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Thread: Ever heard of "Wet" dressing?

  1. #1
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    Ever heard of "Wet" dressing?

    My mom used to make both dry and wet dressing with chicken & turkey. Same basic recipe and the dry went into the bird. The rest of the dressing was put into a baking pan and then she added stock, drippings, water, milk or whatever liquid she had and baked it. It stayed creamy soft and was tasty. It was the family favourite even though we had to have dry dressing in the bird too.
    I've never been able to master it. And Dh didn't like wet dressing anyway so while I mastered making dressing I've never been able to recreate mom's. Closest I can get is gravy on dry dressing and then mixed in.

    Does anyone else have something similar?
    GrannyLady - Having too much fun dressing my grandaughters.

  2. #2
    Super Member Battle Axe's Avatar
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    Have you tried to add some eggs? Do you sweat the celery and onions in butter?

  3. #3
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    I remember a friend saying her MIL’s dressing was unbelievably dry, it was crunchy. Doubt I’d like that !

  4. #4
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    I do my bread dressing in a roasting pan in the oven. The bread pieces are left out overnight to dry in a big bowl. The next day, when the turkey goes in the oven, the neck, giblets liver, heart are put in saucepan on top of the stove with water to simmer. Poultry seasoning is added to the bread pieces to taste with salt and pepper.
    In another saucepan, mixed frozen vegetable, cubed potatoes and chopped onion simmer until the potatoes are slightly tender. The bread pieces get several spoons of butter on top and the hot vegatables are spooned over with a slotted spoon. I add enough of the stock from the giblet saucepan until the bread dressing is moist but not soggy. If I need more liquid, I use some from the vegetable saucepan. It goes into the roasting pan for about an hour to get heated through and the potatoes to be tender.

  5. #5
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    My mother did the same thing! I haven't been able to master her dressing either. Your comment about the gravy really made me chuckle. Today, while getting every thing ready for the table, I had the dressing sitting on the top of the stove, and finished the gravy. I grabbed the gravy boat, but in my haste, started pouring the gravy on top of the dressing instead of into the gravy boat. My son yelled out at me, so it wasn't too bad, but certainly wasn't dry dressing!

  6. #6
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    The 'wet' dressing must be what my Mother made and baked in a casserole dish. I am still trying to find something that might work to give the results she had. Hers was soft and fluffy with a great crust on the sides and bottom but lesser on top.
    I tried one version baked in a 9x13 pan but was not happy with it, dry and not much flavor. Crumbled that all up, put in more broth, chopped up turkey (from the freezer), MORE spices and added 2 more eggs then cooked in the crock pot on low for 4 hours. It came out nice and fluffy with good flavor but really want the crusty sides.

    Hope someone can solve the puzzle to the 'wet' dressing.

  7. #7
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    Mom's Stuffing

    All measurements in this recipe are approximate! I just taste as I go till I get it right.
    2-3T (or more) butter or margarine
    1 cup chopped onion or more
    1 Cup chopped celery or more
    1/2 tsp sage
    1/2 to 1 tsp poultry seasoning
    1/2 Tsp sage
    1/2 tsp savoury
    celery seed
    garlic salt
    fresh ground pepper
    1 to 1 1/2 salt (you might need more)
    1 to 1 1/2 tsp hi Ken boullion (I don't always use this)
    Use good bread, not the cheapest one on the shelf. Have extra bread handy in case you need it. Melt and heat butter in a large fry pan. Add chopped celery and cook till half done. Add onions and continue cooking till onions are mostly cooked. Meanwhile, rip fresh bread into cubes and put in a large bowl. When onions and celery are cooked add to bread and toss to mix. Add spices and taste to see if you have what you like of each spice. Use the spices you like best and don't be concerned if you don't use all the ones I have listed.
    Add eggs, mix well,add oil starting with 1/4 to 1/2 cup and adding more if you need it. If bread is not sticking together at this point, add a little hot water until it does. It should stick together but not be sloppy. Bake in a large Pyrex pan at 335-350F., covered for about 1/2 hour. Check at that point and uncover if you want it a little crispy on top. Continue baking for another 10-15 minutes until you can see that it is cooked through. Adjust spices and bread depending upon how many people you are feeding. If you accidentally put I too much spice,just add more bread and liquid as needed.

  8. #8
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    That should be chicken bouillon!

