Cornbread Dressing

Cornbread Dressing
Cornbread Dressing
This classic Southern-style Thanksgiving dressing is tossed with crumbled breakfast sausage and plenty of sage, then cooked in a casserole dish beside the browning bird.Helen Rosner

This dressing is the perfect accompaniment to Thanksgiving Roast Turkey. Rather than cooking it in the bird, cook it in a cast iron skillet and serve it on the side.

Cornbread Dressing
This skillet-cooked, sausage-stewn cornbread dressing is the perfect accompaniment to roast turkey on Thanksgiving.
Yield: serves 12-14

For the Cornbread

  • 1 tbsp. vegetable oil
  • 1 tbsp. butter
  • 1 egg
  • 2 cups buttermilk
  • 2 cups self-rising white cornmeal
  • 14 cup self-rising flour

For the Dressing

  • 1 lb. ground sausage, such as Old Folks or Jimmy Dean
  • 1 head celery, trimmed and finely chopped
  • 2 yellow onions, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 skilletful of cornbread, crumbled
  • 4 cups seasoned bread crumbs
  • 4 tbsp. chopped fresh sage or 2 tbsp. dried crumbled sage
  • 1 cup turkey stock (made with neck and giblets) or chicken stock
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tbsp. butter, softened

Instructions

  1. Make the cornbread: Preheat oven to 400°. Add oil and butter to a well-seasoned 9–12-inch cast-iron skillet, then put the skillet into the oven as the oven is heating.
  2. Beat egg and buttermilk together in a large bowl. Add corn meal and flour and mix together until just combined. Add about ⅓ cup water to thin the batter. Carefully remove the hot skillet from the oven; swirl the oil and butter to coat the bottom and sides. Pour batter into hot skillet and bake cornbread until golden on top and firm to the touch in the center, about 35 minutes. Cornbread may be cut into wedges and served from the skillet at this point, if you like. Otherwise, to make cornbread dressing, let corn bread cool completely.
  3. Make the cornbread dressing: Fry the sausage in a large skillet over medium heat, using a wooden spoon to break up and crumble the meat. When the meat has lost its pink color, about 8 minutes, add the celery and onions and cook, stirring often, until onions are soft, about 10 minutes more.
  4. Mix the cornbread, bread crumbs, and sage together in a large bowl. Add the sausage mixture and, using 2 big spoons, toss mixture together. Add stock and continue tossing until well combined. Season to taste with salt and lots of pepper. Transfer to a large buttered baking dish and set aside. Bake uncovered in a preheated 350° oven for the last hour while the turkey roasts.