Cornbread stuffing makes a nice alternative to traditional bread stuffing and works equally well with simply-seasoned, roasted turkey, chicken, and pork. Our version is easy to make and richly flavored with smoky, thick-cut bacon and a combination of sautéed onion, celery, garlic, and thyme.
Savory Corn Bread Stuffing
- 1 recipe [Simple Corn Bread], cut into 1-inch cubes (see notes)
- 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
- 1/4 lb thick-cut bacon, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 1 cup onion, chopped
- 1 cup celery, chopped
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1-1/4 to 2 cups low-sodium chicken, or turkey broth
- 2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Preheat the oven to 400°F and line a shallow baking pan with parchment paper. Generously butter a round 2-quart casserole dish.
- Arrange the corn bread cubes in a single layer on the prepared pan and toast lightly for 6 to 8 minutes tossing the cubes once after about 3 minutes for even toasting. Transfer to a large mixing bowl and set aside to cool.
- Reduce the oven temperature to 350°F.
- In a large skillet over medium heat, cook the bacon until crisp and transfer to a paper towel-lined plate to drain.
- Drain all but 2 tablespoons of the bacon drippings from the pan, add the butter and heat over medium heat.
- Add the onion and sauté until softened, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the celery and sauté for another 3 to 4 minutes, then add the garlic. Continue cooking, stirring often, until the mixture is pale golden in color, 2 to 3 minutes longer.
- Season to taste with salt and pepper, then stir in 1-1/4 cups of the chicken broth and add the thyme leaves.
- Add the vegetable-broth mixture to the corn bread and combine gently. Taste and adjust the seasoning as needed, then add the eggs and reserved bacon and combine well.
- If at this point the stuffing seems a little dry, add extra chicken broth in 1/4 cup increments until the mixture is moist but not soggy.
- Transfer the stuffing to the prepared casserole, drizzle 2 or 3 more tablespoons of the chicken broth over the top, cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Remove the foil and return to the oven for 10 to 15 minutes, or until the edges and top are lightly browned.