Author: Susanne at dishwithme.com
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Amazing Savory Leek Dressing. Is it dressing or is it stuffing? I often hear it called both, interchangeably. Well, truth be told, if you cook it in the bird, it is called stuffing and if you cook it in a pan, it is called dressing. Same ingredients, same dish, simply a different cooking method.
While I truly love the flavor the juices from the bird add to the stuffing, I typically fix dressing because I don’t typically roast the turkey in the oven. While I absolutely LOVE the smell a turkey roasting in the oven creates in the house, as far as taste goes, I think a turkey is much, much tastier when smoked on a smoker or deep fried. Both of the latter options tend to produce a much more moist and tastier outcome, at least in my experience.
I said all of that to explain why I fix dressing instead of stuffing. On occasion, I’ve thought about roasting the turkey in the oven just to have stuffing, but, in my humble opinion the turkey is supposed to be the star of the show, the dressing/stuffing comes secondary.
HELPFUL HINTS FOR AMAZING SAVORY LEEK DRESSING
So, while this recipe is titled dressing, it can, obviously be used as stuffing…just poke it in the bird.
Some people like their dressing a little more on the dry side and some like it almost wet. Use as much or as little chicken, turkey, or vegetable stock as you like to achieve your desired outcome.
This recipe calls for white, store bought stuffing mix, but use what you prefer. I know many of you are fans of cornbread dressing, so, if that’s what you love, simply replace the white bread mix for cornbread, sticking to the rest of the recipe.
I roast an 8 pack of chicken wings when I make my Best Freaking Holiday Gravy, Ever! And, since I only use the wings to flavor my broth for the gravy recipe and I don’t actually use the meat from these wings for my gravy, I use the meat from them in this dressing recipe. If you are not making gravy, you can roast some wings and use the meat for the dressing, or don’t put any meat in it at all, totally up to you. I like some meat in my dressing.
Leeks tend to be VERY sandy or dirty, so the instructions read to give them two separate soaks. When the leeks soak in a bowl of water, the dirt falls to the bottom.
You will always hear chefs say not to wash your mushrooms, to just clean them with a paper towel. Luckily, I am not a chef…I WASH my mushrooms. That is just how it is going to be! You decide what you want to do.
I am not a big fan of cornbread dressing, but if that’s what you like, by all means, just replace the bagged white or sourdough dressing mix for cornbread and leave the rest of the ingredients the same.
AFFILIATE LINKS FOR PRODUCTS/EQUIPMENT USED
I love my scalloped edge casserole dish like this one.
I use my stainless steel bowl to mix this up.
This is like my colander!
RECIPE LINKS TO PAIR WITH THIS RECIPE
My cranberry sauce recipe: MOM’S QUICK HOMEMADE CRANBERRY SAUCE
My holiday gravy recipe: Best-Freaking-Holiday-Gravy-Ever
AMAZING SAVORY LEEK DRESSING
- Casserole dish
- Large mixing bowl
- 3-4 Leeks white part, pre-cleaned, cut into rings
- 8 ounces button mushrooms cleaned and diced
- 4 Tablespoons Real butter
- 2 Tablespoons EVOO
- 1 teaspoon Dried thyme
- 1 teaspoon Cavender's seasoning
- 1 teaspoon Powdered sage more if you like it a little stronger
- 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt more to taste
- 25 grinds Freshly ground black pepper
- 12 ounce Bagged, store bought, cubed stuffing/dressing mix White bread or sourdough
- 1-2 cups Chicken or turkey broth I use bone broth, more if needed
- Meat from chicken wings used in gravy recipe or cook some wings separately, or don't add meat.
- 2 Tablespoons Real butter sliced or cubed into small-ish pieces
- On a cutting board, slice the leeks into thin rings. Using your fingers, kind of separate the layers of the leeks and place them into a large bowl full of cold water. Let the leeks soak for about 20 minutes. The dirt in the leeks will fall to the bottom of the bowl. Pour the leeks into a colander, giving them a rinse. Rinse the bowl out and add fresh water to the and place the leeks into the bowl of water for a second time. Let them soak for a few minutes more and drain in a colander again, giving them a spray rinse, then set aside to drain.
- Clean, dry and dice mushrooms and set aside.
- Pre-heat oven to 375°F.
- In a large pan on medium-high heat, melt the 4 tablespoons of butter and add the EVOO. Add the leeks, mushrooms and seasonings and cook until leeks and mushrooms are softened, about 5-8 minutes.
- Once leeks are softened add the store-bought cubed stuffing/dressing mix and one cup of the chicken broth. Add the rest of the chicken broth a little add a time until you reach your desired level of moistness. Add even more broth, if desired.
- Add the meat from the wings, if using, and mix well.
- Test for needed salt or seasonings.
- Transfer the dressing into a casserole pan, and, with a spoon or spatula, smooth the top out. Place diced pieces of butter on the top of the dressing.
- Bake covered with aluminum foil for 30 minutes. Remove foil and bake another 15 minutes.