Cornbread, Sausage & Pecan Stuffing

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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 

Ingredients

  • 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).

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One thought on “Cornbread, Sausage & Pecan Stuffing

  1. This looks fantastic! I don’t think I’ve ever tried to remove the casings from breakfast sausage (other sausages sure). Is there a particular brand or style (maple, smoked, etc) that you prefer? Cheers.

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