In the south, don’t even suggest any other kind!
Growing up in the south, Thanksgiving meant having turkey and dressing. Traditionally, the dressing had to be cornbread dressing made with buttery, savory cornbread. When I was a teenager, my father was stationed at West Point, New York. It was there that I learned there were other types of dressing.
And I didn’t like them: bread dressing, oyster dressing and one other type of dressing that I don’t know what was in it. No, just no.
If you’ve never had cornbread dressing, you really need to try it. You may never eat any other kind again.
Quick and Easy Cornbread Dressing
Assembly time: 15 minutes
Bake time: 1 to 1 ½ hours.
1 stick unsalted butter
3 ribs of celery, cut into ¼” slices
½ cup diced onion
1–1 ½ Tablespoon rubbed sage (to taste)
½ teaspoon kosher salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper
1 recipe cornbread, crumbled into chunks and dried out *
2 eggs, slightly beaten
1 ½–2 cups chicken stock
*Make the cornbread one to two days ahead and leave it out on your counter, uncovered, to dry out.
Putting it together
Preheat your oven to 350F. Generously grease a 2-quart casserole baking dish.
Melt the butter in a saucepan. Saute the celery and onion for about 5 minutes until softened slightly . Add sage, salt, and pepper, stirring until fragrant — about 30 seconds. Remove the mixture from heat.
Stir in the crumbled cornbread. Slightly beat the eggs and fold them into the dressing. Finally, slowly add in the chicken stock, until the mixture is slightly soupy, but not runny. Transfer the mixture to your prepared baking dish.
You can transfer the ingredients before adding the chicken stock, if that is easier for you. I have a casserole dish that can be used on top of the stove as well as go in the oven, so it’s a one-pan process.
Bake it for 1 to 1 ½ hours, until it reaches the desired doneness. Cook it less, if you prefer it moister, and longer, if you like it crispy on top. You can also lay boneless skinless chicken breasts or thighs directly on top and bake it until the chicken is done, a great weeknight meal.
What do I do with leftovers?
A half recipe of the dressing leaves enough left over for another meal for two. It freezes beautifully in a freezer-safe container or freezer bag. Take it out and let it thaw when you’re ready to fix it for a quick dinner. Add a ¼-cup of chicken stock and warm it in the oven, microwave, or toaster oven.
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Pat is a closet feminist and progressive conservative who loves to travel, garden, read, and bake. She writes about food, sustainability, and living simply. Her goal is to leave the world in better shape than it was in when she arrived. She’s a retired middle school teacher who lives in Texas with her husband and a neurotic cat named Neko.
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