Apple and Herb Stuffing
Stuffing and dressing and filling, oh my! These days it seems like no one can agree on anything, and this Thanksgiving staple is no different. I’d much rather discuss the discord in naming our Thanksgiving sides than discuss the disagreements of our current political climate. While I was flipping through our trusty recipe box, I noticed that Granny has recipes for a stuffing, a filling and a dressing. All are very similar, but this Apple and Herb Stuffing jumped out at me.
I got to thinking, what is the difference between these three monikers? I know that dressing is usually cooked outside the bird, while and stuffing is usually inside the bird (hence, stuffing), but then where does filling fit in? My assumption would be that filling would also go into the bird, but why filled versus stuffed? This is the kind of thing that keeps me up on Wikipedia well past my bedtime.
I do know that it is no longer recommended to cook your favorite thanksgiving side dish inside your turkey, and all versions should be cooked on the outside which makes me think we should just declare this dish dressing. But now that I’m thinking about it, I think I remember that dressing is a southern term, which leads me to believe maybe this is a regional decision.
I’ve decided I’m going to leave well enough alone and just give you the recipe to this Apple and Herb Stuffing. And maybe you can use this unsettled debate to steer the discussion away from politics and personal lives at your Thanksgiving dinner table this year. Call it what you will, but I promise you will love it.
Apple and Herb Stuffing is a delicious side dish for your Thanksgiving table that has a seasonal flair! The apples and herbs give it a sweet and savory flavor that is great with turkey and some white wine!
- 2 T olive oil
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 2 small to medium Granny Smith apples, peeled and coarsely chopped
- 6 T butter, divided
- 2 t fresh rosemary, finely chopped
- 1 T fresh sage, finely chopped
- 1 T fresh thyme, finely chopped
- 10 slices day old white bread (I either leave the bread out in a sheet pan for several hours, turning once or very lightly toast the bread)
- 2 c water
Preheat oven to 350. In a 5 qt dutch oven, heat 2 T olive oil until hot. Add onion and stir occasionally until tender and lightly browned. Add the chopped apples and cook 5 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a large skillet, heat 4 T butter and add the bread and chopped herbs, stir often until bread is lightly browned, fragrant and evenly tossed with the herbs (about 6-8 minutes).
Once the apples have cooked 5 minutes, pour in 2 c water and 2 T butter and heat to boiling. Simmer for 2-3 minutes until slightly reduced, and add the bread/herb mixture. Stir until well mixed.
Optional - put the mixture into an oven safe 8x8 casserole dish and bake for 15-20 minutes until slightly browned.
The original recipe calls for a 16 oz package of herb seasoned stuffing. This is a great option for an even quicker dish!