What do you look for in a Thanksgiving dressing recipe? Let’s face it, the turkey isn’t the sole hero of the holiday table. Where would it be without a savory Thanksgiving dressing? If you don’t have a tradition of making a family recipe, start a new tradition with this recipe. Here’s why.
Delectable Dried Figs
Dried fruit is a natural addition to dressing because it soaks up the flavor of the broth and spices. We think you will love our Orchard Choice and Sun-Maid California Dried Figs in this Thanksgiving dressing recipe. They rehydrate and plump up, lending just enough sweetness along with a sweet-tart chopped apple like a Fuji to this savory side dish. Mission Dried Figs are our pick here, but if you decide to use Golden Dried Figs instead, you’ll find them to be more delicate in flavor and slightly nutty.
One ingredient that adds big flavor to the broth soaked bread cubes that is a baked savory dressing is Italian sausage. This recipe uses a mild version for just a touch of heat, but if you prefer your food on the spicier side, you could always try hot Italian sausage instead. Also, if you don’t eat pork, you don’t have to skip this ingredient—we used a chicken based Italian sausage to good effect in our Thanksgiving dressing and it is slightly leaner than the kind made of pork.
Other Flavor Boosters
Walnuts add a meaty texture and taste, especially when toasted—it’s a small extra step that yields a delicious reward. Sage is the quintessential Thanksgiving spice and sausage seasoning. When paired with woody thyme and poultry seasoning, these spices warm in melted butter to bloom their aroma and flavor, coating the sauteed chopped onion, celery, and apple. If you don’t have poultry seasoning handy, make your own from spices in your pantry—it might seem like a spice blend you can skip, but trust us, the poultry seasoning completes the savory appeal of this side dish.
Thanksgiving Dressing Recipe with Figs and Walnuts
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 1/2 cups chopped onion
- 1 1/2 cups chopped apple
- 1 1/2 cups chopped celery
- 1 tablespoon poultry seasoning
- 1 1/2 teaspoons finely grated orange peel
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ground sage
- 1 1/2 teaspoons dried thyme leaves
- 12 cups unseasoned dry bread cubes
- 2 1/2 cups coarsely chopped Orchard Choice or Sun-Maid California Dried Figs
- 1/2 pound mild Italian sausage links cooked and chopped
- 1 cup walnut pieces toasted
- 1 1/4 cups white wine
- 1 1/4 cups chicken broth
- Salt to taste
- Heat oven to 350°.
- In large deep skillet or Dutch oven, cook margarine, onion, apple and celery over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until onion is soft. Remove from heat; add poultry seasoning, orange peel, sage and thyme. Stir in remaining ingredients, adding enough wine and chicken broth to moisten. Blend well.
- Place in buttered 13-x-9-inch baking dish or large casserole. Cover and bake for 45 minutes; remove cover and continue baking 15 minutes until heated through and top is crisp. Or, spoon stuffing into cavities of a 12- to 15-pound turkey; roast as desired.