From the Chef’s Corner
I usually put my family’s favorite Thanksgiving dressing recipe in the paper that my mother-in-law handed down to us, but his year, I will share a recipe from some good friends. Some people like a chunky dressing; others prefer smooth. This one accommodates either. For a very finely textured dressing, crumble corn bread. For a more rustic version, pull it apart into chunks.
For the Cornbread: (Make the cornbread a day before. Break
in large pieces. Let stand uncovered overnight to dry.)
3 Tbsp unsalted butter
1 ½ cups finely-ground cornmeal or plain cornmeal
1 tsp kosher salt
¾ tsp baking soda
2 cups buttermilk
2 eggs, lightly beaten
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Place butter in a 9-inch cast
iron skillet or 9 inch cake pan. Bake until butter melts and
starts to sizzle, 2 to 4 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine cornmeal, salt, and
buttermilk and eggs. Whisk that mixture into cornmeal mixture
until smooth and batter has a shean; batter will be thin. Whisk
hot butter from skillet into batter. Transfer to hot skillet. Bake
about 20 to 25 minutes or until golden. Cool 10 minutes, loosen
thoroughly, remove from pan.
For the Dressing:
1 recipe cornbread (above)
8 tbsp. unsalted butter, divided, plus additional for buttering
1 ¾ cup celery, finely chipped, with some tender inner leaves
1 ¾ cup yellow onion, finely chopped
¾ tsp. kosher salt
½ tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1 tbsp. crumbled oven-dried sage (see recipe below)
3 eggs, lightly beaten
5 ½ cups hot chicken or turkey broth, plus more if needed.
(If using cornbread made with regular cornmeal, cut broth to
about 4 ½ cups)
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. In large skillet over low heat,
melt 5 tbsp butter. Add chopped celery, onion, salt and pepper.
Cook 10 to 15 minutes, stirring often, until vegetables are
very tender and translucent, but do not brown. Stir in crumbled
sage; set aside to cool.
In a large bowl, crumble corn bread. Stir in celery and onion,
then eggs. Stir in 3 cups broth. Melt remaining 3 tbsp butter;
stir in along with remaining broth. Mix well, adding additional
broth if needed to make mixture soupy and pourable.
Transfer to a buttered 3-quart baking dish and bake on
center rack for 40 minutes. Increase heat to 400 degrees and
bake five minutes more, rotating if needed, until dressing is
For Oven-Dried Sage: Pick leaves from bunch or fresh sage, taking care there are no stems left attached to the leaves. Arrange in a single layer on a parchment-lined baking sheet and dry in a 200 degree oven for 20 to 40 minutes, until leaves are thoroughly dried.