My last post was the centerpiece of Thanksgiving, the turkey. It was a SMOKED TURKEY. The absolute best side to a turkey is the stuffing. A Thanksgiving Cornbread Stuffing is the perfect compliment to the smoked turkey. The smoking aspect really portends to a Southern styled Thanksgiving. What is more Southern than Cornbread?
So what is the origin of CORNBREAD? I am not sure it tells us much but it evolves from Native Americans first teaching us about corn. Then, our Southern roots apparently added it to their baking. For this stuffing, the cornbread is an extra step but it is so worth it. The cornbread adds both flavor and more texture to the stuffing. I also added quite a few fun additions to really make a loaded stuffing. My additions included mushrooms, ground sausage, Anaheim chili peppers and Granny Smith apples. The flavors work so well together and each ingredient adds more texture.
So why do we overeat at Thanksgiving? Because of all of the sides. Do we ever pack a plate with more food than we do at Thanksgiving? I don’t think so. As are most Thanksgiving spreads, the food is set out buffet style. Everyone participates in bringing a dish so there are so, so many different dishes to try. I always manage to fit everything on my plate. I go all the way to the edges. So much so, that when I add the gravy, and I like a lot of gravy, it rolls down the side of the plate. No one notices, because as the chef, I serve myself last and everyone is too busy eating to notice.
The cast of characters.
The building of the flavor through the sautéing of vegetables.
All the ingredients tossed together after softening in the skillet, and then, added to the baking dish for the final step of the process.
The Thanksgiving Cornbread Stuffing plated.
- 2 - 3 cups Chicken Stock
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 3 celery stalks, diced
- 2 carrots, diced
- 3 peppers (poblano or anaheim), diced
- 2 cartons crimini mushrooms, sliced
- 1 yellow onion, diced
- 2 tablespoons oregano
- salt and pepper to taste
- 3 Italian turkey sausages, casings removed
- 1 skillet full of cornbread
- 1 loaf crusty bread, cubed or broken into pieces
- Brown the sausage in a skillet. Set aside.
- Melt butter to a skillet on medium heat.
- Add the carrots and celery. After a few minutes, add the onions and cook for 3 - 4 minutes to soften.
- Next, add the mushrooms and cook for a few minutes until the water is cooked out of the mushrooms.
- Add in the spices and mix well.
- In a big bowl, mix together the vegetables, sausage, bread and cornbread.
- Start adding the stock 1 cup at a time. Everything should be moist but not wet.
- Pour the contents from the bowl into a baking dish.
- Add a little more stock.
- Bake in a 325 degree oven for 50 - 60 minutes.
- Serve and enjoy!