The savory flavor of sage makes this cornbread dressing recipe distinctive and a perfect partner for a holiday turkey or ham.
2 (6-oz.) packages buttermilk cornbread mix
1/3 cup butter
1 cup chopped celery
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 tablespoon chopped fresh or 1 1/2 tsp. dried sage
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 white bread slices, cut into 1/2-inch cubes (about 2 cups)
2 1/2 to 3 cups chicken broth
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
Garnish: fresh sage leaves
How to Make It
Prepare cornbread according to package directions for a double recipe. Let cool 30 minutes; crumble into a large bowl.
Melt 1/3 cup butter in a large skillet over medium heat; add chopped celery and onion, and sauté 10 to 12 minutes or until tender. Stir in sage, pepper, and salt. Stir celery mixture and bread cubes into crumbled cornbread in bowl, stirring gently until blended. Add chicken broth and eggs, and gently stir until moistened. Spoon mixture into a lightly greased 11- x 7-inch baking dish.
Bake at 350° for 45 to 50 minutes or until golden brown. Garnish, if desired.
Note: For testing purposes only, we used Martha White Cotton Country Cornbread Mix. To make ahead, prepare recipe as directed through Step Cover with plastic wrap; cover with heavy-duty aluminum foil or container lid. Freeze unbaked dressing up to 3 months, if desired. Thaw in refrigerator 24 hours. Let stand at room temperature 30 minutes. Bake, uncovered, at 350° for 1 hour and 10 minutes to 1 hour and 15 minutes or until golden.
Sausage Dressing: Prepare recipe as directed through Step Omit 1/3 cup butter. Cook 1 (16-oz.) package pork sausage in a large skillet over medium-high heat, stirring often, 10 to 12 minutes or until meat crumbles and is no longer pink. Remove cooked sausage from skillet using a slotted spoon, and drain, reserving 2 tsp. drippings in skillet. Add chopped celery and onion, and saute 10 to 12 minutes or until vegetables are tender; stir in sage, pepper, and salt. Stir in cooked sausage. Proceed with recipe as directed. Follow make-ahead directions, if desired.
Oyster Dressing: Prepare recipe as directed through Step 2, stirring 1 (12-oz.) container fresh oysters, drained, into cornbread mixture. Proceed with recipe as directed, increasing bake time to 50 to 55 minutes or until golden. Follow make-ahead directions, if desired.
Use all 3 cups of broth if you like a really moist dressing.
This is your basic, but very delicious cornbread dressing seen on most tables in the mid-west and south. I followed the directions exactly, and it came out perfect. I used 2 1/2 cups of broth (you don't want slurpy dressing!) as opposed to 3 cups. My mother (who is VERY picky about dressing) loved it! You should give it a try!
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