For more than 15 years, my husband and I have been using the same old recipe to make our dressing at Thanksgiving. He got it out of the Arkansas Gazette newspaper in Little Rock when I worked there in the early 1990s.
The recipe had no surprises: onion, celery, cornbread, white bread, butter, chicken broth and seasonings. It was very good, really.
Of course, Charlie and I would argue every year about how much chicken broth was supposed to go in the mixture. He likes “dry” dressing, the kind that sticks in your throat and makes you cough if you’re not careful.
I like “moist” dressing, the kind that’s a bit jiggly as it slides into the oven to cook.
Last year, I went searching for a new recipe to try. I found one from a cook of the week that several readers had raved about, and tweaked it a little bit for my taste.
At the Thanksgiving table last year, my sister, Donna, and her husband and my niece joined us again for the holiday meal. We all helped our plates and sat down to eat.
Donna took a bite and, I swear, I saw tears in her eyes.
She looked at me and said, “Ginna, this is the best dressing I’ve had since Mama died.”
Mama died 10 years ago.
I had to agree it was pretty darn good. Not too dry, not too moist and perfectly seasoned.
We’ll be having this dressing again this year.
1 onion, chopped
3 ribs celery, chopped
1⁄2 stick butter
1 (6-ounce) box Stove Top stuffing, chicken flavor
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 (10-inch) skillet cooked cornbread
Chicken broth, warmed
In a large pot, combine onion, celery and butter. Saute vegetables until soft. Add Stove Top stuffing mix and the soups. Add crumbled cornbread to the soup mixture while the cornbread’s still hot. Add some warm broth, 1 cup at a time, to the cornbread mixture, using a potato masher to break up the cornbread and combine it with the other ingredients. (I can’t remember how much broth it takes, but I’ll probably heat two cans.)
Pour mixture into a greased 9×13-inch pan. Bake in preheated 400-degree oven until very brown, about 45 minutes. Dressing should be slightly firm but very moist.
Ginna Parsons is the Daily Journal’s food/home/garden editor.
Ginna Parsons/NEMS Daily Journal