That stuffing looks good – but you HAVE to try cornbread stuffing.
A friend challenged me after I posted my Thanksgiving stuffing recipe. Cornbread stuffing? After some research, I found out it’s a Southern thing – usually called cornbread dressing, and loaded with sausage.1
That will work – cornbread and sausage sounds like a splendid combination. The recipes are similar to my usual stuffing recipes. Saute aromatics, toss with dried bread – cornbread – cubes, stir in beaten eggs as a binder, bake, and brown.
As a blogger, I have to cook two Thanksgiving dinners. One is on Thanksgiving; the other is a few weeks ahead of time, so I can test my recipes and post my pictures. This was the stuffing I served. I got a few funny looks when I put it on the table, but the proof was in the tasting, and it was a hit once everyone took a bite.
Except for my one son. He picked out chunks of sausage and brushed the cornbread off. Oh, well, can’t please everyone.
Recipe: Cornbread and Sage Sausage Stuffing
Cooking time: 60 minutes
- 11“ by 15” foil pan (you can use a large baking dish if you’re cooking in the oven)
- Aluminum foil
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 2 onions, minced
- 2 stalks celery, minced
- 1 red bell pepper, minced
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1 pound sage sausage
- 1/4 cup minced parsley leaves
- 2 pounds stale cornbread, cut into 1 inch cubes (8–10 cups)
- 3 to 4 cups chicken broth (preferably homemade), amount depends on how dry the cornbread is
- 2 teaspoons fresh ground black pepper
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt (if chicken broth is homemade – don’t add more salt if chicken broth is store bought)
- 2 eggs, beaten
1. Saute the aromatics
Melt the butter in a large frypan over medium-high heat. Add the onions, celery, and bell pepper, then sprinkle with 2 teaspoons of kosher salt. Saute until the onions are soft, about five minutes.
2. Brown the sausage
Add the sausage to the pan with the onions and cook, breaking the sausage into bite sized pieces. Cook until the sausage is no longer pink, about five minutes. Stir in the parsley, and remove from the heat.
3. Mix the stuffing
Put half the cornbread in a large mixing bowl. Scrape the onion and sausage mix from the frypan into the bowl, then stir until evenly mixed. Pour in half the chicken stock, add the pepper (and salt if using homemade stock), and stir until all the cornbread is damp. As you stir, the cornbread will compact itself; add the rest of the cornbread and stock in batches, stirring to pack it down. Stir in the beaten egg, then pour the stuffing into the foil pan.
4. Cook the stuffing
Crimp a sheet of aluminum foil over the pan. Put the stuffing in a preheated 350°F oven. Cook with the foil covering the stuffing for 45 minutes. Remove the foil from the top of the pan and cook until the stuffing is browned and crispy on top and the stuffing is 150°F in the middle, about 15 more minutes.
Drip Pan Instructions (for rotisserie or grill):
Crimp a sheet of aluminum foil over the pan, then cut slits in the pan so the turkey drippings can drip through into the stuffing. The grill should be set for indirect medium heat (about 350°F), with a drip pan under the turkey. When the turkey has 1 hour left to cook, replace the drip pan with the pan full of stuffing. Pour any drippings in the drip pan onto the sheet of aluminum foil covering the stuffing; it will drip through the slits into the stuffing. Cook with the foil covering the stuffing for 45 minutes. Remove the foil from the top of the pan and cook until the stuffing is browned and crispy on top and the stuffing measures 150°F, about 15 more minutes.
5. Serve the stuffing
Carefully remove the stuffing from the oven or grill, scoop the stuffing into a serving dish, and serve. If the stuffing needs to sit while you carve the turkey, cover the pan with foil to keep the stuffing warm.
- Am I going to replace my traditional bread stuffing on the Thanksgiving table? Um…no. Sorry. There would be a riot if I didn’t serve a regular bread stuffing. I am considering double stuffing – making this one as an extra side dish. I know my daughter would be happy. She would rather we skipped the turkey and mashed potatoes and just plopped the platter of stuffing down in front of her.
What do you think?
Questions? Other ideas? Native born Southerners who think I’m a clueless Yankee? Talk about it in the comments section below.
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