Tester's notes: Shirley Watterson prepares her traditional corn bread dressing for as many as 40 people each Thanksgiving, but she's trimmed the proportions down to make it work for smaller gatherings. Watterson uses Martha White buttermilk corn bread mix, but a from-scratch or store-bought corn bread will work, too. If you use a mix, you'll need two bags and will have some leftover corn bread. Biscuits can be substituted for the white bread; you'll need about 6 cups crumbled biscuits. If using packaged sandwich bread, you'll need to dry it out before adding it to the dressing.
6 cups crumbled corn bread
1 loaf white bread
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 large onion, chopped
4 ribs celery, chopped
1 tablespoon dried sage
5 eggs, lightly beaten
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) butter or margarine, melted
3 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth, divided use
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
Black pepper to taste
Prepare or buy corn bread and white bread a day before assembling stuffing. If using packaged sandwich bread, preheat oven to 250 degrees. Tear white bread slices into small pieces, place on a cookie sheet and bake until dry but not browned, about 30 minutes. Let cool, then crumble and set aside.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 9-by-13-inch baking pan and set aside.
Heat oil over medium-high heat in a large skillet. Saute onion and celery until soft. Add sage. Mix well. Remove from heat. In an extra-large mixing bowl, combine onion-celery mixture, corn bread, white bread, eggs, butter, 2 cups broth, salt and pepper. Mix well. If mixture looks dry, add more broth, but resulting mixture should not be soupy. Pour into pan. Bake 50 minutes to 1 hour, or until golden brown.
Per serving: 659 calories (percent of calories form fat, 41), 18 grams protein, 79 grams carbohydrates, 1 gram fiber, 30 grams fat (12 grams saturated), 188 milligrams cholesterol, 1,753 milligrams sodium.