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Need a recipe for really MOIST cornbread stuffing

I've decided to take a risk and make cornbread stuffing this Thanksgiving, mainly because I just love cornbread so much. I've never made it before, but have heard rumors that it is very easy to dry out. My parents - who are gourmet cooks - once tried it years ago, and it came out dry.

Does anyone have a full-proof method or recipe for a super moist cornbread stuffing? I don't like fruit in my stuffing, so if the moisture is going to come from fruit, I would prefer another recipe. Oh, and I am not stuffing the bird, this will cook separately.

Thanks!
CK

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  1. I use sauted onions and celery added to my cornbread/tosted leftover bread mixture. I use ground celery seed, sage, salt, and poultry seasoning. All of this is to taste. As you mix your cornbread mixture keep adding very warm turkey broth until it is almost swimming in broth. I cook it at 350 for an hour or more uncovered. Use a deep dish, it will stay moist longer. I check it as it cooks and may add more turkey broth as it cooks. NO EGGS. If it is too dry anyway, that is what giblet gravy is for.

    3 Replies
    1. re: Janet

      I use broth and an equal amount of vermouth, also heavy ceam, and pureed mushrooms with the sausage: if anything it's too gushy.

      1. re: Janet

        I was taught how to make cornbread dressing by my Mother. A farm gal from East Texas.
        • Make a lot of turkey stock from the giblets. She would add chicken necks.
        • Large iron skillet of cornbread cooled and crumbled.
        • Large flat pan of biscuits cooled and crumbled.
        • More cornbread than light bread.
        • 1 Large onion diced.
        • As much celery as you like.
        • Eggs as many as need to make it stick together.
        • Salt to taste.
        • Fresh rubbed sage.
        • Mix all ingredients together by eye add broth as need.
        Mom stuffed her turkey. She also had a large iron Dutch oven that she put the extra stuffing in. The dressing in the Dutch oven was floating in turkey broth. She would add broth if need. She used a hot oven 400 degrees, and when the iron got hot she drop it to about 300 and cook about 1 hour.
        Now the twist I have add is as follows.
        • Fresh cracked pepper.
        • 1lbs. Of browned sage sausage or Italian sweet sausage.[The best!]
        • Diced Pimientos [1 jar] for color.
        Last year at request I added jalapenos peppers. It was a big hit!
        I a firm beliver that you don’t make dressing you build it!

        1. re: Janet

          Your not very convincing. I use giblet gravy on all my stuffing's to have my cornbread stuffing to still taste dry.

        2. The moisture is a mater of amount of wet ingredients vs dryness of (corn)bread, so is entirely in your control. I usually don't like it soggy from broth so I add grated apple for moisture, but that won't help you I guess. I don't use a recipe for it, either.

          1 Reply
          1. re: coconutz

            The apple makes since. The part I guess I left out was the fact I no longer live in the deep south and am in a lot higher elevation and cooking my old recipes up here are a little more difficult , especially homemade cornbread stuffing. Adding more moisture just makes for soggy stuffing and even prize winning giblet gravy won't help.

          2. I used to make very moist stuffing using the Pepperidge Farm cornbread stuffing, adding sauteed onion, breakfast sausage, and chestnuts. I can't get the Pepperidge Farm anymore since I no longer live in the US. But I still have the recipe and I can post it if you'd like.

            As Coconutz said, you can make it as moist or dry as you want depending on the amount of broth and butter you add. Also, it will be more moist if you either cook it in your turkey or keep it covered while cooking.

            One word of advice--stuffing is not meant to be low fat and healthy. I really find that it's best if you use tons of butter. Think of it as a once-a-year splurge and don't try to resist.

            6 Replies
            1. re: Kagey

              I agree with your philosophy about holiday dishes: these are celebrations foods! Eat well throughout the year and enjoy something decadent on Thanksgiving and rest of the 'big meal' holidays. Interestingly I've married into a family where people eat garbage all year and then make a spectacle out of claiming to want healthy food for celebration meals. A little behavior management, many years, and a few really 'special' healthy dishes later and they've dropped the charade!

              But here's my point --> despite my hearty approval of decadent dishes at the holidays I've never put any butter in my stuffing. I've never even considered it. Sometimes I use butter and olive oil to sautee my aromatics, but other than that it's just the breadstuff, broth, and the flavoring ingredients. Am I totally missing something here? Are you adding melted butter or cold butter pieces?

              1. re: Kater

                Honestly I forget how the recipe works--I'll have to look it up. But I seem to remember that there's melted butter involved--like a whole stick. I'll get back to you on that.

                1. re: Kagey

                  The butter also helps to promote moisture. Low-fat stuffings, in my experience, are either dry or soupy. We ate one year with a friend who, to be brutally frank, could just barely cook, and her "cornbread stuffing" was like a flavorless gruel.

                  I also always put egg in mine, and I've never had it come out dry. That may be because I never make it with ONLY cornbread, but with up to half cubed sourdough bread. Cornbread alone never works for me, but that's because I never make it with any wheat flour. Against my religion ;-)

                2. re: Kater

                  Yes, I do add butter when I mix my toasted bread to the corn bread and my sauted vegetables. In high elevations that would make a difference.

                3. re: Kagey

                  I would be interested in the recipe that you used with the Pepperidge Farm package - it is available here in Fl.

                  1. re: nannyred7

                    The first time I ever made cornbread dressing(43 years ago!), I used one bag of Pepperidge Farm cornbread stuffing and one bag of their herb stuffing. I used 1 whole stick of butter, 1 egg, canned chicken broth, chopped onion and celery (raw-I didn't know that I was supposed to saute it). I believe I added an extra tsp. of powdered sage. It was delicious! Maybe it was beginner's luck. I have tried many other more complicated recipes over the years that sometimes turned out and sometimes didn't. Now that I am reminded of it, I think I will make the Pepperidge Farm version again!

                4. Dot the top of the cornbread dressing liberally with butter so that it gets crispy & browned before the innards have a chance to dry out.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: Hungry Celeste

                    So instead of putting butter in my stuffing put it on top. I think I'll add that to the other tips of adding apple to the stuffing and not putting the butter inside the stuffing and brushing butter on top. I have a feeling this may work. Thanks for the help. I make a wonderful crouton stuffing from Mrs. Cubbison's Crouton and cornbread stuffing mix but I grew up on cornbread stuffing and for some reason (I learned it was the elevation)it came out dry no matter what I did.

                  2. I've been making cornbread stuffing in various configurations for about 20 years. The last few years I've decided to exclusively make a cornbread-sage sausage stuffing, that is everyone's favorite thing about the Thanksgiving meal.

                    The stuffing will be dry if it is dry before you bake it. Since this isn't an exact science, depending on the recipe you use, (and how much you cut the cornbread with white bread, which I think is essential), add stock or cream to get it to a consistency and tooth that you like. It should taste pretty much like stuffing before it's baked, and needs a substantial amount of moisture, though I wouldn't say it should be swimming in it. Of course having fat in the recipe, (like sausage in my case, or butter like some of the other posters have mentioned), helps enormously as well. It's the fat from the turkey, if you stuff it, that creates the difference. If you're not stuffing inside the bird, making a dressing instead, (which is what we do at our house), then you need fat.