- 3 stalks celery
- 1/2 medium yellow onion, chopped
- 1/2 medium bell pepper, chopped
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 2 teaspoons sage
- 1 teaspoon poultry seasoning
- 1 bay leaf
- 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 5 cups crumbled cornbread (see recipe below)
- 4 cups crumbled saltine cracker crumbs
- 4½ cups chicken broth
- 4 eggs, beaten
- 2 cups self-rising flour
- 2 cups white self-rising cornmeal
- 2 eggs
- 3 cups buttermilk
- 6 tablespoons oil
Elizabeth Heiskell believes this dressing is so amazing, she will only eat it a couple times a year so as not to make it commonplace. It needs to be revered. And it will undoubtedly steal the show from the turkey on Thanksgiving.
For the cornbread:
Preheat oven 400 degrees. Mix flour and cornmeal in large mixing bowl.
In another bowl whisk eggs with buttermilk and add dry ingredients. The mixture should be as thick as cake batter. Add more buttermilk if it is too dry, more cornmeal if it is too thin.
Pour oil into medium sized cast iron skillet. Heat skillet in oven for 5 to 7 minutes. Carefully pour the hot oil into the cornbread mixture. Stir well. Pour batter into cast iron skillet and cook until golden brown, about 25 minutes.
For the southern sage cornbread dressing:
Sauté celery, onions, and bell pepper in butter until translucent. Add sage, poultry seasoning, bay leaf, and cayenne pepper sauté for 2 to 3 minutes more. Remove bay leaf
Mix cornbread, cracker crumbs, vegetables and chicken broth. Stir until well mixed and liquid has absorbed into the cornbread and crackers. At this point it should be very moist and mushy (close to the consistency of wet sand).
Fold in the eggs. Pour into a 9x13 casserole dish. Bake at 350 degrees for 35 to 45 minutes. Dressing should be set in the middle and golden brown.