I had big plans to test-drive several different stuffing recipes in the first weeks of November and pick the perfect one to take to Thanksgiving.
It didn't exactly turn out that way.
I made one recipe; it was good. And, I decided to make a different recipe (the one listed below) the night before Thanksgiving to take to dinner. Risky, I know, but it came highly recommended.
Cornbread Dressing with Turkey Sausage and Fall Apples
From Oprah.com (recommended by my sister-in-law)
Makes 10 to 12 servings
3 Tbsp vegetable oil
12 oz ground turkey sausage
3 medium onions, chopped
2 C chopped celery
3 large Granny Smith apples, peeled and diced
9 C crumbled buttermilk cornbread (see recipe below)
2 C fresh sourdough bread cubes
2 tsp poultry seasoning
1 tsp fresh thyme
2 tsp fresh sage
1 tsp salt
Pepper to taste
3 C chicken broth
Warm 1 Tbsp oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add sausage, crumble, and cook completely.
Add remaining 2 Tbsp oil to same skillet. Add onion, celery, and apples (with sausage). Saute until tender. Set mixture aside.
Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Crumble cornbread. Cut sourdough into 1-inch cubes. Place on large baking sheet. Bake 15 - 20 minutes (stirring every five minutes) or until golden and crunchy.
Note: The cornbread gets really crumbly; it doesn't hold its shape very well. Don't be surprised.
Raise oven temperature to 350 degrees.
Add bread to sausage, onion, celery, and apple mixture.
Butter a 9" x 13" x 3" pan plus a 9" x 9" baking dish. Divide dressing between dishes. Drizzle half of broth over dressing. Bake 30 minutes; remove from oven and drizzle remaining broth over dressing. Bake additional 20 to 30 minutes, or until dressing is browned on top but still moist in the center.
I broke this last step up in to two steps. I drizzled with half the broth and baked for 30 minutes. Then, I took it out of the oven and packaged it up for transport to dinner. Once there, I added remaining half of broth and baked for 20 minutes at 350. It worked out perfectly because the stuffing baked for just as long as turkey needed to cool.
** I made the cornbread the night before the stuffing. **
1 1/2 Tbsp vegetable oil
1 C flour
2 C yellow cornmeal
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
2 C buttermilk
2 eggs, beaten
4 Tbsp butter, melted
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Grease bottom and sides of 9-inch iron skillet with oil. Allow skillet to heat while you prepare batter.
Sift together flour, cornmeal, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in large bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk buttermilk, eggs, and melted butter.
Add buttermilk mixture to dry ingredients and stir together until just blended.
Using oven mitts, remove hot skillet. Pour in batter. Bake for 25 minutes.
The verdict. . . this had a lot of flavor and was relatively easy to make. The recipe definitely made enough servings to fill up some seriously hungry dinner guests. I think I liked this one better than the Sourdough Stuffing with Sausage, Apples, and Golden Raisins. The cornbread really added some great flavor and texture.