Thursday, November 19, 2009

Sharing my recipe: Pecan Bacon Cornbread Dressing

Every year the debate rages... Which dressing to make, "regular" (ie. plain bread) or "cornbread"... I say, make both! I love cornbread dressing, but also my grandmother's "regular" (and oyster version) dressing, so I make the cornbread and let Grandma make the "regular".  Here's my favorite cornbread dressing recipe:

Pecan Bacon Cornbread Dressing

1 package jiffy corn muffin mix
1 egg -- for cornbread
1/3 milk -- for cornbread
4 slices white bread
8 bacon slices
5 tbsp butter
3 c chopped onion
2 c chopped celery
1 c chopped shallots
4 tsp dried rubbed sage -- or 4 tbsp fresh chopped sage
1 tbsp dried thyme -- or 3 tbsp fresh chopped thyme
4 c chicken broth
1 1/2 c pecans -- toasted, coarsely chopped
3 large eggs -- beaten

Prepare and bake 1 8x8" pan of jiffy corn muffin mix according to package directions, using 1 egg and 1/3 cup milk. Allow to cool throughly. (Can be done 1 day ahead)

Preheat oven to 325 deg. F. Cut corn bread and white bread into 3/4-inch cubes. Place bread cubes on baking sheet and toast until dry but not hard, about 15 minutes. Cool. Transfer to large bowl. Butter 11x13x2-inch baking dish. Cook bacon in heavy large skillet over medium-high heat until crisp, about 6 minutes. Using tongs, transfer bacon to paper towels; reserve 1/4 cup bacon drippings in skillet. Cool bacon and crumble. Add butter to bacon drippings in skillet and melt over medium-high heat. Add onions, celery and shallots; sauté just until pale golden brown, about 10 minutes. Stir in sage and thyme. Add to bread cubes in bowl. Mix in pecans and crumbled bacon. (Can be prepared 1 day ahead. Cover and refrigerate.) Stir 1 1/2 cups chicken broth into dressing. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Mix in eggs. Moisten remaining dressing with remaining 1/2 cup chicken broth. Transfer to prepared dish. Bake dressing in covered dish alongside turkey for 1 hour. Uncover dressing and bake until top begins to crisp, about 5 minutes longer.



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