A couple of posts ago, I shared the recipe I developed to use up the one turkey liver I inadvertently buy when I purchase a turkey at this time of year. The rest of the giblets found a good use in another dish I successfully developed this year, Candy’s Dressing. Candy was a sweet addition to our family about 11 years after my mom passed away from cancer. She has brought my dad and the rest of us much joy! Candy worked in a catering job before she became a nurse, so she has (in her head) a wonderful dressing recipe for about 60 people. She eloquently described to me over the phone exactly how the recipe should look at each stage. I converted it to a Brody-safe version and also scaled it down to fit into my cast iron skillet. My grandma generally baked her dressing in a cast iron skillet to get that wonderful crust we loved. Here is the result of merging the family traditions and my hubby’s food needs:
Each time I make this, I adjust the spices and herbs a little for fun to try to find the “perfect ratios of each.” No matter what I make, Brody lovingly tells me every time that it’s wonderful. He’s very easy to please as long as the ingredients please his intestines.
Crusty Dinner Rolls (find the recipe here)
2 Tbsp butter
Roughly 2 cups diced celery
1 clove garlic, diced
Cooked and diced turkey giblets, neck meat, wing meat, other bits and pieces of meat from cooking the turkey, roughly 2 cups total
Pan drippings from cooking turkey, roughly 2 cups
1 egg, beaten
thyme, nutmeg, black pepper, salt to taste
3 large sage leaves
3” fresh rosemary
additional butter to oil the cast iron skillet
1. Break up enough Crusty Dinner Rolls to make roughly 2 cups of crumbs.
2. Toast the crumbs in the broiler until they are the color of brown you like.
3. Add the butter, celery and garlic to a saucepan and cook until the celery is done.
4. Add the giblets and meat, followed by the pan drippings from cooking the turkey. Add enough drippings to make the mixture “juicy.” When I wanted to make more dressing, even after using all the giblets up, I used water in place of the pan drippings since the pan drippings only lasted for the first two experimental batches of dressing. Water doesn’t give the extra flavor the pan drippings do, but it will work.
5. Remove the saucepan from the heat and add the egg; mix well.
6. Add the thyme, nutmeg, black pepper, salt, sage and rosemary.
7. Gradually add the toasted bread crumbs until the texture of the mixture resembles a loose pudding. It should “slosh” when you shake it from side to side; it should not be as thin as gravy.
8. Heat enough butter in the cast iron skillet to cover the bottom and sides well.
9. Pour the dressing mixture into the hot cast iron skillet. Bake at 350 F for about 30 minutes or until the dressing is set in the middle.
Candy’s Dressing was one of our family recipes we enjoyed this year at Thanksgiving… another recipe we enjoyed during Thanksgiving week was my dad’s barbecued chicken, using Klumpps’ Lomalinda Barbecue Sauce, on page 152 of A Recipe for Survival. Here’s a photo of it! I used our broiler instead of going to a park to use a barbecue pit. We really enjoyed the result, and I think it would be even better if we had used a real campfire. So tasty!
We feel as if we are eating like royalty now that we’ve had some time to develop recipes that 1) work for Brody, 2) are economical 3) are nutritious and 4) taste good! Our pleased taste buds remind us to praise the Lord for His kind provision of tasty, nutritious food and our capacity to enjoy it. His grace to His creation is evident every day… I simply have to slow down and cultivate an attitude of thanksgiving for these daily blessings.