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Cookin' With the Chronicle

Make Southern cornbread stuffing for Christmas
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Makes 8 servings 
1 hr 25 min
For cornbread
1¼ cup corn meal
1 cup all-purpose 
  flour
2 tbsp gran. sugar
1½ tsp baking 
  powder
1 tsp kosher salt
1 stick melted butter
1¼ cup buttermilk
1 large egg
Preheat oven to 375°. Grease 8” baking dish with cooking spray. In a bowl, whisk together cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.
In another bowl, whisk together butter, buttermilk and egg. Add dry ingredients and stir until batter is thick with no dry spots.
Transfer to baking dish, smooth top, and bake 30 minutes until lightly golden and a toothpick comes out clean. Let cool, then chop into 2” cubes.
For dressing
2 tbsp butter
1 tbsp olive oil
1 lb Italian sausage w/o casings
1 med onion, finely chopped
3 stalks celery, finely chopped
2 tsp. fresh thyme leaves
2 tsp. fresh sage, minced
Kosher salt
Ground black pepper
3/4 cup chicken broth
1/4 cup milk
2 large eggs, lightly
  beaten
Chopped parsley for 
  garnish
Grease a 9” square baking dish with butter. Cook sausage in a skillet over medium heat, breaking up with a spoon until golden and cooked through, about 8 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl.
To the same skillet, add butter, onion, and celery and cook until slightly softened, about 5 minutes. Add thyme, sage, salt and pepper. Add broth to deglaze, scraping up brown bits from the bottom of the pan. Remove from heat and let cool slightly, then transfer to bowl with sausage.
Add cornbread pieces, then stir in milk and eggs. Season generously with salt and pepper and stir, breaking up with a wooden spoon, until everything is well incorporated and cornbread pieces are a mixture of smaller chunks and crumbs.
Add mixture to prepared baking dish and bake until golden and crispy on top and set in the center, 30 minutes. Garnish with parsley before serving.

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