My Mama was a really, really good cook.
She loved nothing more than to feed people. Food was just the language she spoke, and she spoke it fluently.
One of her best dishes (in my opinion, of course), was her cornbread dressing. Maybe it just seemed so special because we only had it a handful of times each year. Or maybe it was really that good.
Either way, for the last couple of years I've been trying and trying and trying to re-create it and I've gotten so close. Oh so close. It's not exactly as good as Mama's.
And I'm ok with that.
WHAT YOU NEED:
One batch of biscuits, completely cooled*
One batch of cornbread, completely cooled**
1/2 stick of butter or margarine plus 1 tablespoon, divided
One small onion, finely diced
3-4 ribs of celery, finely diced
3 tablespoons poultry seasoning***
4 cups (approximately) chicken broth or stock
WHAT YOU DO:
Saute the onion and celery in one tablespoon butter until the onions are translucent but not browned. In a large bowl crumble the biscuits and cornbread, a little at a time, until there are no large chunks left. Add in the onions and celery and the poultry seasoning, then slowly add in the broth, a cup at a time, stirring as you go. The dressing will seem wetter than you think it should. This is a good thing. Put the dressing mixture in a greased 9x13 pan. Chop the 1/2 stick of butter into small cubes and place evenly across the top.
Cook at 400 degrees for approximately 1 hour, until the sides and top are browned and crunchy.
This dressing is definitely more the kind you cut, not the kind you scoop. And that's just how I like it.
*I like White Lily self-rising flour, and I just follow the biscuit recipe that's on the back of the bag. I don't bother with the whole "rolling out, cutting out" steps here. Just plop the dough out in a pan, spread it out a little and bake it until the middle isn't doughy any more.
**Martha White self-rising white cornmeal is the way to go here, and for the love of God do not put eggs or sugar in your cornbread, because that's not cornbread, that's cake.
*** I prefer using poultry seasoning instead of just sage because it's got lots of other yummy spices in it, but if you want to use ground sage instead, be my guest. Just reduce the amount to 2 tablespoons.