Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Cornbread Stuffing with Fennel & Sausage

Once I found this recipe for dressing, I've never made any other one. It completely nails the sweet, savory and texture nodes. I use sweet cornbread when I make it, usually from the Jiffy Corn Muffin mix.

The downside is that it's not very flexible for modifications. I discovered this first at my brother's house. We swapped out the pork-based Italian sausage with a chicken sausage because some relative (my sister-in-law, maybe? It's been a while) couldn't eat pork.

The result tasted fine, but was way, way too dry. I think this happened twice, as I had forgotten between the two attempts. So this year, our friends Ebru and Fuzail joined us for the feast. Being Muslim, they couldn't eat the pork either, so I went a different route. I split the recipe into two and put sausage in one and left the other vegetarian. Finally remembering the moistness issue from nixxing the pork sausage before, I upped the chicken stock on the pork-free version.

Unfortunately, there may be a density factor at play here in the baking, also. I split the two versions into covered baking dishes, but they were only about half as deep as usual. Again, a bit dry. So, my lesson from this experience is to just do exactly what the nice people at Bon Appetit tell me. At least in this case.

UPDATE: I made this again at Christmas in Ft. Worth a few weeks later. I found that if you make it in one dish and you up the stock added by a cup or so, it turns out absolutely perfect. Yay!

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