Dr. Snickerdoodle and I enjoyed comfort food last night. We shared a turkey dinner with mashed potatoes and veggies, but the center of the meal was old-fashioned cornbread dressing.
It all starts with leftover buttermilk cornbread and some basic ingredients.
2 chopped shallots
3 chopped celery ribs
1 cup of heavy cream
1 1/2 cups chicken stock
about 1 tablespoon of herbs (thyme, sage, rosemary, oregano)
salt and pepper to taste
Once your shallots and celery are chopped, mix them in a large bowl with the cream, stock, eggs, herbs, salt and pepper. Then crumble your leftover cornbread. I baked a full batch in a 9-inch skillet. We ate two slices of that batch and I used the rest of it in this dressing. Add crumbled cornbread to the bowl and mix thoroughly until everything is very moist. Carefully scrape it all into a buttered baking dish.
Bake in a preheated, 350 degree oven for 45 minutes. To help brown the top, turn on the broiler and watch dressing carefully for an additional 5 to 10 minutes.
Here it is. Hot and bubbly right out of the oven. You can just see our roasted turkey thighs and drumsticks, above.
During the baking I drained a pint of chicken livers, sprinkled them with garlic salt and roasted them on a cookie sheet for 25 minutes. They came out of the oven crispy on the edges and creamy in the center. NEVER OVERCOOK LIVER. Overcooked liver is foul and bitter. Properly cooked liver is creamy and delicate and mild in flavor.
Traditional southern cornbread often has chopped chicken liver baked into it. I prefer to have greater control over how long I cook my liver, so I bake it separately. Then I mince it and garnish the dressing when I plate the turkey dinner.
And here it is again. Roast turkey, herb and garlic mashed potatoes, cornbread dressing with roasted chicken livers and a side of steamed veggies:
A perfect farewell to our cool, overcast weather.