14 November 2019

Turkey and Dressing for Two - Classic Bread Stuffing

Turkey and Dressing for Two / www.delightfulrepast.com

We enjoy a turkey dinner a few times throughout the year, and since it's just the two of us most of the time, this is an easy way to do it. Just enough turkey for two and just enough dressing for two--if one of the two is crazy about dressing (that would be me!). 

My father would have appreciated this post. He was not a turkey fan, did not appreciate leftovers, and refused to eat turkey more than once a year. 

Do you call it stuffing or dressing? My family called it dressing, whether it was baked inside the turkey or in a dish. Like my mother before me, I've tried all kinds of variations/add-ins--sausage, dried fruits, nuts--someone even snuck an egg into it once; but my favorite is the classic bread stuffing.

Unfortunately, I'd used up my stash of Make-Ahead Turkey Gravy and Broth (in anticipation of having to switch everything to a new refrigerator last week), but we made do. But do make that first if you're going to be doing the full-on, big deal turkey dinner. 


To serve four people, use a 13x9x2-inch baking dish and two packages of cutlets; no need to double the dressing recipe. I might post just one more turkey dinner related recipe next week. What is your favorite item on the menu?

Turkey and Dressing for Two / www.delightfulrepast.com
May not look pretty or colorful in the baking dish, but when you plate
it up with gravy, sweet potatoes, cranberry sauce and green vegetables,
it looks verrrry photogenic!
Don't forget to Pin it and share it!

Turkey and Dressing for Two 


The Dressing

3/4 pound (12 ounces/340 grams) good white and/or French bread, sliced and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1 stick (4 ounces/113 grams) unsalted butter
1 cup chopped celery
3/4 cup chopped onion
1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
1/2 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper, divided
2 teaspoons poultry seasoning
1 3/4 cup (14 fluid ounces/414 ml) homemade turkey broth or low sodium chicken broth

The Turkey

1 14.4-ounce (408 grams) turkey breast cutlets (5 cutlets, boneless and skinless)

Note: Of course, you can skip the bread, salt, pepper and poultry seasoning AND Step 1 if you pick up a box of seasoned stuffing mix. There are even some organic brands now. It all depends on whether you can find one seasoned the way you like, and that might prove very difficult. 

1 Lay the cubed bread out on a sheet pan and place it in the cold oven for 48 hours, stirring twice a day, to dry it out. My mother always dried the bread out in a warm oven because she couldn't have her oven tied up for two days! Just preheat the oven to 325F/165C/Gas3, and pop the sheet pan in for 50 minutes or so, stirring halfway through; cool completely.

2 In a 3-quart saucepan, melt the butter and cook the chopped celery and onion, with 1/4 teaspoon each of the salt and pepper, until very soft, about 15 minutes. About 5 minutes in, preheat oven to 350F/180C/Gas4. Stir in the remaining 1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper and the poultry seasoning. Add the bread cubes, lightly crushing some or all of the cubes, depending on what texture you prefer. Stir until bread and vegetable mixture are thoroughly combined, then gradually stir in broth. Taste and adjust seasoning. Add a bit more broth if you like a moister dressing. 

3 Transfer the dressing to a greased 8x8x2-inch baking dish, pressing it down lightly.* Season the cutlets on both sides with salt and pepper. Lay them on top of the dressing; they will be overlapping a bit. Cover the baking dish tightly with a square of aluminum foil. Bake for about 45 to 50 minutes. Both the cutlets and the dressing should register 165F/74C on an instant-read thermometer.

* You can do this a day ahead, then add the turkey cutlets just before baking.

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Jean

54 comments:

Thomas "Sully" Sullivan said...

Sounds good. LOOKS good. Like the idea of nuts (pecans) in stuffing. Maybe currants or raisins. I know this is gonna sound like ptomaine poison, but I betcha you could concoct a sauce with sweet mustard and a touch of molasses that would go good with that stuffing, especially day old and cold…

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thank you, Sully. I do love, day old and cold stuffing. I don't understand people who insist on heating it up! I like it on a cold turkey sandwich, but alas, with mayonnaise rather than mustard and molasses (not that there's anything wrong with that).

