This dressing, which combines the best of both worlds by combining rustic white bread with crumbly corn bread, is designed for advance preparation. You can chop the vegetables the day before and refrigerate them in sealable plastic bags. The bread cubes can also be toasted in advance, then stored in airtight containers at room temperature. You can use store-bought corn bread or bake your own.
Sausage, Corn Bread and Chestnut Dressing
- 8 cups (1 lb./500 g) cubed day-old corn bread
- 2 cups (4 oz./125 g) cubed day-old country-style white bread, crusts removed
- 1 1/2 lb. (750 g) mild Italian pork sausage, casings removed
- 1 Tbs. olive oil
- 1 yellow onion, finely chopped
- 1 celery stalk, finely chopped
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- 1 cup (5 oz./155 g) roasted and peeled chestnuts, quartered
- 1/4 cup (1/2 oz./15 g) chopped mixed fresh herbs, such as sage, rosemary and thyme
- 3 cups (24 fl. oz./750 ml) low-sodium chicken stock
1. Preheat an oven to 375°F (190°C). Butter a large baking dish.
2. Spread the corn bread and white bread out on a baking sheet. Toast in the oven until light golden brown and dry to the touch, about 20 minutes. Set aside.
3. In a sauté pan over medium heat, brown the sausage, stirring and crumbling with a spatula, until cooked through, about 10 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl.
4. Return the pan to medium heat. Add the olive oil to the accumulated fat in the pan. Add the onion and celery and sauté, stirring occasionally, until soft and translucent, 5 to 7 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer to the bowl with the sausage. Add the corn bread and white bread, the chestnuts, herbs and stock. Season with salt and pepper and toss gently to combine.
5. Transfer the dressing to the prepared dish, cover with aluminum foil and bake for 35 to 40 minutes. Remove the foil and continue baking until browned and crispy, about 40 minutes more. Serves 10 to 12.
Williams Sonoma Test Kitchen