It’s Almost Thanksgiving! Stuffing Or Cornbread Dressing?
The difference between stuffing and dressing is just as distinct as people from the south and folks from the north. They are night and day. The great debate has always been, which is better. I'm biased, but I say cornbread dressing. Regardless, the biggest differences in each dish are the bread and what it is mixed with. Other additives such as seasoning, veggies, meats, soups, and broth are limitless. Everyone has a special recipe that separates their dish from everyone else. I know I do. However, there are a few ingredients that go into each dish that can not be substituted.
#1.) The Bread
Northerners use white bread (brioche, French, or sourdough preferably) and/or croutons, even crackers or breadcrumbs for their stuffing. The stuffing is baked and served as a dish, or stuffed into the Thanksgiving turkey. Southerners use cornbread (most people use Jiffy Cornbread but the brand doesn't matter) for their dressing and traditionally it is served as a stand-alone dish. Every now and then it may be stuffed in a turkey.
#2.) Mixing ingredient
The second biggest difference between stuffing and dressing is what the pieces of bread are mixed with. Northerners use chicken broth and eggs. Southerners use a dressing mix (Savoie's or Richard's preferably.) Depending on how wet or dry you like cornbread dressing cream of chicken soup and/or chicken broth. To me, the only thing stuffing and dressing have in common is Thanksgiving and that's it. I was born on the East Coast in Boston and raised in San Jose, Cali. but I don't like stuffing. I am a strictly cornbread dressing kinda girl.
As I said, a lot of people add their extra little something to make these traditional dishes their own. Here's my recipe:
I always add a little sugar in my Jiffy Cornbread Mix, because I like my cornbread dressing to have a sweet and salty taste to it. For Thanksgiving, I use roughly 4 boxes to feed my family. I cook with Louisiana brand seasonings such as Tony Chachere's ( no salt is available) and Slap Ya Mama, garlic powder, black pepper, minced garlic, green onions, and Pictsweet Farms Seasoning Blend.
I don't use spicy, hot seasonings or dressing mix, because a lot of people in my family have reflux and other stomach issues. I keep several hot sauce brands and cayenne pepper on tap for those that like their food pepper. Seasoning is all about preference. I prefer mild Richard's Dressing Mix and will use 3 to 4 small tubs or 2 to 3 big tubs. Sometimes I will add a pound of ground pork to my mix, especially when I am doing rice dressing (the same dressing mix is used to make rice dressing). In which case I use double the dressing mix to prepare both dishes.
I like my cornbread dressing in the middle. I don't care for it to be too wet, or too dry. So, I don't add broth or soup to my dish, because the dressing mix produces plenty of juice. As I bake my cornbread I put my dressing mix, ground pork, and various seasonings in a large stew or soup pot and simmer together until the cornbread is done. Once cooled I simply crumple up my cornbread and slowly add it to my large stew pot of dressing mix (or I divide the mix to mix with white rice) until I reach the desired consistency. Bon Appetit!
There are a thousand different variations of stuffing and cornbread dressing after the two main ingredients are used. People add veggies like corn or celery stalks, to the cream of mushroom or cream of celery soup, even shredded chicken to their dishes. Below are just two examples of how to make stuffing and cornbread dressing for your Thanksgiving celebration. Happy holidays!