Oyster and cornbread dressings

If you, like me, have discovered the pure poultry joy that is brined and roasted turkey, you may be searching for something to replace the old bread stuffing that the brining has ruled out.

Rejoice, friends! By getting the stuffing out of the bird, you leave it free to become dressing, and free to have dozens of different flavors added to it. Today, we’ll cover classic cornbread dressing with sausage courtesy of Willie Crawford at Chitterlings.com, and an oyster dressing that anyone within striking distance of a coastline will want to try.

Cornbread Dressing With Sausage

1 pound ground sausage

2 c. chopped celery

2 large onions, chopped

5 c. crumbled cornbread

5 c. seasoned bread crumbs

2 ¾ c. chicken broth

1 ½ tsp. poultry seasoning

1 tsp. ground sage

Preheat oven to 325° F.

Place sausage, celery and onions in a large, deep skillet. Cook over medium-high heat until evenly brown. Drain, crumble and set aside.

In a large bowl, combine sausage mixture with cornbread, bread crumbs, chicken broth, poultry seasoning and sage. Mix well and transfer to a 9-by-12 inch baking dish.

Bake, covered, for 45 minutes or until well-set and cooked through.

Serves 12.

Oyster Dressing

½ c. unsalted butter

2 stalks celery, chopped

4 green onions or scallions, chopped

1 lg. yellow onion, chopped

4 c. crumbled cornbread

2 c. soft bread crumbs

1/3 c. chopped fresh parsley

Salt and pepper to taste

2 large eggs, lightly beaten

1 pt. oysters, drained and liquid reserved

Oyster liquid

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Sauté onions and celery in 2 tbsp. of the butter until softened.

Combine cornbread and bread crumbs in a large bowl; mix in onions, celery, salt and pepper, and parsley.

Add beaten eggs and toss once more. Moisten with the oyster liquid until moist but not soggy. Add the oysters.

Pat the mixture into a lightly buttered rectangular cake pan to about 1-inch deep. Dot with remaining 2 tbsp. butter and bake for 45 minutes, until set and golden brown.