Being from New Orleans, I grew up eating Oyster Dressing every holiday. I didn’t know anything else existed.
Then fast forward a few years (well, maybe more than a few!) and I have a daughter with severe seafood allergies. Gone are my days of turkeys stuffed with a luscious, rich oyster dressing.
So back to the drawing board, or stove-top, I was forced to go to come up with a new stuffing for my holiday table.
I have a few that I like but this cornbread and sausage stuffing is consistently a favorite with everyone at my table.
Cornbread stuffing is a Southern classic. The addition of the country-style pork sausage gives it a mild kick… just enough for the grown-up palates but not too much for the kids at the table.
You can make your own cornbread (I love mine made in a gold ole Lodge cast iron skillet) … or you can cheat and use store bought. (I have to confess it is pretty good made with a store-bought jalapeno cornbread!)
You’ll enjoy it so much, serve it as a side dish year-round or make a smaller batch to use as a stuffing for pork chops.
Cornbread and Sausage Stuffing
From Simply Suppers by Jennifer Chandler
Unsalted butter to grease the baking dish
1 8-inch pan prepared cornbread, cut into 3/4-inch cubes (about 8 cups)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 pound country-style fresh pork sausage, crumbled
1 cup finely diced yellow onion (about 1 large onion)
1 cup finely sliced celery (about 3 ribs)
2 cups chicken stock
3 large eggs
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9- x 13-inch casserole dish with butter and set aside. Place the cornbread in a large mixing bowl and set aside.
In a large skillet over medium-high heat, warm the oil until a few droplets of water sizzle when carefully sprinkled in the pan. Add the sausage and cook, breaking up the meat with a wooden spoon, until the meat is browned and cooked through, about 8 minutes. Transfer the cooked meat to a colander and drain off the excess fat. Transfer the drained sausage to the cornbread mixing bowl.
Drain all but about 1 tablespoon of fat from the skillet. Reduce the heat to medium. Add the onion and celery. Cook, stirring occasionally, until soft, about 4 minutes. Transfer the cooked vegetables to the cornbread mixture. Toss to combine.
In a medium mixing bowl whisk together the chicken stock and eggs. Add to the cornbread mixture and toss to evenly coat. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Transfer the stuffing to the prepared casserole dish. Bake, loosely covered with foil, until set and warmed through, about 30 minutes. Remove the foil and bake until the top is browned, about 15 minutes. Serve warm.
Serves 8 to 10.
Cooking Tip: You can either make your own cornbread or pick up an already prepared pan at your local market.