It took years to finesse this recipe. I don't like stuffing the bird so its baked separately, it is a family favorite and the most memorable part of the Thanksgiving meal. Although somewhat labor intensive, when you are preparing a meal on Thanksgiving it's always a bit of work but so worth it in the end. I have made this dressing for many years and have never measured anything I like to work according to taste, that said I did measure so I could share this recipe. You can easily adjust according to your own taste, omit the bacon and use vegetable stock instead of chicken to make it vegetarian, add more or less nuts, you can add whatever you like to make it your own, its delicious with raisins dried fruit (cranberry, apricot) or pomegranate seeds as well.
This recipe makes a lot of stuffing you can easily half the recipe. —sdebrango
- Prep time 1 hour
- Cook time 45 minutes
- Makes A lot of dressing/stuffing
Cubed dried cornbread
cubed herbed bread
Chopped white or yellow onion
Chopped Apple skin removed
good quality bacon cooked until crisp(Reserve 2 tbs bacon fat)
chicken stock (add gradually you don't want your dressing to wet)
reserved bacon fat (optional)
large eggs lightly beaten
whole milk or half and half
dried sage (If using fresh sage increase the amount to suit your taste)
freshly ground pepper
butter to saute vegetables
- I like to bake the cornbread a day or two before I make the dressing cut into cubes or break off small chunks and set out on a baking sheet to dry or you can scatter on two baking sheets and bake in a 175-200 degree oven until dried. You can also air dry uncovered but its quicker in the oven. I used the recipe on the cornmeal bag and doubled it baking in a 9x13 rectangular baking pan.
- You can make your own herbed bread cubes by cutting a day old loaf of artisan bread into cubes, toss with some chopped herbs (I like sage) and bake in a 200 degree oven until bread is toasted or you can use bagged cubed herbed bread if you wish
- Grind walnuts in food processor and toast in fry pan on low heat careful not to burn, You will know they are done when you can smell the walnuts.
- Chop pecans, onion, apple and celery. Melt butter (You can use olive oil if you like) in saute pan add the onions and celery saute until onions are translucent then add the pecans, apple and the sage continue cooking until the ingredients are cooked through but not mushy. Fry the bacon until its crisp break into bite size pieces set aside.(Reserve 2 tbs of the fat to add to the dressing)
- In large mixing bowl add the cornbread and bread cubes. Add all the other ingredients Toss to mix careful not to over mix you want the breads to retain its shape as much as possible. Now add the chicken stock, eggs and milk and mix everything together. Adjust seasoning, add salt if you wish or more sage to suit your taste. Add the liquid a little at a time until its wet but not too soggy. You can never remove but can always add more.
- Butter your casserole or baking pan and spoon the dressing in careful not to pack in or press down. Bake covered with foil in a pre-heated 375 degree oven for 45 minutes then to crisp the top drizzle some of the pan juices from the turkey on top and put in broiler for a few minutes until the top is crisp. You can make this a day ahead and then refrigerate.(Let sit at room temperature for an hour before baking) NOTE: I like to cover and bake then crisp in the broiler you can with very good results just bake uncovered for 30-45 minutes.