HERBED CORNBREAD DRESSING
Southwestern style herbed cornbread turkey stuffing
This is the traditional McGarvey family dressing
for Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner.
It originated with my maternal grandmother in southern Virginia and
evolved through her moves to Texas, Oklahoma and California and
further evolved through my military family's moves all over the world.
The recipe includes making 1 batch of cornbread and 1 batch of turkey
broth. Directions are given for both stuffing the bird and baking the
- 1 1/2 cups yellow cornmeal
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 Tbsp baking powder
- 1 egg
- 3 Tbsp vegetable oil
- 1 cup milk
- vegetable oil
- 1 turkey neck
- giblets and gizzard from 1 turkey
- leaves from 4 celery stalks
- 1 celery stalk
- 1 quartered small onion
- 12 cups water
- 12 oz herbed bread cubes
- 1 large yellow onion,
- 3 celery stalks
- 3 cups cooked rice
(cooled uncovered overnight in a shallow dish)
- 1/2 lb sliced mushrooms
- 2 cup roughly chopped pecans
- butter or margarine
- black pepper
- rubbed sage
The night before, make the cornbread.
Preheat oven to
Thinly coat the bottom of a standard Pyrex pie plate, or
square baking pan,
with vegetable oil. Put pan in oven while it is preheating and you are
mixing the cornbread batter.
In a mixing bowl, blend together the cornmeal, flour, salt, and baking
Stir in the egg and
Add milk and mix thoroughly by hand. The consistency should be a thick,
but not "doughy", liquid. It may be necessary to add a little more milk.
Pour into preheated pan and bake for 30 minutes or until slightly brown
Let cool in pan for 30 minutes. Remove from pan and break up into
very large chunks in a large mixing bowl.
Let stand overnight, uncovered.
This will ensure that it is dry and stale.
Procedure (turkey broth)
The night before, make the turkey broth.
of water to a boil in a large pot.
Thoroughly rinse turkey neck, giblets and gizzard.
Add turkey parts, onion, celery leaves and celery stalk to water, cover, and
reduce heat to a low simmer.
Simmer on very low heat for 2 hours.
Strain the broth, cover, cool quickly, and refrigerate.
30 minutes before you are ready to stuff the turkey, make the dressing.
Crumble the stale cornbread
in the very largest bowl you can find.
Add the herbed bread cubes and mix thoroughly by hand.
Add the rice and mix thoroughly by hand.
Briefly sautae the onions and celery in butter just enough
to make the vegetables translucent.
Sautae the mushrooms in butter or margarine until all the resulting
liquid has evaporated.
Add the sautaeed onions, celery, and mushrooms, and mix thoroughly.
Add the pecans and mix thoroughly.
Season with salt, pepper, sage and thyme to taste.
Bring the turkey broth to the boil and boil for a minute or two to make sure
it is sterile.
If you are going to stuff the turkey, add just enough
turkey broth to barely moisten the dressing.
Taste for seasoning and adjust if necessary.
Very loosely stuff the abdominal cavity and breast cavity with dressing.
Do not pack it in tightly. It needs room to expand. You are going to be
cooking some more dressing in a baking pan beside the turkey, so there will
be plenty to go around.
Secure neck cavity opening with one or more poultry skewers. The abdominal
cavity may be left open or (if your butcher cleaned the turkey properly
and left a flap of skin) secured with poultry skewers.
Add enough boiling broth to the remaining dressing to moisten it uniformly.
Do not over-moisten. The baked dressing should be barely moist, not gummy-wet.
Spoon dressing into uncoated baking pans.
Cover with foil/plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to bake.
One half hour before serving dinner, bake dressing, uncovered,
for 30 minutes.
makes enough dressing to stuff a
turkey and fill 2
stuff the turkey until you are ready to roast it. Cooking lore is rife
with horror stories of food poisoning resulting from turkeys stuffed too
early and let sit while wonderful organisms develop in the stuffing. Make
sure you bring the turkey broth to a boil before you use it, just to make
sure that nothing is growing in it. The stuffing inside a turkey does not
reach a high enough temperature to kill bacteria while the turkey is
roasting, so you must be extremely careful with what you put there.
I like to use Pepperidge Farm brand herbed bread cubes.
I use a huge ceramic bowl (large
enough for "rising" a 4-loaf recipe of bread dough) in which
to mix the dressing. If you don't have one handy, you can use your kitchen
sink. Clean and rinse the sink thoroughly, then put in the stopper and
use as a mixing bowl.
If you are going to stuff the turkey, be sure that you don't overmoisten the
dressing. The stuffing will absorb a lot of moisture from the bird,
and who wants a turkey with stuffing soup? Also, be sure to not over-stuff
the turkey: the stuffing will expand during the roasting and it needs room
of turkey broth is at least double the amount of liquid necessary
to moisten the dressing. If you use all of it, you will not have a
relatively light, dry dressing. The extra broth should be used in making
turkey gravy or can be the base stock for making turkey soup with the
carcass. If you're not up to making turkey broth, you can substitute
chicken broth, but this is a great way to use the neck and gizzard.
No quantities of the herbs are given because you can make this as spicy
or as mild as you like. We like ours heavy on the sage and thyme.
several hours, spread over 2 days.
measure the cornbread ingredients.
UCLA Comprehensive Epilepsy Program, Los Angeles, Calif., USA
Recipe last modified: 14 Nov 86
From: pam@cepu (Pamela McGarvey)
Subject: RECIPE: Herbed cornbred turkey stuffing and dressing
Date: 21 Nov 86 04:43:28 GMT
Organization: UCLA Comprehensive Epilepsy Project, Los Angeles, Calif., USA
Replied: Forwarded 14 Nov 86 23:47
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