Make (or purchase) your favorite cornbread for this recipe.
Note: This classic one below from the New York Times works great for a base. I try to avoid using something too sweet for this recipe. If you’re using the recipe below, you’ll need to make a 1½ times batch. The dressing recipe needs about 9 cups of crumbled cornbread.
For the Cornbread:
Recipe from cooking.nytimes.com/
*Multiple this recipe by 1.5 times to make our dressing recipe
1 cup yellow cornmeal, preferably organic stone ground
½ cup all-purpose flour or whole-wheat flour
¾ teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
1 cup plain low-fat yogurt or buttermilk
½ cup milk
1 tablespoon mild honey
2 to 3 tablespoons unsalted butter (to taste)
Preheat the oven to 400°F. Place a 9-inch cast iron skillet or heavy 2-quart baking dish in the oven to heat while you make the batter.
Place cornmeal in a bowl. Sift the flour, salt, baking powder and baking soda over the cornmeal. Whisk the mixture together to blend the ingredients. In a separate bowl, beat together the eggs, yogurt / buttermilk, milk and honey. Whisk the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. Do not overmix.
Remove your pan from the oven and add the butter. Swirl the pan to melt the butter quickly, you do not want the butter to brown. Whisk the melted butter in the batter. Use a pastry brush to brush the sides of your pan with any butter remaining in the pan.
Carefully pour the batter into the hot pan. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. The cornbread will be a deep golden brown on the edges. Allow to cool in the pan.
Once cool, working in batches, use a food processor fitted with a steel blade to grind the cornbread into fine crumbs for the dressing recipe.
For the cornbread dressing:
1 pound of your favorite sausage (I love a chicken apple sausage)
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 cups yellow onion, small diced
2 cups celery, small diced
1 tablespoon garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons fresh sage, finely chopped
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves, finely chopped
¼ cup Italian parsley leaves, finely chopped
2 eggs, whisked
9 cups crumbled cornbread
1 cup milk, for moistening
salt and pepper
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
If using a soft or loose sausage, cook the sausage in a large skillet until cooked through. Remove from the pan and chop. Drain any excess fat from the pan but do not wipe it out. You can also cook your sausage in the oven until cooked through, and chop.
Heat the olive oil in the same skillet you cooked the sausage in. Add the onion and celery and cook for 3-4 minutes until tender, but not browned. Add the garlic and sauté for a minute. Transfer the mixture to a large bowl. Add the cooked sausage, eggs and herbs. Stir to combine. Add in the cornbread crumbs and milk to moisture the mixture. Grease the bottom and sides of your baking dish with 1-2 tablespoons of butter. Transfer your dressing mixture to the prepared pan. Dot with remaining butter.
Bake in a preheated 325°F oven until for about 30 minutes and golden brown on top.