Thanksgiving Side of the Day: Sausage and Kale Dressing

by in Holidays, November 15th, 2010

sausage and kale dressingThe age-old question remains: What’s the difference between stuffing and dressing? Traditional wisdom holds that stuffing is actually cooked inside the turkey, while dressing is cooked separately and served alongside. Makes sense, right? But in my experience, it really comes down to geography. My family (from New York and Pennsylvania) never stuffs the bird, but we always call our savory bread pudding-style side dish “stuffing.” Go further South, and everything is “dressing,” as I learned at my first Thanksgiving with my fiancé’s family in Louisiana.

I’m not sure why Food Network Magazine decided to call this one dressing—maybe there was a Southerner in the room. Call it what you wish; it’s filled with many ingredients I love—kale, fennel sausage, focaccia—and is definitely going to show up on my spread this year.

TELL US: What stuffing and/or dressing will be on your Thanksgiving table?

For hundreds more ideas, recipes and menus for your feast, check out FoodNetwork.com/Thanksgiving

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Comments (49)

  1. Jen75 says:

    I am from TX and we call it dressing. I make my grandmother's recipe with Jiffy Cornbread, diced celery, onion, sage, poultry seasoning, salt and pepper, chopped chicken, eggs and chicken broth to make it moist…so good. don't knock til you try it!

  2. Reg says:

    In Texas, it's cornbread dressing all the way!

  3. jeri says:

    Stuffing is stuffed!

  4. Sweet Bob says:

    I'm also from NY and my family always did and still does stuff the bird……. Dressing is cooked outside the bird in our opinion.
    Thanks

  5. deborah says:

    I always add a little sugar to my cornbread mix. The sweetness of the cornbread plays well against the savory of the herbs. Using sweet un-salted butter helps too. I have no written recipe – just doing what my mamaw & aunties taught me. Grew up watching them. Mamaw made her own chicken stock too.

    • JLF says:

      Where I come from sweet cornbread is called muffins. I keep my cornbread and the dressing it makes plain and save the sweets for dessert.

    • TutieMunson says:

      I add sugar to my cornbread mix to make my cornbread dressing. There is never a crumb of cornbread dressing left. My daughter makes her cornbread dressing the same way I do as well. Her cornbread dressing is a hit at her dad's house too. I make my own stock too.

  6. Georgie says:

    Well, growing up in PA, we had stuffing but since the "scare" I no longer stuff the bird. I live in the south and no, I've never evolved to just cornbread "dressing" either. As for eggs, growning up we had homemade eggnog which was a treat when we were ill. Milk (from our cow), eggs (from our chickens), a little sugar and a touch of vanilla. Delicious and not pasturized. And no illness from it. It wasn't an unusual thing as that was how everybody ate and I never heard of salmonella or ecoli etc. Don't think anybody did.

  7. Deemuell says:

    Stuffing! We are from Michigan and we call it stuffing here. I make enough to stuff the bird and to cook alongside and we call that stufing too!

  8. Adam says:

    I'm from Virginia originally, and my wife is from Ohio. We both grew up calling it stuffing. We moved to Louisiana a little over a year ago, and here everyone calls it dressing. Pretty much boils down to geography.

  9. flutist says:

    In central PA we called it "filling". I also heard "stuffing, but never "dressing".

  10. Sonya Smith says:

    In my home it's Dressing! I don't want the bird's liquid cooked into my bread! Yuck!!! You cook dressing the right way. Being soft (not cut like a slice of cake.) with giblet gravy and cranberry sauce. I make my own cornbread in a cast iron skillet.

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