- Southern Corn Bread
- 3 cups pecan halves (11 ounces)
- 8 thick slices of slab bacon
- 1 stick plus 2 tablespoons unsalted butter (5 ounces), 4 tablespoons melted
- 3 cups coarsely chopped onions
- 3 cups coarsely chopped celery
- 3 large shallots, minced
- 1 1/2 tablespoons rubbed sage
- 1 tablespoon dried thyme
- 6 large eggs, beaten
- 1 3/4 cups chicken stock or canned low-sodium broth
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- Break the corn bread into large pieces, scatter on a baking sheet and let dry overnight.
- Preheat the oven to 400°. On a rimmed baking sheet, toast the pecans for about 10 minutes, or until nicely browned and fragrant. Transfer to a plate to cool. Reduce the oven temperature to 325°.
- In a large skillet, cook the bacon in 6 tablespoons of the butter until very crisp, about 10 minutes; reserve the bacon for another use. Add the onions, celery, shallots, sage and thyme to the skillet and cook over low heat until the vegetables are tender, about 25 minutes.
- Tear the corn bread into 1 1/2 -inch pieces and place in a large bowl. Top with the cooked vegetable mixture and the pecans and toss well. Stir in the melted butter, the eggs and 1 cup of the chicken stock. Season with 1 1/2 teaspoons of salt and 1 teaspoon of pepper and mix well.
- Butter a large shallow baking dish and add the corn bread dressing. Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Uncover and baste the dressing with 6 tablespoons of the remaining stock. Bake for 10 minutes longer, then baste with the remaining 6 tablespoons of stock. Bake for 20 minutes longer, or until golden brown on top and heated through.
The recipe can be prepared through Step 2 up to 1 day ahead.