Treasured family recipe: Cornbread dressing
Make fresh cornbread for your dressing. (credit: Will Kirk Photography, National Cornbread Festival)
Oh, cornbread dressing, how do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
If there’s one food that was present at every family meal of my childhood, it was cornbread dressing. It was on the supper table every Sunday and every holiday. When I met my (now) husband when I was 15, we ate cornbread dressing at his family gatherings, too.
In fact, the recipe I cook every year comes from my husband’s family, though it is similar to the one my grandmother made. This treasured family recipe was passed down to my mother-in-law from her mother, whose hand-written version was modified and adjusted over the years.
This dressing is somewhat labor-intensive since it requires both biscuits and cornbread, but many of us will be making those for our holiday meal anyway. Once you taste it and find yourself standing around the kitchen island cutting nibbles of cold dressing at midnight, you’ll realize it’s worth the effort. Make double.
(Makes 1 pan)
- 1/2 c. onion, chopped
- 1/2 c. celery, chopped
- 1/4 c. butter
- 2 c. cornbread, crumbled (Homemade preferred since the better your cornbread, the better your dressing. But, if using a mix don’t use one with sugar)
- 1/2 c. biscuits, crumbled
- 2 c. hot chicken broth
- 2 beaten eggs
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp pepper
- 1 tsp poultry seasoning
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 c. milk
- Saute celery and onions in butter and set aside.
- Combine cornbread and biscuits and pour hot broth over mixture. Add the eggs, salt, pepper and poultry seasoning. Follow with celery and onion mixture.
- Dissolve baking powder in milk and add to mixture.
- Check the consistency of your batter. It should not run freely but should be soft enough to pat out with a spoon. (Add cornbread if too loose or extra broth if too thick.)
- Bake at 350° until set and browned on top. Note: I typically bake this with several other items in the oven and I default to the required cooking temperatures for those items. The dressing is very forgiving. I have baked it at 375° and 400° as needed.
Enjoy! Happy Thanksgiving!
–by Jenny Turknett, Food and More blog