As much as I love turkey around the holidays, it’s the dressing and gravy that I love the most. Dressing (specially this ciabatta and sausage version) has so many different flavors and textures and colors. Turkey? Meh… not so much. Not that the turkey is a bad thing, it’s just that I much prefer a plate with a lot of dressing and just a bit of turkey. I had never had a dressing that contained sausage until this one. I was blown away by just how much flavor the sage sausage adds. The ciabatta adds such wonderful texture and flavor too. There’s no question, this is one fantastic dressing.
One of my favorite Thanksgiving day dishes is my grilled sweet potatoes with pecan butter. Well, my favorite has a new buddy, and it’s these bacon-wrapped sweet potato bites. Packed with fantastic savory flavors, and yes, wrapped in bacon. The bacon not only adds a fantastic smokiness, it keeps the sweet potatoes moist and tender. There is absolutely nothing I would change about this recipe. You can assemble the potatoes ahead of time, refrigerate them, and cook them before enjoying your big Thanksgiving meal. They do reheat well, so you can also cook them ahead of time and just reheat for about 10-15 minutes at 350 F before serving.
When I came across this idea for making egg rolls packed with turkey and stuffing there was no way that I was going to wait until I had Thanksgiving leftovers to make them. I had to make them immediately. So I did. Cranberries sauce and gravy made for the perfect dipping sauces. Every bite tasted like the best Thanksgiving ever. Absolutely fantastic. I loved the crunchy egg roll contrasting with the sage stuffing and tender turkey. The cranberry sauce is a little thinner than your usual Thanksgiving version so that it’s easier to dip into. You might want to thin your gravy with a bit of milk or broth too if it’s too thick for successful dipping!
This is by far my favorite dressing. The smell of onion, celery and mushrooms… then sage. I could sit down and just have me a big plate of this dressing.
This is based on a recipe from Betty Crocker. There are two things that are key to this dressing coming out perfect. First, use stale bread. If you have only fresh, leave it out (open) on the counter for a few days first. Second, do not over moisten the dressing before baking or it will be soggy. You want it firm, but not dry.
Note that this recipe consists of two parts. In the first, you’ll make 8 or so cups of turkey stock using roasted turkey wings (you can also use smoked turkey wings). You can skip this step if you can find turkey stock in the store. The second step uses SOME of the stock to make the gravy. You’ll have leftover stock unless you double or even triple the gravy ingredients (which will make a HUGE batch of gravy!).
Oh, and if you have cats or dogs, they’ll love the turkey meat that is left from making the stock.