Fall is here in Middle Tennessee and there is a chill in the air! The holidays are fast approaching, and it’s not too soon to be planning for Thanksgiving. I have made a variation of this stuffing every year for almost 40 years for family and friends.
The recipe is adapted from a Morrison’s Cafeteria recipe which had been a time honored classic in the south for many years. If you were born or raised in the south, there is a good chance that you have devoured it somewhere along the way with sliced turkey breast and gravy on top. Most likely Sunday’s after church.
Sadly, Morrison’s Cafeterias are now a thing of the past, (I think there may still be one in Mobile, Alabama owned by Piccadilly Cafeterias) but some of their recipes live on.
(Diners in Morrison’s Cafeteria in Tallahassee, Florida on November 15, 1984. Courtesy of the State Archives of Florida.)
The original recipe is for 120 servings, and on Sundays, we would quadruple the recipe at Morrison’s. On Thanksgiving, we prepare about 1000 servings! I have broken the recipe down to yield 10 servings.
Some of my most viewed blog posts have been adaptions of Morrison’s recipes, so I thought I would share another one with you. Below are the links to Custard Pie and Beef Stew.
Servings – 8-10
Cook/Prep time – about 3 hours (less if you cook and dry the cornbread the day before)
For the cornbread…
- 1 3/4 cups corn meal
- 1 1/2 cups milk or buttermilk
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1 egg
- 1 tbsp canola oil
Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Mix all ingredients together and spread batter on a greased pan. Bake for about 15 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from oven and let it cool. If you are making the cornbread the day before, let it cool and dice into 1/2 “ cubes and let it dry overnight. If you are making it the same day, after dicing into cubes, put it back in a 175 degree oven for about an hour until good and dry. This will make more cornbread then you need. You can just eat the rest while it’s warm!
** if you are making the cornbread the day before, you can also dry the bread cubes, too.
*** for a shortcut, you may use a cornbread mix, but don’t use a sweet one like Jiffy.
For the dressing….
- 1/4 lb dried bread cubes
- 1/2 lb dried cornbread cubes
- 4 cups chicken broth or stock
- 1 cup diced celery
- 1 cup diced onions
- 1/4 cup canola oil
- 1 egg
- 1/4 cup chopped pecans
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1 tbsp salt (less if using salted broth)
- 1 tsp ground black pepper
- 1 boiled egg, chopped (optional)
- 1 tbsp cooked, diced chicken or turkey giblets (optional)
I never use the boiled egg or giblets, but the original recipe calls for them so I have listed them here.
Heat the canola oil in a skillet. Add the diced celery and onion and cook just a few minutes, removing from the heat while they are still firm. Let them cool.
Add the dried bread and cornbread to a mixing bowl. Pour the cooled chicken stock over them, stir and let them set for 20 minutes.
Add the cooled onion, celery and oil and mix together.
Add the salt, pepper, chopped pecans and baking powder and mix well. Whisk the raw egg and blend it in. If you are adding the giblets and chopped boiled eggs, add them also and mix them in well.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Add the mixture to a greased pan and place in the oven and cook for 45 to 60 minute until well browned.
Remove from oven and serve immediately!