Dressings and stuffings made with cornbread have become increasingly popular for Thanksgiving. Last year I jumped on the bandwagon and created my own version of cornbread dressing. I was worried because the cornbread alone was beyond bland and horribly dry. However, when mixed with vegetables and herbs and soaked with chicken broth, the dressing ended up being fantastically delicious and surprisingly moist. I recommend you experiment with cornbread dressing — if you haven't already — and have found two recipes to help you do so. One is easy and one is a little more difficult, so take a look at both and decide which one best suits your skills as a cook. To take a look please
1 large egg
1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
1 pound store bought cornbread, cut into 1-inch cubes
1 cup frozen diced onions, thawed
2 tablespoons Italian herb marinade mix (recommended: Durkee Grill Creations)
1 (8-ounce) can sliced water chestnuts
1 (14.75-ounce) can cream style sweet corn
1 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 2 1/2 quart casserole dish with cooking spray. Set aside.
- In a small bowl beat 1 egg with the chicken broth.
- In a large bowl combine remaining ingredients and egg mixture. Stir to combine. Transfer to the prepared casserole dish.
- Bake for 1 hour.
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups yellow cornmeal
1/2 cup sugar
2 cups milk
2 large eggs
2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 loaves Corn Bread
2 cups pecans
7 leeks (about 1 pound; white and pale green parts only)
3 celery ribs
3/4 stick (6 tablespoons) unsalted butter
1/2 pound sweet Italian sausage (about 3 links)
2 cups fresh or unthawed frozen cranberries
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup packed fresh flat-leafed parsley leaves
2 cups chicken broth
- Make cornbread: Preheat oven to 400° F. and butter two 9- by 5- by 3-inch loaf pans.
- Into a large bowl sift together flour, baking powder, and salt and whisk in cornmeal and sugar until combined well.
- In a bowl whisk together milk and eggs until just combined.
- Add butter to flour mixture and with an electric mixer beat until mixture resembles coarse meal. Beat in egg mixture until just combined (batter will be thin).
- Pour batter into pans and bake in middle of oven until golden and a tester comes out clean, about 50 minutes. Cool corn bread in pans on a rack 10 minutes and turn out onto rack to cool completely. Corn bread may be wrapped in plastic wrap and kept in a cool, dry place 2 days or frozen 2 weeks.
- Prepare stuffing: preheat oven to 325° F.
- Cut corn bread into 1/2-inch cubes and in 2 large shallow baking pans bake in middle of oven until just dry, about 20 minutes.
- Transfer corn bread from 1 pan to a large bowl and in pan toast pecans in oven until insides are golden, 10 to 20 minutes.
- Halve leeks lengthwise and then cut crosswise into 1/2-inch pieces. In a bowl of cold water wash leeks well and lift from water into a sieve to drain.
- Chop celery.
- In a 12-inch skillet cook leeks and celery in butter with salt and pepper to taste over moderately low heat, stirring, until leeks are tender, about 25 minutes.
- Remove sausage from casings and break into small pieces. Add sausage to leek mixture and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, 5 minutes, or until sausage is cooked through.
- In a small heavy saucepan cook cranberries with sugar over moderately high heat, stirring, 5 minutes, or until some begin to burst. Chop parsley.
- To bowl of corn bread add remaining corn bread cubes, pecans, sausage mixture, cranberries, parsley, broth, and salt and pepper to taste and toss together. Cool stuffing completely. Stuffing may be made up to this point 1 day ahead and chilled, covered. Bring stuffing to room temperature before proceeding.
- For cooking stuffing inside poultry: any frozen poultry destined for stuffing should be completely thawed, and the stuffing itself brought to room temperature before it's put into the turkey. Do not stuff your bird the night before you cook it; such a seeming time-saver can have dangerous results. Instead, it is best to loosely fill the bird's neck and body cavities immediately before roasting. And always use a meat or instant-read thermometer: The meat is done when the temperature of the thickest part of the thigh (be careful not to touch the bones) reaches 180°F.; the stuffing baked inside the bird is done at 160°-165°F. After roasting, let your stuffed poultry stand 15 to 20 minutes, a double assurance that the requisite temperatures for food safety have been reached.
- For cooking all or part of stuffing outside poultry: in a shallow baking dish bake stuffing in preheated 325° F. oven 1 hour (for moist stuffing, bake covered entire time; for less moist stuffing with a slightly crisp top, uncover halfway through baking time).
Makes 12 cups.