I had always been curious about cornbread stuffing. I’m loyal to traditional stuffing, but couldn’t there be both?
My cornbread stuffing tasters were party-goers at a potluck I went to. It was a reunion for the group of people I went to Italy with last summer. Last time we had dinner, I made this wretched caesar salad. I used a recipe for the dressing that I have made so many times, so I thought it was foolproof; boy was I wrong. I sometimes overlook certain steps in recipes because I think they are silly. It turns out that rinsing the anchovies and patting them dry is very, very, important. The dressing was so fishy…I got a lot of flack for it from my friends. I learned my lesson, but I knew I had to show up with a note-worthy dish in hand to redeem myself.
It was a hit! This is a recipe I will absolutely revert back to. The cornbread is sweet, which balances the savory herbs and sausage.
Now when I see that group of friends they remember my excellent stuffing and, thankfully, not my fishy dressing.
8-10 servings//Adapted from Bon Appetit
- 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, plus more to grease the pan
- 1 lb. day-old cornbread, broken into 1 1/2″-2″ pieces (9 cups)
- 1 lb. breakfast sausage links, casings removed
- 2 1/2 cups chopped yellow onion
- 1 1/2 cups of 1/4″ slices celery
- 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
- 3 cups low-sodium chicken broth, divided
- 1 1/4 cups chopped toasted pecans (optional)
- 1/2 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
- 2 tablespoon chopped fresh sage
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 2 large eggs
Arrange racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven. Preheat to 250 degrees. Butter a 13x9x2″ baking dish; set aside. Arrange the cornbread in a single layer on 2 rimmed baking sheets. Bake, stirring often until it is dried out. This takes about 1 hour. Let cool. Transfer to a very large mixing bowl.
Meanwhile, cook the sausage in a large skillet over medium-high heat, breaking up into 1/2″-1″ pieces with a wooden spoon, until browned, 8-10 minutes. Transfer to bowl with cornbread but do not stir.
Heat 1/4 cup butter in the same skillet; add onions and celery and cook, stirring often, until softened and just beginning to brown, about ten minutes. Add to the cornbread mixture.
Return the skillet to heat. Add vinegar; cook, scraping up browned bits from bottom of pan, for 1 minute. Pour into a bowl with cornbread. Gently fold in 1 1/2 cups broth, pecans, parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme. Add salt and pepper. Let it cool.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Whisk 1 1/2 cups broth and eggs in a bowl. Fold gently into cornbread until thoroughly combined. Be careful not to mash the cornbread. Transfer to the prepared dish, cover with foil, and bake until the temperature reads 160 with a thermometer or when the top is golden brown and hot (about 40 minutes).