Baking the dressing outside the bird reduces the risk of overcooking the turkey while attempting to fully cook the dressing. Whether you baste the dressing during baking or not is up to you, depending on how dry or moist you like it. Use the freshest pecans; they have the sweetest flavor and will enhance your dressing greatly. And be sure to dry your corn bread overnight.
Chef Holiday Recipes Made EasyPlus: Ultimate Holiday Guide
1 3/4 cups chicken stock or canned low-sodium broth
Salt and freshly ground pepper
How to Make It
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.
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