Cornbread dressing is a staple of the Southern Thanksgiving celebration. I make mine with the holy trinity (green peppers, onions and celery) and lots of fresh sage and thyme. While most dressing recipes call for the bread to be toasted, here it just needs to be at room temperature. However, if you would like to start with day-old bread, that works too!
For the dressing: Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
Put the crumbled cornbread in a large bowl and set aside.
Melt 4 tablespoons of the butter in a 10-inch cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion, green pepper, celery, garlic, 1 teaspoon salt and a generous amount of black pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are tender, 5 to 7 minutes. Stir in the giblets, sage and thyme until just heated through, 1 to 2 minutes. Transfer to the large bowl, add the eggs and fold into the cornbread until well combined. Wipe the skillet clean and set aside.
Add 1/4 cup of the stock at a time to the bowl and fold after each addition until the mixture looks like batter (1 1/2 cups stock should be plenty). Transfer the dressing to the skillet and dot the top with the remaining 2 tablespoons butter. Bake until the eggs are cooked through and the top is golden brown, about 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, make the gravy: Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the flour and cook, stirring constantly, until golden brown, 5 to 7 minutes. Slowly pour in the stock, whisking constantly, until well combined. Season with 1/2 teaspoon salt and a generous amount of black pepper. Bring to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, until the flour taste is gone and the gravy has thickened, about 15 minutes. Fold the giblets, egg and heavy cream into the gravy. Season with 1/2 teaspoon salt and a few grinds of pepper. Serve alongside the dressing.
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Spray a 10-inch cast-iron skillet with cooking spray.
Whisk together the cornmeal, flour, baking powder, baking soda and 1 teaspoon salt in a medium bowl until combined.
Whisk the buttermilk, melted butter, eggs and brown sugar in a large bowl until smooth. Fold in the cornmeal mixture until just combined (it should be a bit lumpy).
Transfer the batter to the prepared skillet and dot the top with the remaining 2 tablespoons butter. Bake until the top is golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 22 to 25 minutes. Let cool in the skillet for 10 minutes, then invert the bread onto a rack to cool completely, about 30 minutes.
This recipe calls for homemade turkey stock, but store-bought chicken or turkey stock will work as well.
To cook the giblets, simply simmer them in the stock until they are tender.
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