Southern Style Cornbread Stuffing

My son made a request this year for Southern Style Cornbread Stuffing.  I love a challenge in the kitchen so I told him it would be part of the menu.  I looked at a lot of recipes online and one in particular from a new favorite blog called The Pioneer Woman Cooks, then I developed my own recipe.

For me, southern flavor begins with a Virginia country ham.

I started with a superb southern ingredient, country ham.  I had a large one, a true Virginia smoked ham and cut several slices which I then cut into small diced pieces.  I sautéed the ham and added to it onions, celery, and apples.

Already the house was smelling like Thanksgiving in Virginia but then I added the “ole’ granddad” of all southern  ingredients, bourbon!

sauteing ham, onion, celery, and apples makes the house smell good...

Once the bourbon hit the pan the dish had a fragrance that transported everyone in the house to another world!  Then I added my own turkey stock (recipe to be posted soon).  I seasoned this mixture with fresh sage, thyme, parsley, black pepper and a small amount of salt.  I went easy on the salt because the ham is quite salty.

...but adding the bourbon, herbs, and turkey stock takes it to a whole other level!

To this I added cornbread  and regular–stale–white bread.  I mixed it all together, moistening it a bit more with additional turkey stock, put it in a baking dish and drizzled with a small amount of melted butter and baked it in the oven at 350° for 40 minutes.

Homemade cornbread was the primary stuffing, along with some additional white bread.

Today when the turkey comes out of the oven I will drizzle some of the liquid gold in the bottom of the roasting pan over this stuffing before re-warming it in the oven.

This stuffing would be baked outside of the turkey, but drizzled at the end with pan drippings from the turkey.


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