One bite of my flavorful make-ahead Cornbread Dressing with Sausage, and you will be in food heaven. This recipe epitomizes everything good about the holidays, and the aroma wafting through your house while the dressing is cooking is intoxicating.
4cupscornbread,crumbled (a 9 or 10-inch inch round of cornbread)
16ouncespork sausage,sage or regular
1cupchopped celery,about 4 ribs
1cupfinely diced onion
¼teaspoonground black pepper
1cupchopped roasted pecans
2cupschicken or turkey stock,plus additional cup if needed
Gather your ingredients and preheat the oven to 350 °F.
Brown the sausage in a large cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat for four minutes.
Add the chopped onion and celery and continue cooking for another ten minutes or until the sausage is thoroughly cooked. Remove from the heat and drain any grease. Set aside.
Mix one cup of the chicken or turkey stock and the egg in a small bowl until well blended. Set aside.
Place the cornbread in a large bowl. Add the cooked sausage.
Add the roasted pecans, poultry seasoning, kosher salt, ground black pepper, chicken or turkey stock, and egg and toss to combine.
If you like moister dressing, add additional stock, about one-quarter of a cup at a time, until the dressing is the consistency you like. (It will dry out a little when it is cooked.)
Place the dressing in a two-quart baking dish that has been sprayed with nonstick cooking spray.
To bake, cover the baking dish with foil and bake for 35 minutes. Uncover and bake for an additional ten minutes or until the top is golden brown and crusty.
If you have a turkey with giblets, it's easy to make homemade turkey stock. Place the giblets, a handful of celery and chopped onion, and four cups of water in a medium-sized saucepan. Add one teaspoon of salt and one-half teaspoon of pepper and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer for about 45 minutes. Strain out the giblets and veggies. Voila, turkey stock!Either chicken or turkey stock works great in this dish. If you would like to make your own chicken stock, here is a link for making homemade chicken stock.If I don't have homemade stock, I use Better than Boullion. It comes in chicken, turkey, beef, and even ham flavors, and one tiny jar makes over two gallons of stock. I don't have any relationship with this company; I just like it and think you will too. If your pecans aren't roasted, you can spread them out on a baking sheet and pop them in a 350 °F oven for eight to ten minutes. If you are roasting them to serve as an appetizer, you might want to check out my recipe for roasted pecans, which coats them with butter and salt while they are roasting.Did you know you can also microwave pecans? This is a great method, especially if you are only roasting a cup or so. Place them on a microwave-safe plate in an even layer and microwave them in 30-second intervals until they are golden and toasted. Depending on their size, this only takes around five minutes.