Good cornbread stuffing or dressing is easy and inexpensive. Save time by preparing elements days before the stuffing is assembled.

To prepare the elements prior to assembling:

After you’ve baked the cornbread, you can choose to store it whole by wrapping tightly in foil. Or store the crumbled and dried bread in an airtight container for up to a week before assembling.

The sausage, vegetables and herbs can be cooked and stored in airtight containers in the refrigerator for up to 3 days before assembling the stuffing. Bring the sausage to room temperature and slightly warm the vegetables before assembling the stuffing.

The Cornbread

1 cup all-purpose flour
1-1/3 cups yellow cornmeal
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk
1 large egg
3 tablespoons butter

Preheat oven to 425°. Grease an 8-inch baking pan.

Melt the butter and set aside to cool. Place the flour, cornmeal, baking powder and salt in a large bowl and stir or whisk the dry ingredients to blend well. In a small bowl lightly whisk the milk, egg and cooled butter. Stir the milk mixture into the cornmeal mixture just until everything is moist; avoid overworking the batter.

Pour the batter into your prepared pan and bake for 20 – 25 minutes until lightly golden and a toothpick comes out clean.

Remove the cornbread from the oven and allow to rest in the pan for 5 minutes. Invert onto a rack and allow to cool completely.

To dry the cornbread, preheat the oven to 325° and break the cooled cornbread onto a jellyroll pan in a single layer. Place the pan in the oven and bake for 30 – 35 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the bread is dry and golden. Remove and allow to cool.

The Sausage

3/4 pound bulk pork sausage
6 tablespoons butter
2 medium onions, 2 cups
4-6 ribs of celery, 1-1/2 cups
2 teaspoons dried sage
1 teaspoon marjoram
1 teaspoon rosemary
4-6 green onions, 1/2 cup

Clean and peel the onion. Wash the celery and remove any brown root edge. Finely chop the onion and celery.

Crumble the sausage into a skillet over moderate heat, cook and stir until the sausage is no longer pink. Remove the sausage from the skillet to a bowl using a slotted spoon.

Add the butter to the pan. When the butter has melted, add the onion and celery. Stirring occasionally, sauté until the vegetables have softened and the onion becomes transparent. Crumble the sage, marjoram and rosemary into the pan. Stir and cook the mixture for 3 – 5 minutes; until it becomes fragrant and well blended. Remove from heat.

Assembling the stuffing or dressing:

Wash, clean and thickly slice the green onion. Place the cornbread in a large bowl. Add the sausage, vegetable mixture and green onions to the bowl. Add salt and pepper to taste and stir gently until blended.

For dressing:
Dressing is cooked outside of the fowl or meat.

Preheat the oven to 375°. Butter a 3 – 4 quart casserole dish.

2 tablespoons butter, cut into 8 – 10 pieces
1-1/2 cups chicken broth

Spoon the cornbread and sausage mixture into the casserole. Drizzle the chicken broth over the mixture and dot the top with the butter pieces. Cover and bake for 30 minutes. Remove the cover and bake for 30 minutes more.

For stuffing:
If you’ve prepared the stuffing on the same day that you’re cooking the turkey, allow the stuffing to cool before filling the cavity.

2 tablespoons butter
1/2 – 3/4 cup chicken broth

Rub the butter around inside the cavity, especially against the ribs. Add enough chicken broth to the stuffing mixture to lightly moisten the ingredients. Don’t skip this step or the stuffing will draw moisture from the turkey.

Spoon the cornbread mixture into the cavity. Fill the cavity but avoid compacting and compressing the stuffing. I generally don’t truss the bird. Instead, I flip the tail up to the cavity, crisscross and tie the drumsticks over the opening and lay a small piece of aluminum foil over the stuffing and wrap the ends of the drumsticks until the last half hour or so of baking.

Yield: enough for a 12 – 14 pound turkey, 8 – 10 servings.

*Magic: this recipe is exclusive to I Love You Recipes. It is from my personal, unpublished collection.

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