The controversy of calling this dish stuffing or dressing is as old as Thanksgiving. My best understanding is when you cook it in the bird it is stuffed in the cavity therefore it is stuffing. When it is cooked in a different pan it is called dressing as in you are dressing the table with food. Typically stuffing in the bird is more moist having sponged up the juices of the turkey. The dressing in the baking dish is a little more dry and I don't mean to say it is inedible but it has not soaked in all the juices of the turkey.
In our family we called it stuffing, cooking half inside the bird and half in a separate baking dish. When the bird is done we unstuff it mixing into the dressing in the baking dish. You get this beautiful combination of the juicy and peices and crunchy bits. SO GOOD. Today I am trying a little experiment by doing the baking dish portion in the crock pot saving oven space.
The cast of characters
1 roll Pork Sausage
1 c celery diced
1 onion diced
4-6 c chicken stock
2 bags herb seasoned stuffing cubes
2 tbl butter
1 tbl olive oil
salt and pepper
Heat a medium size saute pan over med high heat. Break the sausage up into small pieces into the pan doing this while it is still raw will make your life easier as it cooks.
Cook until browned breaking up the sausage even more as it cooks
Remove the sausage from the pan in to a bowl or plate which ever you have handy. Leave as much as the sausage gresse as you can. Return the pan to the heat add the 1 tbl olive oil and the 2 tbl butter heating until the butter is melted.
Add the diced celery and onion sprinkle with about 1/4 tsp salt and a couple shakes of pepper. Cooking for about 10 min until heated through but the celery should be crisp tender.
In a extra large bowl (I used my tupperware that's a bowl) Pour in your seasoned bread cubes followed by the sausage, celery and onions mix well.
Carefully pour in 4 cups of the chicken broth while stirring the stuffing mix.
Pour everything into a crock pot ( yes in my picture that his a chunk of ice. I had homemade chicken stock in the freezer I thawed most of it but this one chunk was not melting so i just threw it in and it melted into the stuffing) setting the temp to high for one hour then reducing to low for 3-4 hours stir every hour or so.
As the cook time goes on and you feel you need more chicken stock feel free to pour in a little more until till you reach the consistency you like. You could also add more aromatics if you wish such as carrots mushrooms. However I can not vouch how the flavor would be we are very picky in our house about stufessing the year my mom tried to add extra stuff we nearly took her out back and strung her up a tree.