This lovely cornbread dressing is the only dressing that my family ever made when I was growing up. After I was married I made it religiously every year–TRADITION is everything at Thanksgiving–unless, of course, somebody creates something amazing like the afore posted Sourdough Artichoke Parmesan Stuffing. As I ventured out on my own away from home, I was amazed to find that anyone else in the world had a different take on what dressing or stuffing was all about. Yes, for all of the traveling that I did as a kid, I was culinarily ignorant. (Except that I did learn about cream puffs when I lived in Wisconsin and scrapple when I lived in Delaware.)
This recipe is a little tricky, but only because it is one of those recipes that was developed over the generations and its preciseness is based solely on look, feel, and taste. I think you know what I mean. When my mother first passed the recipe on to me it came with instructions like, “break up the corn bread until it looks right” or “add the chicken broth until it looks right but not too dry or not too soupy” or “add the spices until it smells about right”…you get the picture.
This recipe is actually very cathartic. You get to crumble and tear-up stuff with your bare hands. It is glorious as you feel holiday tension melting away.
Southern-Style Cornbread Dressing
Recipe by Terri @ that’s some good cookin’
- 1 8″x8″ pan of cooked cornbread (see recipe for cornbread or make your own or use 2 boxes of Jiffy Mix cornbread mix.)
- 6 slices white bread, toasted (toss them in the toaster and get them nice and golden)
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 3 stalks celery, coarsely chopped
- 4 eggs, beaten (Just whisk them a little bit with a whisk or a fork–it don’t really matter)
- 5 cups (approximately) chicken stock
- 1/4 cup butter, melted
- 1 t. sage (about)
- 1 T. poultry seasoning (about)
- salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Dump the cornbread into a large mixing bowl and break it up–just put your hands in the bowl and crumble the cornbread into small chunks.
- Tear the toast into small bite-sized pieces and put them in the bowl with the cornbread.
- Add the chopped onions and celery to the bread mixture. Toss the breads and vegetables together–yep, with your hands.
- Sprinkle the sage and poultry seasoning over the above mixture and toss it all together again.
- Mix together chicken broth, beaten eggs, and melted butter.
- Pour the chicken broth mixture over the cornbread mixture. The dressing at this point should be very, very moist, almost soupy. It should not look like the more traditional dressings/stuffings you may be used to seeing.
- Now add the salt and pepper to taste. I just sprinkle the salt and pepper until I think it is the right amount. Go easy on the salt because several of the ingredients already have salt in them.
- Pour into a 9″ x13″ well greased (yes, of course, I used a cooking spray) baking dish. Bake for about 45 minutes until the dressing is firmly set. Do not over-cook–it should just be a lovely light golden color.