Turkey and Southern Cornbread Dressing
- 2 onions
- 3 stalks celery
- 8 tablespoons (1 stick) butter
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- Egg Bread (recipe follows)
- 1 can cream of chicken soup
- 32 oz. chicken broth or stock
- 2 tsp. salt
- 1 tsp. black pepper
- 3/4 tsp. poultry seasoning
- 3 eggs
- Additional bread crumbs, saltine crackers, leftover biscuits or stale bread
- Egg Bread
- 2 cups finely ground white cornmeal, sifted
- 2 tsp. baking powder
- 1 tsp. salt
- 3 eggs
- 2 cups buttermilk
- 3 tblsp. cooking oil
- Of course, Thanksgiving wouldn’t be complete without the turkey! Here’s my simple method for cooking a beautifully moist turkey with a golden, crispy skin.
- Whole turkey or turkey breast
- Softened butter
- Salt and pepper, or your preferred seasoned salt mixture.
Adapted from never enough thyme.com
Start by making the egg bread. The egg bread should be room temperature, so it’s easiest to make it the day before making the dressing.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
Chop the onions and celery. Melt the butter over medium heat in a large sauté pan. Yes, a whole stick of butter. This makes a huge dish of dressing so you probably won’t even get a half a tablespoon of butter in your serving. And anyway, it’s Thanksgiving, for Pete’s sake. Indulge! Add the onions and celery cooking slowly until tender but without browning at all. Sprinkle with the 1/2 tsp. salt while cooking. Meanwhile, crumble the egg bread into a large baking dish. Just break it up as small as you can with your hands. Don’t worry about it too much, you’ll work out the finer texture a little later. Add the soup and broth and then grab your potato masher. Yes, I said potato masher. Use the potato masher to break up the egg bread to a finer texture. You want as few lumps as possible. Add the sautéed vegetables, salt, pepper and poultry seasoning. Mix well. Stop here and taste the mixture. You may need a little more salt. Remember, that’s a big dish of dressing to season. Lightly beat the eggs and add to the dressing mixture. Your mixture should be fairly “soupy.” If you think it’s too thin, you can add some additional bread, crackers, etc. to thicken it. However, it’s rarely too wet. Even if you think it’s too wet, it’s probably not. It took me a long time to learn that. It’s just one of those cook-by-feel lessons that you acquire through making a traditional recipe over and over. If you do add more bread or crackers, be sure to crumble them well and incorporate them into the mixture.
Bake for 35-45 minutes or until the dressing is golden brown on top and cooked throughout.
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.
Sift together the cornmeal, baking powder and salt.
Add buttermilk and eggs, alternately.
Pour the cooking oil into an iron skillet and place it into the hot oven. Let the batter rest while the skillet and oil are heating (about 5 minutes). Quickly pour the batter into the hot skillet and return immediately to the oven. Bake for 20-25 minutes.
Of course, Thanksgiving wouldn’t be complete without the turkey! Here’s my simple method for cooking a beautifully moist turkey with a golden, crispy skin.
If your turkey is frozen, allow it to thaw unopened in the refrigerator. Allow at least 24 hours for every 4 pounds. When thawed, keep in refrigerator until ready to cook. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.
Remove the turkey from its packaging and, using disposable paper toweling, pat dry very thoroughly. Just look at that turkey in the upper left! I opened the packaging to find the skin split in several places. Grrr…thanks a lot Publix. Anyway, if that happens to you, don’t panic. Just do some toothpick surgery like I did. Pull the edges of the split skin together and use toothpicks to secure it. Remove the toothpicks before serving. If using a whole turkey, tuck the wing tips underneath the body and tie the legs together with twine. Place the turkey on a rack in an open roasting pan. Rub the skin all over with a generous amount of softened, room temperature butter. Sprinkle well with salt and pepper, a seasoned salt mixture, or your favorite combination of spices.
Place the pan in the oven and set a timer for about 2/3 through the cooking time. When the turkey is about 2/3 done, check for browning. You may need to cover the breast and top of drumsticks with lightweight foil to prevent over browning.
Cook according to the following time table:
4 1/2 to 7 pounds 2 – 2 1/2 hours
7 to 9 pounds 2 1/2 – 3 hours
9 to 18 pounds 3 – 3 1/2 hours
18 to 22 pounds 3 1/2 – 4 hours
22 to 24 pounds 4 – 4 1/2 hours
24 to 30 pounds 4 1/2 – 5 hours
Test for doneness with a meat thermometer. A thermometer placed deep within the thigh should read 180 degrees when done.
Remove from oven and let stand at least 15 minutes before carving.
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