My grandmother always made biscuits and cornbread the night before Thanksgiving. Although I’ve certainly made my share of dressing (never stuffing) with the (stale) crumbly stuff that comes in a bag, it’s never as good. It works fine when we’re holding our Thanksgiving feast on a campsite but when I’m cooking in the kitchen I prefer to start my dressing with day-old, homemade biscuits and cornbread. I also try to get the onion and celery chopped the night before, just to take one more thing off of Thursday morning’s to-do list.
This batch made three big casserole dishes full of dressing. It’s easy to make less if you’re not cooking enough to feed a small army and send them all home with leftovers.
- Biscuits, double batch, or about as much as I make for both biscuits and dumplings
- Cornbread, double batch and leave out the corn kernels
- Celery, about two to three cups, chopped
- Onion, 2 medium, chopped
- Sage, about 1/3 cup when snipped
- Bacon, 1 pound
- Coarse Ground Pepper
- Turkey Stock, probably 2 quarts. I use Better Than Bouillon to get started then add pan drippings from the turkey.
Crumble the corn bread and biscuits into a large bowl or pot. I used a large stock pot to hold this huge batch.
In a dutch oven or large saute pan, cook the bacon over medium to medium-high heat. Remove it and drain on paper towels.
Add the onion and celery to the bacon grease and cook, stirring occasionally until it softens and begins to brown. Add the sage and a good amount of black pepper and continue cooking for a few more minutes. This is going to smell irresistible!
Meanwhile, crumble the bacon in with the breads.
Add the celery and onion mixture to the crumb mixture and stir it all together until it’s well-blended.
Divide it into casserole dishes. Pour enough broth over each dish to get it nice and moist but not too watery. You can always add more later if it seems too dry.
Bake at 325 to 350 for at least an hour, until it begins to get just a little bit brown and crispy around the edges. Once the turkey is out of the oven I usually take a little of the pan drippings and add them to the top of each dish of dressing for more flavor.
Serve up with turkey gravy alongside.