turkey, estimate one cup of stuffing for each pound of turkey, i.e. a 10-pound turkey will get 10 cups of stuffing. Cook any extra stuffing on the side. Be careful not to overstuff your turkey as this could cause it to become dried out.

To prevent your stuffing from getting too mushy, keep dry and wet ingredients separate until right before stuffing the bird or casserole dish. If you like the stuffing a little drier and cake-like, add an egg or two.

Dress up your stuffing with nuts, fruit, wild rice, sausage or liqueurs and try new spice combinations to reflect regional tastes.

Find the perfect stuffing recipe to complete your Thanksgiving feast: Top Thanksgiving Stuffings and Dressings.

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