Southern Cornbread and Oyster Dressing (Stuffing)
1 cup (2 sticks) of butter
1 medium onion, chopped
3 stalks of celery, chopped
1 tablespoon of chopped green bell pepper
6 cups of cooked, crumbled cornbread
6 cups of dry, toasted bread, crumbled (toasted white bread, leftover biscuits, or rolls)
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon of Cajun seasoning (like Slap Ya Mama), or to taste, optional
1/4 teaspoon of freshly cracked black pepper
1 teaspoon of sage or (Bell’s seasoning), or to taste
1/2 teaspoon of poultry seasoning
4 to 6 cups of turkey or chicken stock
5 eggs, beaten (or 3 raw, 2 boiled and chopped)
1 quart of oysters, liquid reserved
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare a 9 x 13 inch pan with butter or non-stick spray.
Toast the bread in a toaster or in the oven. Remove and set aside to cool. Make a pan of cornbread, remove and set aside uncovered to cool completely. You want the breads to be very dry.
Melt the butter in a skillet over medium heat. Saute the onion, celery and bell pepper. Add the salt, Cajun seasoning, pepper, Bell’s seasoning and poultry seasoning. Continue cooking and stirring for 2 minutes. Set aside to cool.
Crumble the cornbread into a large bowl. Add the bread and toss. Add the sauteed veggies, scraping out all of the butter; stir. Pour in 2 cups of the broth and toss. Taste and adjust seasoning.
Add the beaten eggs; stir. Using a pair of kitchen shears, roughly chop the oysters. Add the oysters, with their juices, to the cornbread mixture. This is where you fix the consistency. If you want a fluffy stuffing, you’ll use less stock. If you prefer a wetter stuffing, add additional broth as needed to reach desired consistency, taking care not to get too soupy! Lightly spoon into the casserole dish, but do not pack.
Transfer to the prepared baking dish and bake at 350 degrees F for 45 minutes. For a moister stuffing, baked covered. For a drier stuffing with a crunchy top, bake uncovered.