Friday Feedbag: Dressing, Not Stuffing


With the holidays approaching, I figured I’d revive the Friday Feedbag and share some of my favorite Thanksgiving and Christmas recipes. I love to cook (and eat), and I love to blend traditional dishes with shiny-new ones. I’m going to start off with tradition.

In much of the South, the primary side dish at Thanksgiving is cornbread dressing. It’s called dressing rather than stuffing because it’s baked in a pan separate from the turkey, not stuffed inside. (Or, at least, we’ve never stuffed it into the turkey in my family!) Using cornbread as the base brings in the Southern flavor, but otherwise, it’s very much like most basic bread stuffing recipes out there. Our version freezes easily, so we usually make it well in advance of the holiday to save time. It’s served with giblet gravy, made using the organ meat from that little paper bag inside the turkey. (This is the only time all year I eat organ meat, with the exception of the occasional fried chicken gizzard.)

Recipes after the jump! 🙂

Southern Cornbread Dressing
This is actually half of the original recipe and makes plenty for 6 to 8 people, likely with leftovers. If doubling it for a larger crowd, use 2½ cups each of onion and celery (and have a really, really big pan ready for mixing!)

1 recipe plain cornbread (see below)
6 slices white bread
5 large or 10 small canned biscuits, baked (can also use 8 crescent rolls)
3 cups turkey or chicken broth
1 can cream of chicken soup
3 large eggs
1 stick unsalted butter, melted
1½ cups chopped onion
1½ cups chopped celery
1 teaspoon poultry seasoning
Salt and pepper to taste

In large bowl, crumble cornbread, bread and biscuits. Add remaining ingredients and mix well. The mixture should be soupy. If it isn’t, add more broth.

Pour or spoon into two sprayed or greased 13 by 9 casserole dishes or pans. Bake, uncovered, 45 minutes at 350 degrees F.

Cornbread for Dressing

2 cups self-rising cornmeal
3 large eggs
1 cup buttermilk
1 stick unsalted butter, melted

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a large bowl, mix all ingredients well. Pour into a greased 8 by 8 pan and bake 20 to 25 minutes. Check with toothpick in center; if not done, turn off oven and leave in, checking every few minutes until done.

Giblet Gravy

Giblets from chicken or turkey (neck, heart, liver, gizzard)
2 large eggs
About 3 cups water
2 cups chicken or turkey broth (pan drippings if available)
2 Tablespoons unsalted butter
2 Tablespoons flour
1 teaspoon poultry seasoning
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

In a medium saucepan, bring giblets, eggs, and water to a boil. Boil for several minutes, then reduce heat to medium-low and simmer about 30 minutes. Pour off water, reserving giblets. Let giblets and eggs cool, then peel and dice eggs and dice about 1 cup of meat from giblets.

Add butter to saucepan and melt over medium heat. Whisk in flour until smooth and slightly browned. Add broth 1 cup at a time, whisking well after each addition. Whisk in poultry seasoning and pepper, then add eggs and meat. Bring to a low boil for 2 to 3 minutes. Serve immediately.

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