What’s the perfect companion for the turkey you are about to serve at your family dinner? Why stuffing, of course. But if you’re a beginner at making that, then there might be some turkey stuffing mistakes you’re making. Let us help you.
A few years ago, I was throwing my first family dinner, with a long guest list and an even longer dish list. Everything was so stressful to me that I can’t even remember the taste of the food that I made, I just remember the yelling and pulling out my own hair. That last part is a joke, but I wasn’t far from it. But when you’re making a lot of items, one thing is clear: things slip between the cracks and your end result might not be what you expect.
And I am here to tell you that is okay. You don’t have to make everything a gleaming beam of perfection. But you can practice and perfect your technique and recipes. With that in mind, let’s talk about possible turkey stuffing mistakes you might make.
But first, what is stuffing made with? It’s basically a bread casserole made with onion, celery, herbs, and especially crispy bread. All of these are soaked in flavorful broth. It’s so good that maybe you don’t need any special occasion to cook it, after all?
5 possible turkey stuffing mistakes
1. You did not dry the bread
Bread is the foundation for stuffing, so it’s a very important part of the whole thing, especially because it sets the tone texture-wise. You can use almost any bread to make stuffing. You can either let it toughen up by leaving it out. Or you can toast it and make basically croutons and dry it out. Don’t go overboard, though!
2. You’re cooking the veggies with the bread
Even if you’re trying to save time, you’re not supposed to bake the bread with the onion and celery. No, these two aromatics should be cooked beforehand and then added to the bread and broth. First, sauté them a little and make them tender.
And since we’re on this topic, don’t add too many extra ingredients. You can add a bit of sausage or grains, dried fruits or nuts or whatever else you want to flavor the thing with, but don’t go overboard with them. Make sure there aren’t a million different things fighting for attention in your dish.
3. You’re not using the right ratio
Like the point before, try to keep your dish balanced. What’s the golden stuffing ratio? The bread and the other ingredients should be 2 to 1. From that, you can experiment, or you can follow your favorite recipe that you can find.
Another thing: don’t use too much seasoning. Look at your other ingredients: do they contain extra salt? If they do, don’t add too much of your own, just a little bit. And follow a very important rule in the kitchen: keep tasting your dish to make sure it’s balanced.
4. You are drenching it in liquid
Your stuffing should be moist. Not drenched. And not dry. So how much liquid you use is very important. How do you achieve that result? Add a bit at a time, about half a cup. You can always add more and just come up with the perfect amount like that. Use good quality stock or broth and just go for it!
Of course, homemade stock or broth is so much better than the store-bought ones, but you can use either.
5. You are cooking the stuffing in the turkey
Sure, stuffing gets its name by the fact that at first it was used to stuff the bird with. But if you cook the turkey and the stuffing together, there is a high chance that they won’t cook evenly together. One of them will surely be overcooked, while the other undercooked. So just cook them separately and then assemble!