Let’s settle this once and for all! From my research, the stuffing versus dressing debate is mainly a geographical matter. Northerners, whether it is stuffed inside the turkey or not, will always call it stuffing. Southerners will always call it dressing. As long they taste good, who cares!

All I know is that I get a great sense of comfort from each, and every time I prepare these “stuffing” recipes (See, I am a Northerner!), I am back in my childhood home in awe of my mother. Oh, and the smells…the beautiful aromas coming from her kitchen during the holiday season. As long they taste good, who cares!

Here is my take on the North and South stuffing/dressing debate. Hope you enjoy!

Sausage Stuffing

Ingredients

2 loaves white bread

1 package Jimmy Dean Sage Sausage

3 stalks celery, finely chopped

1/2 white onion, finely chopped

1 stick butter, salted

1 box turkey stock

3 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped

1 egg, beaten

1 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1 teaspoon black pepper

Directions

1. Start by browning the sausage. While the sausage is browning, toast the bread. Once the bread has been toasted, start pulling it apart into pieces in a large deep bowl.

2. Once the sausage has browned, remove from pan, drain any excess grease and place, in batches, in a food processor. Pulse only about three times to break up the sausage. Do not turn into a paste.

3. Heat up the butter, celery and onions in the same pan you browned the sausage. Allow to soften for about 5 to 8 minutes—do not brown. Once the celery and onions have softened, add 2/3 of the box of stock to the pan. I use turkey or chicken stock. Allow to cook for a few minutes then add back the browned sausage.

4. Add the parsley and a dash of salt/pepper to bowl with the toasted bread. Pour the contents in the pan on top of the toasted bread. Incorporate. The mixture should not be dry at this point. If it is, add a bit more stock and mix. Allow the mixture to cool just enough to add one beaten egg. Do not add the egg while it is too hot, or it will scramble. Mix the egg into the mixture.

5. Form into balls, place in a buttered dish and bake on 375 F for about 15 minutes and/or stuff your turkey prior to placing in the oven. 

Oyster Dressing

Ingredients

1 pint shucked oysters

10 to 12 slices country or cornbread

2 cups chicken broth

1/2 cup oyster liquor

4 tablespoons butter

1 1/2 stalks celery, finely chopped

1/2 white onion, finely chopped

1 tablespoon Old Bay

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped

Directions

1. Start by toasting the bread. Break toast into pieces in a bowl. As the bread is toasting, heat up the butter, celery and onions in a pan. Allow the vegetables to soften, not brown, about 5 minutes. Add the chicken broth, oyster liquor and Old Bay to the pan. Simmer for about 5 more minutes.

2. Break apart the oysters and add to the pan. Season with salt/pepper. Add in the fresh chopped parsley. Slowly mix in the toasted bread pieces; you may not need to use all of it. Check the consistency after several handfuls. You do not want the mixture to be too dry or too wet.

3. Spray a 10-inch cast-iron pan with nonstick spray. Add in the dressing mixture and bake at 350 F for about 15 minutes, covered. Uncover and place under broiler for another 1-2 minutes, just enough to brown the top.