Terhune Orchards fennel adds flavor to this seasonal dish. Since stuffing is traditionally put inside a bird to cook, this is more properly called dressing but regardless of terminology, it will wow guests at your thanksgiving table just the same. Cooking the cubes of cornbread helps dry it out and provide a crisp and flavorful side dish.
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted, cooled, plus more for baking dish
- 1⅓ cups all-purpose flour
- 1⅓ cups cornmeal
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- ¾ teaspoon baking soda
- 3 large eggs, beaten to blend
- 1 cup buttermilk
- ½ cup whole milk
- Preheat oven to 350°. Butter an 8×8” baking dish. Whisk flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, salt, and baking soda in a large bowl. Whisk eggs, buttermilk, and milk in a medium bowl. Whisk egg mixture into dry ingredients until just combined (batter will be slightly lumpy). Mix in 3 Tbsp. butter.
- Scrape batter into baking dish and bake cornbread until a tester inserted into the center comes out clean, 25-30 minutes.
- DO AHEAD: Cornbread can be made 1 month ahead. Wrap tightly and freeze.
Fennel & Sausage Dressing
- 8 cups ½” cubes cornbread
- 1 pound bulk breakfast sausage or links, casings removed
- 10 tablespoons (1¼ sticks) unsalted butter, divided, plus more for baking dish
- 1 medium Terhune Orchards fennel bulb, chopped, plus fronds for serving
- 4 celery stalks, chopped
- 8 scallions, white and pale-green parts only, thinly sliced
- 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 2 Bosc or Comice pears, peeled, chopped
- ½ cup dry white wine (such as Terhune Orchards vidal blanc)
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh marjoram or oregano
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
- 1 teaspoon dried sage leaves
- 2 cups (or more) low-sodium chicken broth, divided
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 3 large eggs, beaten to blend
Preheat oven to 300°. Divide cornbread between 2 large rimmed baking sheets. Bake, tossing occasionally, until beginning to brown in spots and dry out, 40-45 minutes.
- Meanwhile, cook sausage in a large skillet over medium-high heat, breaking up with a spoon, until dark brown, 6-8 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer sausage to a small bowl; let cool.
- Reduce heat to medium and heat 8 Tbsp. butter in same skillet. Add fennel, celery, scallions, and garlic and cook, stirring often, until vegetables are tender, about 15 minutes. Add pears and wine, increase heat to medium-high, and cook, stirring occasionally, until wine is almost completely evaporated, about 5 minutes.
- Increase oven temperature to 400°. Butter a 13x9x2” baking dish. Combine sausage, fennel mixture, parsley, marjoram, thyme, sage, and 1½ cups broth in a large bowl. Add cornbread and toss to combine; season with salt and pepper. Let sit 10 minutes, then add remaining ½ cup broth and toss, adding more broth if needed (bread should be very moist but not soggy). Add eggs and mix gently just to combine. Transfer dressing to prepared baking dish and dot with remaining 2 Tbsp. butter.
- Cover dressing with foil and bake until heated through, about 30 minutes. Remove foil and bake until dressing is golden and crisp on top, 20-30 minutes longer.
- Serve topped with fennel fronds.
- DO AHEAD: Cornbread can be toasted 1 day ahead; store tightly wrapped at room temperature. Fennel and sausage mixture can be cooked 1 day ahead. Cover and chill separately.