TONY said...

Thanks for this Jean. "Stuffing," definitely, "stuffing," in our household. I have just made the Christmas Cake so Marilyn will do the turkey on Christmas day. I will help with preparing the vegetables the night before. Your ,"Classic Bread Stuffing," sounds great. I will pass this recipe on to Marilyn. Do you ever make a sage and onion stuffing? We will probably have both types. Thanks once again, Tony

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thanks, Tony. I guess you could call this sage and onion stuffing because it has onion, and sage is one of the primary ingredients in "poultry seasoning," which is a popular blend here of thyme, sage, marjoram, rosemary, black pepper and nutmeg. Sometimes my mother added a bit of sausage meat (loose or bulk sausage, no casings) to half of it.

Vee said...

Something very similar to this was my supper tonight except that I used the box version of stuffing (which is what we call it whether it is in the bird or in a casserole dish). I did have some cranberry sauce as well. Perhaps we are both eager for that Thanksgiving dinner. Now that I have been making turkey for several years the slow roasted way, everyone enjoys turkey much more; otherwise, not so much. It is good to have meals for two...sometimes I wish that there were meals fo one.

Marilyn Miller said...

Once or twice a year is all I like turkey; so this recipe would be great for that.

Mrs. White said...

This is such a good idea to show how to make a turkey dinner for two. I always wondered what people were talking about when they said "dressing." We always had "stuffing." Is it the same thing?

My favorite part of Thanksgiving dinner is always the cranberry sauce. Even just a little taste is special. We used to live close to Cape Cod and drove by the cranberry bogs very often.

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Vee, some things I cook just enough for two; other things, I like to make in huge quantities and divide into meals for two to put in the freezer for those days when I have either no time or no energy (or both!). Enjoy your turkey!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thanks, Marilyn. You sound like my dad!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Mrs White, thank you. Yes, dressing and stuffing are the same thing. I'm with you on the cranberry sauce. Cranberries are the most wonderful thing!

Pauline Wiles said...

Ooh, this might go down very well in our household (where we call it stuffing, but since we're British, we assume we don't know much about correct Thanksgiving terminology!). The only slight problem is I'm running a half marathon that morning, so I might be flinging something in the slow cooker instead...

kitty@ Kitty's Kozy Kitchen said...

I call it stuffing...I guess because my mom did, Jean. Yours is just the way I like it, with bread, onion, celery and some seasonings, and broth. I don't do cornbread or eggs in mine, just like you. Now you're making me hungry!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thanks, Pauline. It looks like most people call it stuffing, but I don't think I can make the switch at this point! I'm dazzled by your running skills! I could *walk* a half marathon, but I wouldn't be happy about it!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Kitty, thank you. Funny, the person who once snuck an egg into my dressing/stuffing, also threw in some cornbread while she was at it. Yuck! :D

Angie's Recipes said...

This sounds perfect for us too. The meat looks really juicy and tender, but the stuffing is my favourite :-)

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thanks, Angie! I remember expecting to find the turkey dried out when I removed the foil, but was so pleasantly surprised to find it perfectly moist.

Mike said...

This is great, perfect for an old bachelor like me. It looks as though it would be more than enough for two large meals. I'm a little weird, though, I like a little bit of cranberry sauce w/ ea. bite of stuffing. (I also have been known to dip my French fries into my chocolate shake, but that's a whole 'nuther perversion I have)

It was always called "stuffing" in our house when I was a kid, but never stuffed into the bird. I think Alton Brown says "Stuffing is evil."

