“Cornbread Dressing” – Thanksgiving 2015

Cornbread Dressing is a staple on many Thanksgiving tables in the South. There is something special about having a variety of side dishes served on Thanksgiving day. There is something for everyone’s palate. You can not leave out family favorites and over time, you start new traditions by adding new side dishes.

In my family of Southern cooks, turkey was the show stopper surrounded by mashed potatoes and gravy, mac and cheese, greens, candied sweet potatoes, buttered corn, cranberry sauce and homemade dinner rolls. Did I leave out something? Oops!…how could I forget. The show stopping turkey needs a buddy. Cornbread Dressing…

I was asked to make dressing for Thanksgiving this year. Boy, did making this recipe remind me of my Mom’s. Reminding me of how many times I watched her make a recipe similar to this one. This was the eighth Thanksgiving without her. Missed but not forgotten…

Checkout my Cornbread Dressing recipe. It’s moist but on the drier side so the gravy poured over is an awesome combination and perfect match. The dressing is loaded with fresh baked cornbread, dried out in the oven; onions, celery and garlic (leave out for those allergic, love you Jodi) are sauteed in butter. Crumbled sausage, fresh or dried herbs are added with salt and pepper to taste. Moisten the cornbread mixture with chicken broth. Its delicious and brings back so many family Thanksgivings.

Everyone has a special Thanksgiving tradition and favorite side. Need a new favorite? Checkout these dressings and stuffings from Saveur.com. Tell me about your family favorite…

cornbread dressing
Cornbread Dressing

Cornbread Dressing

10 – 12 cups homemade cornbread, cut into 1-inch pieces or cubes

2 c. chicken broth

1 c. half and half

2 eggs, beaten

3/4 pound (12 oz.) your favorite bulk pork sausage, broken into 1-inch pieces

2 large onions, diced small

3 ribs celery, diced small

2 T. butter

1 1/2 t. dried or 2 T. fresh thyme, minced

6 t. dried sage or 2 T. fresh sage, minced

3 garlic cloves, minced

1 1/2 t. salt

2 t. black pepper

Heat oven to 250 degrees and adjust oven racks to middle position. Spread cornbread onto two baking pans and dry in oven for 50 minutes or until no longer. Transfer dried cornbread to a large bowl. Increase oven temperature to 400 degrees.

In the meantime, whisk together chicken broth, half and half, and eggs in a medium bowl. Add broth mixture to cornbread; mix gently to coat, careful not to break up cornbread too much. Set cornbread mixture aside.

In a large skillet over medium heat, cook sausage until browned, about 7- 10 minutes. Remove sausage and drain on paper towel. Do not discard fat; add butter then onions and celery to skillet; stirring occasionally and cooking until softened, about 5-7 minutes. Stir in thyme, sage, garlic, salt and pepper. Cook until fragrant. This will take less than 1 minute. Add onion mixture and sausage mixture to cornbread in large bowl. Stir gently to combine. Add more broth if necessary. Dressing should be moist but not soupy. Cover bowl and refrigerate for at least 1 hour to let flavors meld.

Heat oven to 400 degrees, leaving oven rack in middle of oven. Grease a large baking dish (13×9 or larger) with butter. Spread dressing into baking dish, pressing to fit into baking dish. Bake for 40 minutes or until golden brown.

 

 

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