Cornbread and Madeira Fig Dressing
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Ingredients

  • Dressing

    • 2 quarts (8 cups), chicken broth
    • 3 cups soft dried figs, stems removed and cut into 1/2" pieces
    • 3/4 cup Madeira or Tawny Port
    • 2 pounds sweet Italian sausage, casings removed (optional)
    • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
    • 3 TB cooking oil (olive or canola)
    • 1 large yellow onion, chopped into 1/4" pieces, about 4 cups
    • 4 stalks celery, chopped into 1/4" pieces, about 2 cups
    • 2 large carrots, peeled and chopped into 1/4" pieces, about 2 cups
    • 1 9x13 pan cornbread for stuffing (recipe below), broken into 1" pieces
    • 2 rounds white bread, crust removed & cut into 1" pieces, about 12 cups
    • 6 TB coarsely chopped fresh sage
    • 4 TB coarsely chopped parsley
    • 3 cups pecans, coarsely chopped (optional)
  • Cornbread for Dressing

    • 2 quarts (8 cups), chicken broth
    • 3 cups soft dried figs, stems removed and cut into 1/2" pieces
    • 3/4 cup Madeira or Tawny Port
    • 2 pounds sweet Italian sausage, casings removed (optional)
    • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
    • 3 TB cooking oil (olive or canola)
    • 1 large yellow onion, chopped into 1/4" pieces, about 4 cups
    • 4 stalks celery, chopped into 1/4" pieces, about 2 cups
    • 2 large carrots, peeled and chopped into 1/4" pieces, about 2 cups
    • 1 9x13 pan cornbread for stuffing (recipe below), broken into 1" pieces
    • 2 rounds white bread, crust removed & cut into 1" pieces, about 12 cups
    • 6 TB coarsely chopped fresh sage
    • 4 TB coarsely chopped parsley
    • 3 cups pecans, coarsely chopped (optional)
    • 3 cups yellow cornmeal
    • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
    • 3 TB granulated sugar
    • 2 TB baking powder
    • 1 1/2 tsp salt
    • 2 1/4 cups milk
    • 1/2 cup oil
    • 3 eggs

Preparation

Baking Directions:

1.  In a 3-quart pot over medium-high heat, bring the chicken broth to a boil.  Lower heat slightly and let cook at a rolling simmer until reduced by half.  2.  Place chopped figs in a medium-size bowl.  In a large skillet over medium heat, warm madeira until simmering.  Pour over figs and let sit.   3.  Return skillet to heat.  If using sausage, add to pan and break into small pieces.  Cook until lightly browned.  Remove from pan, leaving fat.   Add butter to pan.  If not using sausage, add butter and oil to pan. 4.  Add the onions, celery and carrots.  Season with salt and pepper.  Cook, stirring, until soft, about 10 - 15 min.  (If pan seems dry, add a splash of chicken broth to keep vegetables moist.)   5.  In a large bowl, combine cornbread and peasant bread pieces.  Add onion mixture when done, figs and madeira, sage and pecans, and toss gently.   6.  Add chicken broth one cup at a time, tossing to combine.  When all is thoroughly moistened, taste a bit and add salt and pepper as needed.   7.  Pour into a buttered 5 - 6 quart casserole dish, approximately 11 x 15 x 2. Wrap in foil and place in freezer.   To cooking:  Remove dish from freezer when the turkey goes into the oven, or approximately 2-3 hours before baking.  Let sit at room temperature.  Place in a 375’F. oven and bake 20 minutes.  Remove foil and bake 20 - 30 min. more, until golden brown on top.Cornbread for Dressing:1.  Preheat oven to 400’F.  Grease a 9 x 13 inch baking pan. 2.  In a large bowl, mix the 5 dry ingredients.  Add the milk, oil and eggs and stir to combine. 3.  Pour into prepared pan and bake 20 - 25 minutes, until center springs back when pressed. 4.  Let cool in pan.