But, I'm sure somewhere in some food blog on the 'net, there's an argument about "stuffing vs. dressing." The worst argument I think I've ever seen wasn't about politics or religion, but about "American goulash" and how it possibly couldn't be called that. Heck, when I'm hungry, I don't care about Hungary. You can call the evening meal "dinner" or "supper" and I'll know what you mean. Just don't call me late to come eat it!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thanks, Mike. I love a turkey and dressing (I just can't seem to make the switch to 'stuffing') sandwich with cranberry sauce. And I like my cranberry sauce nice and tart. Nobody in my ever called anything goulash, but my dad who began cooking after my mother died called his beef stew 'slumgullion.'

Darlene said...

This might work for us as I am vegetarian and don't eat turkey. However, hubby does so I always make some for him at Christmas. We both like the dressing though so I make it with vege broth. Thanks!!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thank you, Darlene. Sounds like just the situation for this! And I like the dressing with vegetable broth as well.

Mike said...

My pop always called it the same thing, too! In fact, he also wasn't a fan of turkey and detested leftovers. That was OK, my mom sent them home w/ me in "Texas Tupperware"-washed and saved butter and Cool Whip tubs. I have a lot of faults, but being a picky eater isn't one of them.

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Too funny, Mike! :D I have a friend who when rooming with someone of Scottish descent who collected such containers referred to them as 'Scottish Tupperware'! Since I don't buy those products, I can't collect them. But I have the same problem with my loose leaf tea tins; I have a good stock of those that I put things in to send home with people. One friend asked if I wanted the tin back, so I showed her my stash and she looked shocked!

Dee | Grammy's Grid said...

Just perfect for 2 people!! Thanks so much for linking up at #AThemedLinkup 5 for Thanksgiving Recipes. Shared.

Cocoa and Lavender said...

We are by ourselves this year - I will be removing from foot surgery - and Mark will be a the helm in the kitchen. I sent this in to him. It’s perfect for us, especially this year. Thanks, Jean!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thank you, Dee. Love the linkup, have visited several already!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

David, thank you. I hope your foot surgery and recovery go smoothly. I'm sure Mark will make a lovely dinner for you!

Sandi@ Rose Chintz Cottage said...

It's always been called dressing in my family. Turkey and dressing! I can't say I have a favourite item on the menu. I enjoy every bit of it although I will say that I must have the gravy and I must have the dressing or it just isn't "special." Your dressing sounds wonderful. I always make my dressing like my grandmother did, using some of the drippings from the turkey and lots of summer savoury. I am open to having some celery in it though. Thank you for sharing and joining my party. Hope your weekend is lovely, Jean.

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Sandi, thank you. We 'dressing' people seem to be in the minority! I've never had it with summer savoury, but that would be a wonderful addition. Do you grow your own?

Quinn said...

Jean, you will laugh when I tell you this: it never occurred to me that I could buy just "parts" and have turkey without dealing with the fuss of a massive bird. I love turkey. Thanks so much for this post!

April J Harris said...

What a lovely way to enjoy the flavours of turkey and dressing without having to cook an entire turkey, Jean! The way you've cooked this reminds me of how my late Mom used to serve ham and scalloped potatoes, cooking the ham on top of the potatoes. It's a really effective way of getting all the flavours to meld beautifully and I love how you've done it here. Sharing! Thank you for bringing this post to the Hearth and Soul Link party. Oh, and my late Mom always called it dressing no matter how it was cooked, but I've always called it stuffing! Hope you have a lovely weekend!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Quinn, happy to help! My husband and I only like the white meat, so it's perfect for us. And if we want leftovers, we can cook a small whole or half turkey breast If we were having guests who like dark, I can roast some thighs and/or drumsticks.

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thank you, April. That's the idea--getting the flavours to meld! I like the sound of your mom's ham and scalloped potatoes as well. Thank you for hosting Hearth and Soul and sharing this post.

Sandi@ Rose Chintz Cottage said...

