Cornbread Dressing

Posted by Vanessa in Cooking, November 23, 2010

I’ve been playing around with dressing recipes for a week or so now and I think I’ve got something I might just consider a keeper.  I like the assortment of vegetables, the tart apples, and of course, the bacon.  I like that the veggies are sauted in bacon fat instead of boiled for, um yeah, much added flavor and some color on them.  I like that my favorite cornbread in the world is in it because it’s so stinkin’ good.  I like that it has a nice, fresh flavor that isn’t over-seasoned with holiday spices.  I like it, The Phoenix likes it, and we hope our guests on Thursday like it too.

And I know it’s fairly late in the game, but if you want to give this a try for your Thanksgiving feast, there’s still time.  And even time to make it ahead so you don’t have to do (hardly any) of the work on Thursday.  Here’s what you can do:  Make the cornbread today (Tuesday).  Tomorrow (Wednesday) make the rest of the dressing following the recipe except only bake it for 30 minutes instead of the full 45.  Cover and refrigerate.  A few hours before dinner on Thursday, take it out of the refrigerator and let it sit on the counter to come to room temperature.  Bake at 350 again for 20-25 minutes or until heated through and the top is golden and crispy.

Yum.  Yum.  Yum.

I can’t wait for my big cooking day tomorrow!  I’m actually doing more tomorrow than on Thursday because I will do absolutely anything ahead of time that I can.  I’d much rather be crazy before company arrives than when they’re here.  Anybody with me on that?

Cornbread Dressing

  • Prep Time: 30 minutes.
  • Cook Time: 45 minutes.
  • Ready in 1 Hour, 15 Minutes.
  • Makes: 8 Servings
  • 1 batch buttermilk cornbread (recipe under Breads tag), cooked then cut into 1-inch cubes - or your favorite
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 4 stalks celery, diced
  • 6 slices bacon, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
  • 3 granny smith apples, diced
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • kosher salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 3-4 cups chicken broth, depending on how moist you like your dressing
  • Place cornbread in a large bowl; set aside.
  • In a large saute pan over medium-high heat (I used a straight-sided one), cook bacon until crisp. Using a slotted spoon, remove bacon from pan and put on a plate covered with paper towels.
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Add celery to the bacon fat. Saute for 5 minutes and then add onions and apples. Season with salt and pepper. Cook until desired degree of doneness. I cooked mine until the celery was almost soft, just a hint of a bite left in it. Make sure to scrap the bottom of the skillet occasionally to get the browned bits. Add butter and cook until melted. Take vegetables off the heat.
  • Pour vegetables and bacon over bread mixture and add chicken broth. Stir gently to combine and pour dressing into a 2-quart casserole dish. Pray that it all fits.
  • Bake for 40-45 minutes. Serve warm.

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