Rule #310: Side dishes should be both simple and delicious.
Thanksgiving Dressing (Stuffing for some of us) has sometimes been frowned upon for being too dry, too bland, or too boring. This Thanksgiving Dressing recipe is none of the above, my friend. It’s a deliciously herb-filled, cornbread-and-French-bread-mixed concoction that’s surprisingly simple to make!
I think the best part about this recipe is that it can be started a day (or two) ahead of time, making the Big Turkey Day a little easier!
A day before you make your stuffing (so, Wednesday if you’re doing dinner on Thanksgiving Day), cut up a baguette of French bread into 1″ pieces.
Lay them out on a piece of parchment paper to dry for about 24 hours. This will give the dressing a wonderful texture!
You’ll need a batch of cooked cornbread (again, the day before at least so it can dry). I use my recipe for Cheesy Cornbread, but OMIT THE CHEESE. You can also just use a good ole box of Jiffy Cornbread, too. Cut or crumble it into pieces and lay on parchment paper just as you did the French bread.
When you’re ready to cook some Thanksgiving Dressing, go ahead and put all of your dried bread crumbs into a large bowl.
Prepare your herbs (can also be done the day before – just cover and store in the fridge) by chopping them up. You’ll need: 1/2 tsp. dried basil, 1/2 tsp. fresh thyme leaves, 1 tsp. fresh rosemary (chopped), and 1/4 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley (chopped).
Next, melt 1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add in 1 diced medium yellow onion and 3 stalks of celery (chopped). Cook until vegetables are softened (about 8 minutes), stirring occasionally.
Then, pour in 4 cups (1 quart) chicken stock. Stir to combine.
Add the herbs to the dried breadcrumbs, then pour in the chicken stock and vegetable mixture. Season with 1/2 tsp. Kosher salt. Stir to combine.
Finally, pour the whole thing into a casserole dish coated with cooking spray. Bake at 350 (uncovered) for 20 minutes. Allow to rest 5 minutes before serving.
You can do all of these steps in phases, saving the combining of breadcrumbs and chicken stock then baking until the very end. That makes for an easy day of Thanksgiving Dressing cooking if I do say so myself!
Suggested Recipe Pairings:
1 batch cornbread (I use my recipe but omit the cheese), cut or crumbled into 1” pieces
1 French baguette, cut into 1” pieces
½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
1 medium yellow onion, diced
3 stalks celery, chopped
4 cups (1 quart) chicken stock
½ tsp. dried basil
½ tsp. fresh thyme leaves
1 tsp. fresh rosemary, chopped
¼ cup fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped
½ tsp. Kosher salt
The day before making the stuffing, dry out the cornbread and French baguette pieces on a piece of parchment paper or paper towel. For best results, dry the bread out for at least 24 hours.
Preheat oven to 350.
In a large skillet or Dutch oven, melt the butter over medium-high heat. Sauté the onion and celery until softened (about 8 minutes). In a large bowl, combine the dried pieces of bread, cooked onion and celery, chicken stock, dried basil, fresh thyme, fresh rosemary, fresh parsley, and Kosher salt. Stir and toss to combine.
Pour into a casserole dish sprayed with cooking spray. Bake, uncovered, at 350 for 20 minutes.