  9. #9
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    You are using fresh bread and not dried to a bone cubes. I can not recall how my mother did the bread but might have been homemade white.
    Every recipe out there says to use stale/dried bread, have always wondered why we could not use fresh.

    I used a recipe similar to the above but put in a lot more spices, how many eggs do you use in yours.

  10. #10
    Senior Member BARES's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by farmquilter View Post
    You are using fresh bread and not dried to a bone cubes. I can not recall how my mother did the bread but might have been homemade white.
    Every recipe out there says to use stale/dried bread, have always wondered why we could not use fresh.

    I used a recipe similar to the above but put in a lot more spices, how many eggs do you use in yours.
    I always used what we called "day old" bread. My mother did also. Her dressing was always so good. The reason to not use fresh bread is because the bread becomes like glue. The old bread gets moist, but holds its texture and shape to a degree as it reabsorbs the juice/broth. Bread needs to be dry, but you should still be able to put a thumbprint in the piece. If you use something like stovetop it is bone dry and needs more broth. I don't think bone dry (like stovetop) makes a good dressing -- with or without their spices. My mothers dressing was always simple but still crusty. We cooked the celery and onion till it was soft but still crunchy in butter and a bit of oil. Had the bread torn into pieces mixed with about two tablespoons of sage and 1 tablespoon of salt in a large bowl, poured the celery mixture over it and started adding the turkey broth till moist but still not wet. Mix it all ( I use my hands or you can use a large spoon ). Taste for more salt and sage ( I like quite a bit of sage ) and add more broth till it is slightly wet. Baked for 30 to 40 minutes @ 350 degrees. Started checking it for crusty-ness on top at 30 minutes. It is what I grew up with and what I still like best. It is what my mother grew up with and she was born in 1912. She never used eggs altho I have seen many recipes call for them.
    Last edited by BARES; 11-23-2018 at 07:20 PM.

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    Not Turkey time in Canada but what I do.

    I buy good quality bread at a local bakery. No 99 cent loaf for me. I cube it the day before and put it in a large mixing bowl with a dry tea towel on top. I use the crust and all. By cubing it the day before it has a chance to dry out a bit, but is not bone dry.

    I make sausage stuffing, so I cook pork sausage with lots of celery and onions, add loads of poultry seasoning and mix it with the bread. I stuff the bird with this. If I plan to cook extra stuffing in a casserole dish, I add some stock to it. I used to work for a catering company and we added eggs to the dressing when it was cooked in a casserole dish.
    Attending University. I will graduate a year after my son and year before my daughter.

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    I, too, use basically the same methods as all of you. I don't mind the day-old or cheap bread and it is torn into pieces a day or so ahead so that it dries a bit but not crunchy. This is also a good use for bread products that have been in the freezer for awhile. Same seasonings, no eggs. Start out with broth and then, if it needs more moisture, heat water in the skillet that was used to cook the onion and celery. I make mine rather sloppy going into the baking pan.

    By the way, I posted earlier about the possibility of making dressing in a crockpot since it was going to have to travel. It did well. Needs a bit of tweaking if I do it again but it did put a crust along the sides of the crock. The "recipe" I used called for eggs but I'll leave them out next time. It changed the texture.

  13. #13
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    I make cornbread dressing and use turkey stock for the liquid, I also saute oysters in butter, chop them, and add them to one pan of dressing for those that like them. We never stuff the bird, but bake the dressing separately. We also never add bread as it makes the dressing gummy. We do add lots of broth and sage to taste.
    Aurora

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    Guess I used the wrong term when I said 'fresh bread', just that it would be a lot fresher than the really dried stuff most everyone else calls for.
    BARES, Tothill and illinois can you give the amounts for your versions. I put in a LOT of sage for my remake version, I do the onions and celery in butter but still want the crust.

    I made one recipe using raw sausage and eggs,it turned out like a meat loaf--but rather good.
    The search continues.

  15. #15
    Super Member SusieQOH's Avatar
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    My Mom always made 2 dressings, one in the turkey, and one separate. However, they were two different recipes. I don't have the recipe for it but I can get it from her. It was awesome.

    On a different note- my husband puts pork sausage in his dressing. His Dad always made it that way. I like my Mom's better

  16. #16
    Senior Member BARES's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by farmquilter View Post
    Guess I used the wrong term when I said 'fresh bread', just that it would be a lot fresher than the really dried stuff most everyone else calls for.
    BARES, Tothill and illinois can you give the amounts for your versions. I put in a LOT of sage for my remake version, I do the onions and celery in butter but still want the crust.

