Cornbread Dressing

Growing up in Texas, I didn’t know about “stuffing” at Thanksgiving.  We had “dressing.”  It was made from cornbread, and we would have never dreamed of sticking it in unspeakable places inside a turkey carcass.  Ewww.  Just saying’.  If you’re into that…rock on.  But we cooked ours in a casserole dish and served it as a side dish that was yummy either with or without some gravy on top.  And, of course, we just ended up mixing everything together on the plate anyway…dressing, sweet potato casserole, cranberry sauce, etc.  I know that may scare those of you who don’t want your foods to touch!  That’s ok!  So, as we approach the big feast day…I felt it was important to include this in my “Twelve Weeks of Holiday” series.  Although I will not be completing this dish until the big day.  So, the pictures will have to come later!  For now, I will include a couple of pics from last year’s feast!

This is a pretty straightforward family recipe probably very similar to a dressing you make or have tasted.  Ours was all savory.  We never added fruit or nuts.  However, I do like that twist.  I just do that at other meals.  There’s something about traditions that I never mess with.  I want it to remind me of all the meals I had growing up.  It was never written down.  I  remember all the women in my family working together on Thanksgiving day to add a little of this and a little of that, tasting as they went to make sure all the seasonings were just right.  My Aunt Ruth was always the “taster” to let us know if we needed more sage.  That’s the one that is always hard for me to decide.  So here goes…

Last year’s spread.  The dressing is on the buffet somewhere!

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This is how it starts…

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Ingredients

  • 2 pkgs cornbread mix (feel free to make from scratch, but not necessary)
  • 2 cans low sodium chicken broth, just use as much as needed to moisten the cornbread
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 1/2 of small onion, chopped
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • dried sage to taste
  • S & P to taste

Directions

Prepare the cornbread and cube or crumble it up.   If you have a smaller group, you may only need one package of cornbread.  Two will be enough for 6-8.  You can do this ahead.  In fact, it’s better if you do.  It’s best when it’s a bit stale.  It will soak up the broth better.  Saute the onions and celery in a pan in a bit of butter until slightly softened.  Set aside.  Place the crumbled cornbread into a sprayed baking dish.  Add enough chicken broth to saturate the cornbread.  Add in the onions and celery.  Add sage and salt and pepper.  Taste to check for seasonings.  Add more if needed.  You can do all this in a separate bowl to mix and pour into the baking dish when done, but my mom did all the combining right in the baking dish…fewer dishes to wash!  After all, we didn’t have a dishwasher!  Hard to imagine!  When it’s right, add in the slightly beaten egg.  Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven until set and golden brown.  About 30-40 minutes.

 

Author: Debbie Nance

I am a working wife and mom, and I live with my family near Charlotte, NC. I am originally from Texas and have lived in a number of states in the southeast due to my job in radio. It sometimes requires moving to chase the dream. My husband and I have been married since 1994 and we host a country music radio show together. I am passionate about cooking and, I spend most of my time watching the Food Network, reading about food and testing new recipes.

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