- 3/4 cup 1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter plus more for baking dish
- 1 pound 9 cups day-old cornbread, cut into cubes or broken into pieces and toasted until dry
- 1 pound breakfast sausage sage recommended
- 2 1/2 cups chopped yellow onions
- 1 1/2 cups chopped celery
- 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
- 3 cups low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth divided
- 1 cup chopped toasted pecans optional
- 1/2 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
- 2 Tbs. chopped fresh sage
- 1 Tbs. chopped fresh rosemary
- 1 Tbs. chopped fresh thyme
- 2 tsp. salt
- 1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
- 2 large eggs
- To dry cornbread, spread cubes and pieces on baking sheets and toast at 250 F oven for one hour, stirring occasionally. Place cornbread into a large mixing bowl. Cook sausage in a large skillet over medium-high heat, breaking up into pieces with a wooden spoon, until browned, 8-10 minutes. Place in bowl with cornbread, but do not stir. Heat 3/4 cup butter in same skillet; add onions and celery and cook, stirring often, until softened and just beginning to brown, about 10 minutes. Add to cornbread in bowl. Return skillet to heat. Add vinegar; cook, scraping up browned bits from bottom of pan, for 1 minute. Pour into bowl with cornbread. Gently fold in 1 1/2 cups broth, pecans, if using, parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme. Add salt and pepper. Let cool. Preheat oven to 350 F. Butter a 13-by-9-inch glass baking dish. Whisk 1 1/2 cups broth and eggs in a small bowl. Fold gently into cornbread until thoroughly combined, taking care not to mash cornbread (mixture will look wet). Spread evenly in prepared baking pan. Cover with foil. Dressing can be chilled before baking up to one day ahead. Bake dressing, covered with foil, for 30-35 minutes; uncover and cook for another 10 minutes, until lightly browned on top. If dressing is chilled, cook 10-15 minutes longer. Makes 8-10 servings.
NOTE: To stuff mushrooms or bell peppers, remove stems from large button or portobello mushrooms (chopped stems can be added to the celery and onions and sautéed for stuffing). Place hollowed mushroom caps in a buttered baking dish and drizzle with olive oil. Fill cavities with stuffing, mounding slightly on top. Slice bell peppers lengthwise and remove core and seeds. Fill cavities with stuffing, mounding slightly and place in a baking dish. Cover mushrooms and peppers with foil and bake at 350 F for 30 to 40 minutes, uncovering for the last 10 minutes to allow browning. I’m partial to the tastes and textures of cornbread for dressing/stuffing, as in this recipe I adapted from Bon Appetit magazine. It works well baked in a casserole dish and becomes even more flavorful when stuffed in mushroom caps or sweet bell peppers.
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