Sunday, April 10, 2011

Cornbread Dressing

I'm Southern, and I love eating the foods I grew up with. Darren is a West Coast kid, and while he eats sushi, he missed out on so much - especially the various joys of pork! My cornbread dressing doesn't always have pork, but I tried a new variation. It was good, but I think it still has some tweaking. Still, it was tasty, and I took pictures, so I'll put it on here.

You will need:
Cornbread crumbles (I don't know how much - what's left after a few slices have been eaten from a large pan of cornbread, maybe 6-8 cups)
1 can of chicken broth (or more)
1 egg (or more)
1 can of cream soup (chicken, mushroom, or celery are recommended)
1 medium onion, chopped
1-2 carrots, chopped
6-8 oz. bulk pork sausage (not the sage kind, unless you like sage)
1 lb. chicken (Cheater step: use leftovers, or one of those grocery rotisserie chickens)
spices (salt, pepper, paprika, cayenne - some people like sage or poultry seasoning, but I think those things are gross)

Crumble up the leftover cornbread. I like to put it into a ziplock bag and smush it up.
Chop the onion and carrots, pretty finely.
Brown the sausage in a skillet, breaking it up into small pieces. I forgot to take a picture of this step. Drain the sausage on paper towels and allow it to cool slightly.

You can clean the skillet and then use a little butter or olive oil to cook the onion and carrot, or you can just use the sausage grease. I'm in favor of the pork fat, but that's not very health conscious. Use the pork fat, or choose something healthier, but cook the vegetables until the onion is translucent.
While those things are cooking, mix the broth, cream soup, and egg in a buttered or greased baking dish.
Add in the cornbread crumbles and make sure they get saturated.
When the carrots and onions are done, allow them to cool slightly, and add the sausage and the vegetables to the cornbread mush and stir.

This time, I used raw chicken; however, I often use one of those grocery rotisserie chickens that I've pulled apart. Those things can be used in all sorts or recipes, but I digress.
Anyway, cut the raw chicken into bite sized pieces, removing any fat or tendons. Brown the chicken over medium heat. Keep using the sausage grease if you've got it, or a touch of oil will work, too.
When the chicken is cooked through and slightly browned, add it to the dressing mixture.
This mixture should be really soupy. If it's not, add some more liquid - more broth, another can of soup, a second egg - use your judgement. One thing to remember, is that Southern dressing, at least the stuff I grew up eating, is not dry. Add some spices, if you like. I use salt, pepper, paprika, and cayenne. I don't know how much. You could taste it, but remember this mixture has raw egg in it. I judge by color - I like my dressing to have a bit of an orange tinge from the paprika and cayenne.

Cook the dressing at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for about 30-45 minutes, until the dressing is set around the edges and beginning to brown. It should not be set in the middle. I suggest checking it several times during cooking to make sure that it isn't too dry. If your dressing is solid, you need to add some liquid - broth or water will do fine. When it is done, the edges, and any peaks should be golden and maybe even a little crispy, but the dressing should still have some jiggle to it.
I forgot to take a picture before we started to dig in. Notice that the dressing kind of oozes into the area where the scoop was removed. This is a GOOD thing. Eat up!

Print the recipe! Go make some!


  1. I've only had this with sausage once, but so far, I actually prefer it without. For any first timers, I recommend you try this with just chicken or turkey. Something about the spices in the sausage and the spices in the dressing just doesn't mix quite as well as it should. Go for less to start out with, then add as you get a feel for it.

  2. The secret to good cornbread dressing is CORNBREAD, preferably homemade, and onions. The other ingredients are negotiable. A slice or two of dried or toasted bread can be added if there is not enough cornbread. If you are out of cream soup, then chicken-noodle or chicken with rice soup can be substituted and saves a few calories. It will not be as creamy but still good. Chicken broth can be diluted with milk or a little water if there is not enough. I also like to add a teaspoonful or so of dried parsley to season the dressing. Also, dressing can be prepared the night before and refrigerated until time to bake.

  3. Thanks, Betty L. Those are some good tips from the woman who taught me how to make dressing!