    I made one recipe using raw sausage and eggs,it turned out like a meat loaf--but rather good.
    The search continues.
    WOW! I don't measure anything! I would guess that to a loaf or loaf and half of bread, I use a good cup to cup and half celery, chopped, cup of onion chopped, I don't use much salt in anything but I would guess 1 1/2 teaspoon full of salt. Sage - I love it so probably 2 tablespoons full. Mostly I just shake the spices and taste when I get it all mixed up. If it needs more of something, then I add it.

    My SIL used to get so mad at me cause I never measured anything and couldn't give her a 'real' recipe. If I were going by my 'recipe' I would start with smaller amounts and adjust. Everything I put on here were estimates. My mother and my aunt were the best cooks and I am not near the cook they were. Mother had odd things she used as her measurers. She had a large coffee type mug that she used to measure flour to make biscuits. It looked like it would hold 3 cups of flour. But they were the best biscuits! Most of the time tho she would just make a well in the flour bin and put all the ingredients in it and mix them right there. I could never do that and get anything that tasted worth eating.

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    SusieQOH, would you get the information on your Moms recipes. Do not recall 'stuffing' in the turkey, just the big dish baked separate.

  18. #18
    Junior Member recycler's Avatar
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    Bares, I cook like you do...no recipe and no measuring. My mom was a great cook and I just add stuff and taste it til it tastes like hers did. Sometimes it works out well this way, and sometimes not so much! My DIL says when she used to (doesn't anymore) ask me for a recipe I would have the "deer in the headlights" look.

  19. #19
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    I use 2 bags of Pepperridge Farms cornbread crumbs. 1 cup or more of chopped onions, chopped celery cooked in a stick of margarine. Add chopped up canned mushrooms, about a cup of chopped up walnuts. Chop up giblets, except for liver. Brown Italian sausage, Add all to a big stainless steel bowl, mix together add 4 eggs, holds all together and add turkey broth from giblets, mix in salt, pepper. poultry seasoning about 2 tsp. of each. Stir real good, I use enough broth to make it kinda soupy. It dries out in the oven. We all love it. I make double amount because Daughter and one Grandson wants lots more.

    My Mom made the juicy kind, I could not eat it.
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  20. #20
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    To get the nice golden crusty edges, use more butter. I use 1 cup to cook my onions and celery in.the crusty edge is the best part. I also bake a bit longer , at least an hour, to get it crusty.

  21. #21
    Super Member SouthPStitches's Avatar
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    My late SIL's mother made something she called wet dressing. I had some decades ago and didn't dislike it. It was a lot of sautéed onions placed all around the bird and baked.

  22. #22
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    Dressing, stuffing etc. is so individual to taste on texture and seasonings. I think for creamy that you are basically making a savory custard that is seasoned for the meat you are are roasting. Therefore, you would add milk or cream and beaten eggs. You will want the bread soaked as in a bread pudding in the mixture and watch it so it doesn’t get too dry.

  23. #23
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    Some people add roasted or sautéed veggies for flavor: celery, onions, even shredded carrot.

  24. #24
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    I don't stuff the bird with bread dressing. I use a lemon, onion cut to fit, celery, and herbs of Provence. When bird is done we scoop out the filling and toss. My mother used bread stuffing and I didn't care for it but her dressing in the pan was amazing. I try to replicate that every year. She used quite a few eggs along with the broth and seasoning in the cornbread dressing.

  25. #25
    Super Member mike'sgirl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tartan View Post
    I do my bread dressing in a roasting pan in the oven. The bread pieces are left out overnight to dry in a big bowl. The next day, when the turkey goes in the oven, the neck, giblets liver, heart are put in saucepan on top of the stove with water to simmer. Poultry seasoning is added to the bread pieces to taste with salt and pepper.
    In another saucepan, mixed frozen vegetable, cubed potatoes and chopped onion simmer until the potatoes are slightly tender. The bread pieces get several spoons of butter on top and the hot vegatables are spooned over with a slotted spoon. I add enough of the stock from the giblet saucepan until the bread dressing is moist but not soggy. If I need more liquid, I use some from the vegetable saucepan. It goes into the roasting pan for about an hour to get heated through and the potatoes to be tender.
    I had to look to see who posted this cause I thought I did. Except for just a few things, we do things very similarly. ��

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