Bacon Sage Cornbread Stuffing

By: Marge Perry & David Bonom

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Ingredients

2 eggs lightly beaten
2/3 cup milk
2 (8.5-ounce) boxes corn muffin mix
7 slices thick hickory-smoked bacon
2 cups  chopped onion
2 cups carrots,  chopped in 1/4-inch pieces (about 4 medium carrots)
2 cups celery, chopped in 1/4-inch pieces (about 4 stalks)
2 tablespoons chopped fresh sage
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon  black pepper
1/2 cup Madeira
1 (15-ounce) can lower sodium chicken broth

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Coat a 9x13-inch baking pan with cooking spray.
  2. Combine the eggs and milk; stir in the cornbread mixture until it is well incorporated. Pour the batter into the prepared baking dish and bake 15 minutes, or until cooked through. Let cool. Crumble the cornbread into 1-inch and smaller pieces and place on a baking sheet pan; toast in a 400°F oven for 10 minutes until lightly crisped. May be made 3-5 days before making the rest of the stuffing.
  3. Cook the bacon in a large frying pan. Transfer the meat to a plate lined with paper towel and let cool before crumbling.
  4. Add the onions to the skillet; cook 4-5 minutes until softened. Add the carrots, celery, sage, salt and pepper and cook until vegetables are very soft, 13-15 minutes. Add the Madeira and cook, stirring until the liquid is evaporated, about 2-5 minutes. Remove from the heat and toss with the bacon and cornbread.
  5. Transfer to a 9x13-inch baking pan coated with cooking spray. May be kept, tightly wrapped, in the refrigerator for up to two days.
  6. Just before serving, pour the broth evenly over the stuffing. Bake in a 325-350°F oven for 15-20 minutes, until the broth is absorbed and the stuffing heated through.