If you've never made dressing before or are looking for something different or cheaper or better... this is for you. It's an inexpensive way to make a super special dish that just might become a family favorite. Don't let the ingredients or instructions fool you as it's really simple to do once you see what needs to be done.
First, you need a big pan of cornbread. You can save leftover cornbread throughout the year for the Christmas turkey, but if you haven't, it doesn't take long to bake a pan of it.
Secondly, you need the giblets. Turkey or chicken tastes about the same, so whatever you can come up with works. For a large turkey, I usually add giblets saved from chickens, but it isn't necessary. Boil the giblets along with the neck and set aside to cool. Keep the liquid!
You will need:
Cornbread - one large pan full
Giblets - cooked
Water in which giblets were boiled
Two or three slices of dry white or wheat bread
Celery - one medium to large bunch
Onion - one large
Sage - a lot. Probably half a small can or more.
The amounts of each one will depend on how much liquid and giblets you have as well as your own tastes and preferences, so feel free to add or subtract whatever suits you.
Put the pan liquid in a large bowl. Chop the giblets and pull the meat from the neck, cutting it into small pieces. Cut celery and onion into small pieces and add to the giblets, then begin crumbling cornbread into the bowl. Mix it in with your fingers, breaking it into small pieces. Break the white bread into small bits and add it, then let the dressing set a few minutes so the breads will absorb the water. The consistency should be a little soupy, but not much. Press the back of a wooden spoon into it and there should be a small well that slowly fills with liquid. If the mixture is too dry, add a little plain water and if it's too soupy, add plain white bread, torn into pieces. Mix again and let it set. When the texture is right, begin adding sage to taste and when it seems just right, add just a little more, as the cooking will minimize the flavor.
Cover and bake at 325 or so along with the turkey or chicken, for about an hour and half .