According to The Joy of Cooking, stuffing and dressing are used interchangably. However, The Joy also notes that some people reserve “stuffing” only for that which is actually stuffed into the bird. I am one of those.
I do not, will not, stuff the bird. The less time my hand remains in the bird’s body cavity, the better.
Ergo, I make my DRESSING in advance. In fact, I have just finished doing so. And while I do refer to a cookbook, I don’t actually use a cookbook as I am one of those fly-by-the-seat of your pants cooks, much as my mother and her mother before her were.
So what I did was cut up a loaf and a half of French bread yesterday. Then I baked it in the oven for a while last night to toast it a bit.
Today, I combined with the other ingredients: craisins (they absorb the extra moisture and plump up), chicken broth (you should never be without chicken broth in your kitchen!), poultry seasoning, onions, celery, and sausage meat (I browned the sausage meat for a few minutes and then at the onions and celery and let them all cook together). Then you pop it in the 350 oven for 25-30 minutes (don’t overcook it because you are going to reheat it tomorrow) and Voila!
It is quite possible that dressing should not be photographed, but I have done so regardless.
A close up of the not yet baked dressing.