For the cornbread:
2 cups yellow cornmeal
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 3/4 cups buttermilk, room temperature
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
For the dressing:
1 pound thick cut bacon, cut into 1-inch pieces
4 medium onions, chopped
4 carrots, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
4 celery stalks, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
2 tablespoons fresh sage, chopped
2 teaspoons fresh thyme, chopped
1 3/4 teaspoons salt
3/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
5 cups low sodium chicken broth
2 large eggs
1 1/2 cups pecan halves, toasted, coarsely chopped
- Preheat the oven to 4257°F.
- For the cornbread, combine the cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl. Combine the buttermilk, eggs, and melted butter in a separate bowl. Pour the buttermilk mixture into the cornmeal mixture and stir until just moistened. Transfer to a 9 x 13-inch nonstick baking pan. Bake until the cornbread comes away from the sides of the pan and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 24-25 minutes. Cool in the pan 10 minutes then transfer to a wire rack to cool. When cool cut the bread into 1-inch cubes and spread on 2 baking sheets until ready to use. Wipe out the baking dish.
- For the dressing, cook the bacon in a large nonstick skillet until mostly browned and crisp, stirring occasionally, 18-20 minutes. With a slotted spoon transfer the bacon to a plate covered with a paper towel and let drain. Pour off all but 1/4 cup of the bacon drippings from the skillet.
- Return the skillet to the stove over medium heat and add the onion, carrots, celery, sage and thyme; cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are tender and just starting to brown, 24-26 minutes. Stir in the reserved bacon, pecans, 1 teaspoon of the salt and 1/2 teaspoon of the pepper. Transfer the mixture to a large bowl and add the reserved cornbread cubes. Combine the broth, eggs, remaining 3/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper then pour into the bowl with the cornbread cubes; gently mix until completely moistened. Transfer to the 9 x 13-inch nonstick baking pan.
- Cover the baking pan with aluminum foil and bake 25 minutes. Uncover and continue to bake until an instant read thermometer inserted into the center of the stuffing registers 160°F, about 20-22 minutes longer. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.