I LOVE holiday food (love, love, love it) but I always felt like Thanksgiving and Christmas are way too close together to kill myself cooking so many different things twice. So here is my insider tip. Make all your awesome casseroles and desserts only once. Make a double recipe of your cornbread dressing, broccoli casserole, mirliton (chayote) casserole, corn casserole, green bean casserole, Mississippi Mud Pie, pumpkin pie, etc. Buy some disposable tins from the store to keep it all in the freezer. Use common sense of course, not every food freezes well. The ones listed above are the ones I make and freeze. I started doing this a few years ago and it works very well for me. I’ll cook a fresh turkey and ham for Christmas but the desserts and casseroles I simply thaw out. This way I can spend more quality time with my little ones.
This is what it looks like before going into the oven.
1 lb Jimmy Dean Breakfast Sausage – (regular or sage)
1 bag bread stuffing (any brand: Pepperidge Farm, Oroweat, etc.) will use 2-3 cups (maybe whole bag)
2 chopped bell pepper
5 stalks celery chopped
1 large onion
1 can cream of mushroom soup
2 raw eggs
1 Tbs parsley or some fresh if you have some on hand
1 heaping tsp sage
Salt & pepper to taste
Garlic powder to taste
Boil eggs. Boil chicken until meat is falling off the bone. Prepare cornbread recipes. Remove chicken from pot, let it cool then debone. Keep the broth. Skim off as much fat as possible from broth and mix in 2 chicken bouillon cubes. I usually cut the larger pieces of chicken up with a knife. When finished deboning, put meat back in the broth to keep moist until you are ready for it.
While the chicken is cooling chop all vegetables and peel and slice eggs. In a skillet brown the breakfast sausage, breaking it up as you cook. Add and sauté celery, onion and bell pepper. When everything is translucent and the celery is tender mix in the cream of mushroom soup, parsley, sage and garlic powder. Once blended remove from heat and set aside.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. This recipe will make about two 9x12 inch pans of dressing . Spray the pans with Pam and set aside.
Strain out the chicken meat from the broth. In a very large bowl begin mixing everything together (with the exception of the raw eggs) including the remaining ingredients: cornbread, stuffing, salt and pepper. Hold out the bag of stuffing until very last. As you mix everything together slowly start adding the chicken broth to the mix. Slowly add the bag of stuffing and broth until it reaches the desired consistency and taste you want. Once it is the taste you like, add the two raw eggs. I like my dressing very moist so the consistency will be juicy.
Spread the dressing into the pans, cover with foil and place in oven, after 45 minutes remove the foil cover. The dressing will be done in about an hour when it is cooked all the way through and golden brown on the edges. If it starts getting too brown on top cover loosely with foil. I always freeze the second pan.
Enjoy my recipe.