When your heritage is upper middle class middle America, and your grandmother never cooked much, you don’t get a lot of cherished recipes passed down through the generations. An occasional faddish 60s casserole or party dip. Having said that, my grandmother insisted on cooking for Thanksgiving, and this recipe for dressing/stuffing has made it onto my Thanksgiving table. And let's be honest, it's basically a casserole. —Hi, I'm Brian.
In a large pot set over medium heat, cook the bacon. When it's crispy, remove the bacon to a bowl and set aside. Keep the bacon fat.
Still over medium heat, add the rosemary to the bacon fat and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
Add the onion, celery, apples, salt, and pepper and cook for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Meanwhile, heat the chicken stock so it's warm when added to the cornbread mixture.
Stir the cornbread stuffing into the onion-celery-apple mixture about a cup at a time until incorporated.
Add the chicken stock to the cornbread mixture about a 1/2 cup at a time until you get a wet (but not soaking) cornbread dressing. Keep in mind that you might not use all the chicken stock.
Stir in the reserved bacon.
At this point you're basically done and it's ready to serve, but everybody knows that's not how Thanksgiving works. Put the dressing in a casserole dish and cover with aluminum foil until ready. If it's completely chilled through it'll take about 20 minutes in a 300º oven to come back.