This recipe hails from my Grandma Schmidt in Austin, Minnesota. It is one of my favorite family recipes. I have very fond memories of making this dressing every Thanksgiving with my dad. Traditionally, we always stuffed the bird which apparently is not a very safe way of cooking it…but it always came out very moist. We also used to bake the dressing, which is equally as good just a bit more toasty, but that is not a bad thing…perfect for piling the gravy on!
For the past few years I have been hosting my own Thanksgiving and inviting all my friends who like to taste test for me. The more people I invited, the smaller my one oven became! Inspired by Stephanie O’Dea and her Year of Slow Cooking Blog, I thought…why not? So last year, I made EVERYTHING (mashed potatoes, sage dressing, cornbread dressing, green bean casserole, candied yams) but the turkey in a Crock-Pot (separate Crock-Pots) and it worked out GREAT! I cooked all day the day before; making all of the sides, then put each one in a Crock-Pot (the night time temperature was in the low 30′s, so I left all of the Crock-Pots on the patio table overnight…but made sure to retrieve them by 7 am to start warming in the heating vessel…if you live in a warmer climate, DO NOT do this!). For the first time I can remember, I was actually able to watch football and hang out with my friends while everything was warming up in the slowcookers and the turkey was roasting in the oven.
Oh yeah, I even won a contest for this recipe over at The Savvy Celiac!
Gluten-Free Sage Dressing
2 Loaves of Ener-G Light Tapioca Loaf, dried out (I toast mine in a 250° F. oven for approximately 45 minutes)
2 cups diced Celery
1 1/2 cups diced Onion
2 Tbs. Olive Oil
1/2 cup Butter (or dairy-free alternative)
1 1/2 Tbs. Rubbed Sage (more or less, to taste)
1 quart Gluten-Free Chicken Broth or Stock (I use Kitchen Basics)
1). Dry out bread (growing up we would lay the fresh bread on cookie sheets and allow to air dry over several days. Now, I use a faster method and put the bread on cookie sheets and stick them in the oven at 250° F. for about an hour or so, flipping and rotating the bread every 15 minutes. The bread is ready when it’s hard but not burned.
2). Break up bread into small pieces.
3). Saute celery and onion in olive oil and butter until tender.
4). Add rubbed sage to the celery, onion and butter mixture, stir to incorporate (this is when Emeril would say, “I wish you had smell-a-vision”…or in this case, “smell-a-puter!” Okay, I think I need some sleep.)
5). Add sauteed vegetables and sage to bread pieces; mix well.
6). Turn into a well greased 2 qt. baking dish (or slowcooker).
7). Add some chicken broth to slightly moisten…this has always been an “eyeball it” thing for me so I do not have an exact measurement for you. When I bake the dressing in the oven, I add about a cup of chicken broth since it is a dry method of cooking. When we used to “stuff the bird,” we would not use any broth because the turkey juices drip into the dressing. For the slowcooker method, you need to add the moisture so you don’t break your slowcooker. For 2 loaves of Ener-G bread, I start with about 1 to 1 1/2 cups of chicken or turkey broth and add more as needed.
8). Dot with butter.
9). Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes OR if using a slowcooker, set to low for 3 – 4 hours, stirring occasionally and adding additional chicken or turkey broth as needed. Depending on how much bread you use, it may need to cook a little longer. Once the dressing is ready, switch over to the warm setting until serving time.
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