Ahh..Thanksgiving always brings up one of life’s eternal quandaries. Is it stuffing or dressing and is there a difference? As a southerner, I have always called the Thanksgiving staple dressing. I believe the term stuffing is more prevalent above the Mason Dixon. Some say the base of dressing is cornbread, while the base of stuffing is white bread. Others say stuffing is “stuffed” inside the bird, while dressing is baked in a casserole dish. Which ever name you use, most of us will find it on our Thanksgiving tables. Several years ago, a dear friend who was living without family in NYC called and asked me how to make dressing. Although I did not have a written recipe, I figured it was a good time to measure and put one in writing..for her and posterity. Last year the Commercial Appeal newspaper published my recipe in a column titled “Tasteful Dressings”. It has been said that the Mississippi Delta begins in the lobby of the Peabody Hotel in Memphis TN and ends on Catfish Row in Vicksburg, MS. Since I am intimately acquainted with both, I call it
4 batches of corn bread (recipe here)
1 quart homemade chicken stock
4-5 bunches green onions, chopped with tops
5 stalks celery, chopped
2 pieces of white bread
Salt and pepper
Place broth, onion, and celery in a deep skillet. Cook until celery is soft. Meanwhile, crumble cornbread completely in a large bowl. Add broth mixture. Tear and add white bread. Mix all well. Get in with your hands if you need to. Add salt to taste and LOTS of black pepper. (I just taste it until I like it). Put into two 9X13 greased casserole dishes. I usually reserve a small amount to mix with oysters and oyster broth. Bake at 350-400 degrees for 30-40 minutes.
Notes-Use homemade stock. Don’t shortcut here! Homemade broth makes a big difference. This can be done in advance and the broth frozen. Boil a whole chicken with an onion, celery with leaves, and a carrot. Add salt and pepper. Cook until the chicken is done (the leg will move easily). Remove the chicken and strain the broth. This recipe is not for sissies, but definitely worth the effort! I make the cornbread on Monday, chop celery and onion on Tuesday and put the dressing together on Thanksgiving morning. You could do it ahead, but I like the way the kitchen smells while watching parades.
****This is exactly the way I emailed it to my non-cooking friend :)—hence, the detailed instructions. Call it what you like…just call me when it’s ready! I wish you and yours a Thanksgiving filled with the blessings of family and food. Nothing says that more than this Norman Rockwell picture.
Click on the Foodie Friday button for more fun and recipes! Thanks to Michael at Designs by Gollum!