Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Cornbread Dressing

We Southerners eat CORNBREAD DRESSING with our Turkey on Thanksgiving and Christmas because in our world "STUFFING" is that cottony stuff inside of a throw pillow!

I was so excited because last night Jess asked me HOW to make Cornbread Dressing... because she and Jeff are making their first Thanksgiving dinner together tomorrow! So here is the recipe I sent her and that I will share with all of you. It has evolved from my grandma's way of making dressing into the way my mom makes it, and of course, the way that I have tweaked it over the years!

Here is what I sent to Jess.... starting at the shopping all the way to the serving! Enjoy!
Here is your shopping list:

Cornbread mix (2)-- I use Jiffy (the one in the box that costs like 35cents) because it has just enough sweetness to be wonderful!
(+2 eggs and 2/3 cup of milk to make the cornbread)
1 egg extra
2 cans of chicken broth
Green onions (one bunch)
1 yellow onion
1 red bell pepper
1 bunch of celery
White bread (you will need 2 pieces to make toast so if you have a loaf already, that is fine)
The bag of Giblets (from the turkey) ...the turkey that is THAWED OUT!

To do on Wednesday night:
-Bake the cornbread (as directed on the packet). You will need to bake both boxes so you have enough to make your dressing...
-Toast 2 slices of bread.
-Boil 1 egg and set in the fridge.

Get the bag of giblets from the turkey.
Chop the yellow onion, the bell pepper and 1 cup of celery.

In a saucepan: Add 1 can of chicken broth and 2 cans of water, 1 TBSP of butter, the bag of giblets plus the onion, bell pepper and celery.
Season it with Slap ya mama while boiling! Season it like I would! :-)
Boil until the meat is tender (falling off the neck bone) and the veggies are soft.

When it is cool, take all the "giblets" out and chop them up (throwing out the bones, of course) into small pieces. Add back to the liquid. Cover and set this in the fridge until Thursday.

In a large bowl, crumble the cornbread (until it has no lumps and is pretty fine) and tear up the 2 slices of toast into as small of pieces as possible. Cover and leave out until Thursday.

To do on Thursday :

You need to do this about an HOUR and 15 min before you plan to eat.....

Take out the saucepan with the giblets/juice and reheat on the stove. Add the other can of chicken broth if it looks like you might need more liquid....

While it is reheating, chop your bunch of green onions and your egg (that you set in the fridge last night). Add both to the crumbled cornbread mix and mix with your hands.

Add ONE CUP of the giblet mix (be sure you get some of the meat pieces in there!) to your cornbread mix and mix until it is all "wet". The key is that it should not be TOO WET or TOO DRY. You want ALL of the cornbread to be moistened, but not soggy. If you need more liquid, add more from the giblet saucepan, but add it about 1/4 cup at a time...because you can always add more but you cannot "unadd" it....

Mix all of this together.

Butter/grease your baking pan....and then pour your cornbread dressing into it.
COVER WITH FOIL and bake at 375 for 40 minutes. Uncover and bake about 10-15 minutes longer so your top browns a bit.....
Don't overbake or it will dry out. :-)

And then VOILA! You are ready to serve "MoMo/Granny/Mom's Cornbread Dressing". ENJOY!!!!!

(Then you can give Jeff the rest of the Giblet Sauce so he can make the Giblet Gravy!)