Deliciously moist and perfectly seasoned, this five-star recipe really has no rivals. It does take a little extra time to prepare cornbread dressing from scratch, but it's definitely worth the effort, and freezes beautifully.
Makes 16 to 18 servings
Place 1/2 cup butter in a 13- x 9-inch pan; heat in oven at 425° for 4 minutes.
Combine cornmeal and next 5 ingredients; whisk in 3 eggs and buttermilk.
Pour hot butter into batter, stirring until blended. Pour batter into pan.
Bake at 425° for 30 minutes or until golden brown. Cool.
Crumble cornbread into a large bowl; stir in breadcrumbs, and set aside.
Melt remaining 1/2 cup butter in a large skillet over medium heat; add onions and celery, and saute until tender. Stir in sage, and saute 1 more minute.
Stir vegetables, remaining 4 eggs, chicken broth, and pepper into cornbread mixture; pour evenly into 1 lightly greased 13- x 9-inch baking dish and 1 lightly greased 8-inch square baking dish. Cover and chill 8 hours.
Bake, uncovered, at 375° for 35 to 40 minutes or until golden brown.
*1 tablespoon dried rubbed sage may be substituted for fresh sage.
Andouille Sausage, Apple, and Pecan Dressing: Brown 3/4 pound diced andouille sausage in a skillet over medium heat; drain. Add sausage; 2 Granny Smith apples, chopped; and 2 cups chopped toasted pecans to dressing. Proceed as directed, baking 40 to 45 minutes or until done.