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Cranberry-Orange Cornbread Stuffing with Sausage

  • Yield: 10-12


Copyright 2013 CarnalDish LLC, corn muffin recipe slightly adapted from Cook’s Illustrated.



For the cornbread muffins:

  • 2 cups (10oz.) all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup (5oz.) stone-ground cornmeal
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup (5 1/4oz.) granulated sugar
  • 8 tbsp unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 3/4 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 2 tsp orange zest (see note below)

For the stuffing:

  • olive oil
  • 3 ribs celery, diced
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 911 ounces Italian sausage (about 3-4 links, casings removed)
  • 1 tsp herbes de provence
  • 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper
  • sea salt and black pepper, to taste
  • 1 tbsp fresh sage, chopped
  • 1 tbsp fresh thyme, chopped
  • 1 tsp fresh rosemary, finely chopped
  • pinch of ground fennel seed (optional)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 5oz dried cranberries
  • 1 quart low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 dozen basic corn muffins or about 10 cups of cornbread, chopped into chunks (recipe below)


For the cranberry-orange cornbread muffins:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees, middle rack. Spray a muffin pan with vegetable spray and set aside.
  2. In one large bowl, whisk flour, cornmeal, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together until combined.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk eggs for 20 seconds until paler in color. Add sugar to eggs and whisk for 30 seconds until homogeneous.
  4. Add melted butter in 3-additions, whisking to fully incorporate it each time.
  5. Add half of the sour cream and half of the milk to the egg, sugar and butter mixture, whisking to fully combine. Repeat with the second half of the sour cream and milk. Stir in the orange zest.
  6. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and mix fold with a rubber spatula, just until combined. Do not overmix!
  7. Use an ice cream scoop or spoon to divide the batter evenly into the prepared muffin tins. Do not level or flatten the batter.
  8. Bake for 18 minutes or until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

For the stuffing:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees, middle rack. Butter a large baking dish and set aside.
  2. Pour about 3 tablespoons of olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. When oil begins to show a webby appearance, add celery and onions and cook until translucent, about 5-7 minutes. Add the sausage and break up into smaller pieces with a wooden spoon, adding a little more oil if necessary. Add the herbes de provence, crushed red pepper, a nice pinch of coarse sea salt, black pepper, and pinch of fennel (if using) to the sausage to bloom and infuse the meat. Continue cooking until sausage is no longer pink and vegetables are softened, about another 5-7 minutes or so. Add the fresh herbs and cook for just 1 minute to bloom their flavors. Add the dried cranberries and heat thru for about a minute. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Remove from heat.
  3. Add the cornbread to the pot and toss everything together until evenly coated and distributed. Add half (16oz.) of the chicken stock to the cornbread mixture, tossing to evenly coat. Let sit for 10 minutes. This gives the cornbread time to fully absorb the liquid you just added. Check to see if you need more liquid after 10 minutes, and add in 1/2 cup increments, waiting just 1 minute in between to let it absorb before adding more. Remember, you can always add more liquid but you cannot take it away. Give the stuffing a taste and season accordingly if you need to.
  4. Pour stuffing into prepared baking dish. Bake for 30 minutes or until top is golden brown.
  5. Serve and enjoy.


You can either toss the orange zest and cranberries into the cornbread dough, or toss it into the pot with the stuffing. It seriously doesn’t matter. It will get in there someway, somehow πŸ˜‰

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