Jean, the summer savoury is lovely in the dressing. The little story I'm about to share with you might give you a giggle. When I was about eight years old, we were living out in the country and my mother sent me to the country grocery store, which was a short walk from our house. She asked me to get her some flower seeds for the garden. Well, I looked at all of those seed packets and I finally settled on the ones with the tiny purple flowers. Being quite sure my mother would be happy with my purchase, I paid for the seeds and walked home. When I handed the seed packets to her, she looked at them and grinned. She planted them and after harvesting them, she had summer savoury for quite some time which I remember she stored in big old cigar cans. She found lots of dishes to use it in and of course, I love the stuff myself!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Sandi, what a sweet story! I can just picture it. Thank you for sharing it. Now I *really* want to look for summer savoury next time I'm doing the shopping!

Tamago said...

My in-laws call it dressing but I always think of it as stuffing. Your turkey dish looks so good and perfect for cozy dinner :-)

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thank you, Tamago. About the dressing/stuffing issue, so far I can't pin it down to a country or region. It seems there's that division everywhere!

ellen b. said...

We are a stuffing kind of family. :) A turkey meal for two is a good option for many!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thanks, Ellen. "Stuffing' is definitely winning! :-)

Natalie said...

This is a great turkey recipe for 2-3 people. Thanks, Jean, for sharing it. #senisal

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thank you, Natalie. I always like to either cook exactly how much is needed for a meal or "cook big" and put together homemade freezer meals.

Debbie - MountainMama said...

We call it stuffing and I lovvvveeeee it!! I don't think I've ever seen turkey cutlets in my market, I'll have to keep an eye out for them. I have two turkey breasts in the freezer that were on sale over the summer....they will make wonderful winter meals, but since I'm only cooking for two now I'll save them for a dinner party.

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thanks, Debbie. I love doing a turkey breast instead of a whole turkey because it's the part we like best anyway. Great for a dinner party!

Phil in the Kitchen said...

It's absolutely got to be called stuffing as far as I'm concerned even if it's not actually stuffed in anything. This just makes me feel so hungry. I cook turkey quite often but I don't roast the whole bird any longer. I must admit, though, that I do miss the leftovers. This week someone I know has been lecturing me on his firm belief that by far the best stuffings are either bread or mashed potato stuffings. Your recipe has made me think that he might just be right.

Marilyn @ MountainTopSpice said...

What a lovely way to enjoy a turkey dinner without so much hassle and preparation! A fantastic idea Jean, thank you for sharing! We are very much looking forward to Thanksgiving dinner next week, but I can't wait to try this recipe out sometime after Christmas :) It was turkey dressing for me growing up. Fun to read the other people's comments about whether they enjoyed stuffing or dressing!

Many blessings to you!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Phil, thank you. It seems 'stuffing' might be used way more than 'dressing' in the UK. And I'm thinking 'dressing' might be more common in Canada. Anyway … But, whatever you call it, this bread stuffing is my absolute favorite. I love the cold leftovers as well.

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Oh good, Marilyn, another vote for 'dressing!' I'll probably make this again in about a month. I hope you enjoy it!

All That I'm Eating said...

This is such a good idea! Much easier than cooking a whole turkey.

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thanks, All That I'm Eating. It sure is!

Kitchen Riffs said...

I love dressing. Stuffing. Whatever (I usually go with dressing whether it's cooked in the turkey on on the side). So you can't have too much for me! This is a smart way to make turkey and dressing. And looks wonderful! Thanks.

CarolCooks2 said...

We call it stuffing in the Uk...My recipe is similar I just add sage although sometimes I add lemon zest or some walnuts...Popped over from Esme's Salon and I am pleased I did a lovely recipe :) #sensai

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thank you, John. I like a little turkey and a LOT of dressing/stuffing!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Carol, thanks so much. I was starting to think 'stuffing' might be the name in the UK. My mother's family must have picked up 'dressing' whilst going through Canada en route to the US from UK!

Lowcarb team member said...

It's Turkey time of year … almost!
Thanks for sharing this recipe Jean.

All the best Jan

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thanks, Jan. We like turkey and it's nice to be able to enjoy it a few times a year without having to cook a whole turkey.

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