This can seem like a complex recipe. I have drawn you into a 3 part combination of recipes. You will make a cornbread and some cream of mushroom soup and a turkey stock in order to make this most awesome stuffing. Yes you can use Campbell’s cream of mushroom soup (condensed in a can (2 cans)) but my family recipe for mushroom soup is delicious and it makes this stuffing taste great. Let’s make some Cornbread Stuffing Southern Style for this holiday.
Southern Style Cornbread Part of this recipe
15 oz (3 cups) stone-ground cornmeal
2 tsp kosher salt
5 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
3 tsp brown sugar
2 1/2 cups buttermilk
1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, melted, divided
Preheat your 12 in cast iron skillet in your 375F oven (center rack position)
Place cornmeal with salt, baking powder, baking soda, and sugar in a large mixing bowl
Place buttermilk and eggs a separate mixing bowl and whip with whisk until smooth. Continue whisking and drizzle in a tbsp of melted butter
Combine both bowls into the larger corn meal bowl
Pour remaining 1 tbsp melted butter into preheated skillet use to coat the skillet (bottom and sides)
Using your silicone scraper, place batter into the buttered skillet
Bake until cornbread is lightly browned
Use a knife or a skewer inserted into center to test doneness….it will come out clean
Bake about 45 minutes
NOTE: I always prepare my cornbread a full day in advance of the stuffing preparation. The day old cornbread adds a texture and taste to the side dish that I cannot reproduce when I use the warm fresh corn bread crumbles. I learned this from an old black southern chef when I worked at the Ashgrove Inn. He was an exceptional mentor to have for me at that age. His view on food and life was amazing and I appreciated him by learning and retaining every recipe he offered. Please also leave out 3 slices of bread over night to allow to become stale.
Turkey Stock Recipe
You will need about 10 cups of Turkey Stock for this dressing recipe. Some will be used to make the mushroom soup and the rest goes right into the stuffing.
2 Turkey Legs (I cut them right off my holiday bird but you can buy them in the store at holiday time in a package)
10-12 cups water
2 tsp salt
Place turkey legs in a medium stock pan with a lid or a crock-pot.
Add the 10-12 cups water
Add salt to water
Cook the legs until the meat is ready to fall off the bone
Remove turkey legs and set aside for use later
Place liquid in lidded storage container (allow to come to room temp and place in refrigerator)
Skim fat from cold liquid before using
I prep my stock well in advance of meal preparation. I might even freeze it if I need room in my refrigerator
Chef Gosselin Cream of Mushroom Soup Recipe
5 cups of Turkey Stock from the above recipe
8 oz white mushrooms (rinsed and chopped)
1/4 tsp minced garlic
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
1/4 cup chopped celery
1/4 cup chopped carrot
1/4 cup chopped onion
1 bay leaves
1/4 tsp dried parsley
1 cup Heavy cream
I am going to go through the recipe using my crock pot. I love my 8 qt (Hamilton Beach).
Place the 5 cups of turkey stock in your crock pot
Place the remaining ingredients (EXCEPT the Mushrooms) into the crock pot and continue on low until the veggies are tender.
Adjust the level of the stock in the crock pot so you have a good amount of broth compared to veggies. When the veggies are tender, taste and adjust the seasoning (salt and pepper) to your taste.
Add mushrooms and continue cooking until the mushrooms are dark in color and tender to the bite
Add the heavy cream to the mushroom soup to make the cream of mushroom soup
Corn Bread Stuffing (from your pre made Southern Style Cornbread)
3 slices stale sandwich bread
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon rubbed sage
1 medium onion, diced
2 stalks celery, diced
1 stick butter, sliced
4 cups Chef Gosselin Cream of Mushroom Soup (made from the Turkey Stock)
6 cups fresh made turkey stock (made from the turkey legs in my Turkey recipe)
Preheat the oven to 350 F.
Now let’s put together the dressing!
Break up the cornbread and toast in a large bowl. Set aside.
In a saucepan, saute onions and celery (in a tsp of butter)
Saute veggies until tender
Add the sauteed veggies and the cooked shredded turkey from the turkey legs into the cornbread mixture.
Stir together to combine.
Add in the cream of mushroom soup then add the turkey -=pbroth a little at a time. Add in just enough to make it thick and moist
Season dressing with a teaspoon of sage and black pepper.
Stir in the eggs.
Pour into a buttered 9 X 13 casserole pan.
Bake for 45 minutes or until set.
There is a fine line between nice and perfection… this is deep on the side of perfection.