By now, you should’ve started thawing your turkey. The invitations are out, your house is getting cleaned, and you’re doing that last bit of grocery shopping for you and the family before Thanksgiving.
Naturally, you’re making sure you have all the right dishes for your big dinner on Thursday. What’s your go-to for side dishes? Most people use cornbread stuffing or dressing as a key dish. But is it your first time to host the dinner? Do you have a recipe?
Don’t worry. You may have come to RedState today to catch the news of the day, but you’ll leave here with a recipe for a pretty straightforward cornbread dressing that you also don’t have to scroll through miles of ad-laden words to find.
First, you’ll need to make the cornbread. This is a sweeter cornbread that is fantastic on its own, served with whatever proteins you like, but crumbling it up to make the dressing is a phenomenal use of it.
- 4 large eggs
- 1 1/4 cup whole milk
- 1/4 cup honey
- 2 cups yellow cornmeal
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 tbsp. baking powder
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 2 sticks unsalted butter, melted
- 12-inch cast iron skillet
- Take the skillet, put it in the oven, and preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Heating the skillet with the oven makes baking the cornbread all the way through so much easier.
- In one bowl, add the dry ingredients and whisk them together to incorporate them before adding the wet ingredients. In a second bowl, whisk together the milk, honey, and eggs. Incorporate the second bowl into the first and stir until everything is mixed, and don’t worry about lumps. It’ll all work out.
- Add the butter, and whisk again briefly until incorporated.
- Take the skillet out of the oven and pour the batter in.
- Place the skillet back in the oven and bake for 30-40 minutes (use a toothpick to test when it’s done – if you stick the toothpick into the center and it comes out clean, it’s ready).
- Take the cornbread out and let it cool completely.
NOTE: It is a source of great consternation in my family that I don’t use Jiffy corn muffin mix. If you want to use that instead, I won’t hold it against you.
After the cornbread has cooled, you can start working on the dressing. There are definitely elements of Cajun cooking in this one — not just adding cayenne like heathen Yankees do to call something “Cajun” — so if you like that, you’ll love this.
- 2 tbsp. butter
- 1 yellow onion, diced
- 1 bell pepper, diced
- 1 celery stalk, diced
- 5 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1/4 tsp. black pepper
- 1/4 tsp. cayenne
- 3 cups chicken stock
- 1 skillet cornbread, crumbled
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
- In a large pot, melt half the butter over medium heat, then add the “trinity” (onions, bell pepper, celery). Cook it for 10-15 minutes, stirring constantly.
- Add the garlic and keep stirring for another minute or two.
- Stir in the spices and make sure everything is mixed thoroughly. Then, add the stock.
- Bring your liquid to a simmer, add the remaining butter, and then add the cornbread. Mix until it’s all incorporated fully and then take it off the heat. You don’t have to make it one giant, mushy mixture. Large crumbles and lumps are fine.
- Transfer your dressing to a casserole dish and bake for 10 minutes. Once the edges are browning, you can take it out.
NOTE: If you want, get a rotisserie chicken from your local grocery store, get a good bit of the meat off of it, and mix it into the stock before you add the cornbread. Having the extra meat in there adds something special.