Fisty (badlittlevixen) wrote in le_pain_depice,

Buttermilk Cornbread & Sausage Stuffing

Stuffing (or dressing, as you will) was my responsibility for Thanksgiving this year. My little sister Maiya hostessed a dinner for fourteen; all I had to do was show up with stuffing in hand. Being a mild sort of over-achiever on occasion, I ended up making two stuffings and an Ooey Gooey Pumpkin Butter Cake. (The latter, by the by, was pronounced a new favorite; not that my stuffings garnerd no praise, but the OGPBC is a force with which to reckon.) I culled my mother's old magazines and cookbooks for recipes and settled on these two. As a firm believer in multiple stuffings, I knew I needed two, and I decided the best option was to compliment a cornbread stuffing with a white bread stuffing. Chestnuts being a recent discovery (see last Thanksgiving), I was all about including those somewhere, preferably with something fruity.

Buttermilk Cornbread and Sausage Stuffing

2 boxes Jiffy Cornbread mix
2 eggs

8oz turkey Italian sausage, crumbled

5 T butter
3 cps chopped onions
2 cps chopped celery
1 cp chopped shallots
4 tsp dried rubbed sage
1 T dried thyme
1-½ cps pecans, toasted, coarsely chopped

2 cps canned low-salt chicken broth
3 large eggs, beaten to blend

1) Prepare two batches Jiffy cornbread as directed on box, using buttermilk instead of milk. Bake, set aside to cool. Preheat oven to 325F.
2) Coarsely chop pecans and spread on baking sheet. Toast until fragrant, about 7 minutes. Set aside.
3) Cut cornbread into ¼ inch cubes. Place cube son a baking sheet and toast until dry but not hard, about 15 minutes. Cool.
4) Cook sausage in a large skillet until thoroughly cooked. Using tongs, transfer sausage to paper towels to drain and cool. Add butter to skillet and melt over med-high. Add onions, celery, and shallots; sauté about 10 minutes until pale golden brown. Stir in sage and thyme, and combine with cornbread cubes in a large bowl. Mix in pecans and cooked crumbled sausage.
5) Stir 1 ½ cups chicken broth into stuffing, and season to taste with salt and pepper. Mix in eggs. If stuffing turkey, reserve nine cups for turkey cavity. Moisten remaining stuffing with additional broth and transfer to a buttered baking dish, no more than 3 inches deep. Bake stuffing in covered dish alongside turkey for 1 hour. Uncover stuffing and bake til top begins to crisp, about 5 minutes longer.

(Adapted from Bon Appetit, November 1996)

Apple-Chestnut Stuffing

2 cps chestnuts (12oz in shells, 8oz unshelled)
1 1lb loaf rustic Italian of French bread
2 cps prunes, coarsely chopped
1 cp apple cider
3 T butter
3 onions, chopped
3 celery stalks, chopped
2 green apples, cored, cut into 8 wedges, and thinly sliced crosswise
¼ cp fresh sage, coarsely chopped
2 cans low-salt chicken broth
3 eggs, beaten

1) Preheat oven to 350F. Using a small paring knife, make a 1/8 inch incision through the shell and into the chestnut meat, either in an X or a line going most of the way around the nut. Place nuts on rimmed baking sheet and roast in oven til the chestnuts are tender, about 35 minutes. Turn oven off. Keeping nuts warm in the oven, remove several at a time. Working quickly, place a chestnut in a towel and peel the chestnut while still hot (This is important!) Repeat until all chestnuts are shelled. Remove and discard all shell sand inner skins and coarsely chop. Set aside. Heat oven to 350F.
2) Cut bread into 1-inch cubes and place in a single layer on baking sheets. Toast in the oven til dry, about 5-7 minutes. Set aside to cool.
3) Place the prunes and apple cider in a small pot, and bring to a boil over med-high. Reduce to a simmer, and cook til all liquid has been absorbed., about 20-25 minutes. Set aside.
4) Melt butter in a large skillet over medium; add chestnuts, onion, and half the celery and apples. Cook until onion is translucent, about 7 minutes. Stir in sage and the rest of the celery and apples. Remove from heat and set aside.
5) In a large bowl, combine bread, prunes, chestnut mixture, and beaten eggs. Season with salt and pepper; toss to combine. Add one can of broth and toss to combine. Continue adding broth til stuffing is just moistened but not wet.
Bake in a buttered dish, covered, for 30 minutes, then uncovered for ten minutes more.

Adapted from Martha Stewart Living Annual Recipes 2002 and Everyday Food November 2005.)
Tags: martha stewart, side dishes, stuffing, thanksgiving
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