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Southwestern Cornbread Dressing

This dressing is terrific with turkey, but will stand on its own or accompany pork very well.
  • 1 pound chorizo (Mexican sausage)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 cup chopped celery
  • 1 large clove garlic, minced or put through garlic press
  • 1 poblano pepper, chopped
  • 1 jalapeño, seeded, ribs removed and minced
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano, preferably Mexican
  • 10 to 12 cups cornbread crumbs (see recipe below)
  • 2 cups corn kernels (fresh or frozen/thawed)
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves
  • 2 large eggs, slightly beaten
  • 3 cups chicken broth, or more
  • salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

For the Cornbread:

  • 2 cups buttermilk
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 eggs (slightly beaten)
  • 2 cup plus 2 tablespoons yellow cornmeal
  • 3 tablespoons bacon drippings
Preheat oven to 450°F.

In a 9x13-inch pan, melt the bacon drippings while the oven is preheating. Once melted and hot, sprinkle a thin layer of corn meal in the bottom of the pan and return it to the oven to brown for a few minutes.

Mix together the buttermilk, baking soda, baking power, salt and eggs. Add the cornmeal, and stir just enough to moisten the dry ingredients. Remove the heated pan from the oven, and pour the batter into it (it should sizzle). Bake until lightly brown and cornbread starts to pull away from the sides of the pan, about 15 to 20 minutes.

Make the cornbread a day before you intend to make your dressing. Leave it out, uncovered, overnight.

For the Dressing, preheat oven to 375°F.

Dice the chorizo into 1/2-inch cubes. In a large skillet, sauté the chorizo in the olive oil over medium heat until browned, about 5 minutes. Remove the chorizo from the skillet with a slotted spoon, and set aside.

Add the onion, celery, poblano, jalapeño and garlic to the skillet, and sauté until onion just begins to brown, about 10 minutes. Add chili powder, oregano and cumin, reduce heat, and stir to combine.

Crumble the cornbread into a large baking dish or pan. Combine the vegetable mixture, chorizo, corn and cilantro with the crumbs, and stir well.

Stir the beaten eggs and chicken broth into the cornbread mixture, and bake at 375°F for 15 minutes. Remove pan from oven, and stir dressing down from the sides of the pan so that it cooks uniformly. Check the seasonings, and add salt and pepper to taste. Return pan to oven and cook for 15 minutes more.

Recipe editor

Note: You should cook this dressing until it reaches the consistency you prefer. If it gets too dry, you can correct it by adding more chicken stock, stirring it in, and putting it back in the oven for few more minutes.

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