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Mother Smith’s World Famous Dressing

This is an excellent stuffing recipe courtesy of my editor and friend Dan Smith, who very graciously allowed me to reprint it here on my blog after I tried it for Thanksgiving. I’ve copied and pasted everything exactly as he had it on his blog, including my emailed comment, which includes a substitution I had to make for lack of correct ingredients.


  • I used Jiffy Mix cornbread.
  • If you’re lacking turkey giblets, this will still work out with 4 cups chicken broth in which to boil your celery, etc.
  • If you’re like me and don’t have a cast iron skillet (shocking, I know) a 13×9 glass casserole will do. 😉

from Dan Smith

“Bake a 12-inch iron skillet of cornbread (unsweetened, recipe on the corn meal bag), let it cool and crumble it into a bowl. Chop about 1/2 pound of whole wheat bread (multi-grain is fine, too) finely and combine it with the cornbread.

“Boil the giblets from the inside of your turkey in four cups of water.

“Coarsely chop several stalks of celery (remember, this stuff is powerful and can overwhelm any dish) and a medium onion and throw that into the pile. Mix in two eggs, a tablespoon oregano and 1/4 cup of sugar (you can use honey, molasses, brown sugar or splenda in very moderate amount).

“Pour the broth from the giblets into the mix and stir it until it is slightly less than soupy. Re-use the same skillet you baked the cornbread in (this will overfill the pan, so use two if you want; I grew up in a big family and don’t know how to cook little) to bake the dressing. Grease it slightly with canola oil and bake this at 425 degrees for 20 minutes. Let it cool and serve it with turkey, cranberry sauce and all the other T’giving goodies. I don’t like stuffing it into the turkey to cook it, but you can if you want. Simply stuff the bird instead of baking it in the iron skillet.

“It’s good stuff(ing), baby, so enjoy.”

(By the way, your dressing won’t look like the one pictured here; it’s flat and in a pan. But this is the best picture I could find without cooking the dressing four days ahead of time.)

(My pal Lori wrote this: “Just thought I’d tell you that I tried your stuffing for Thanksgiving. Had to wrestle Mom, because she tries to make Grandma’s stuffing [fairly difficult; no recipe]. Didn’t have a whole wheat bread, so I subbed some Pep Farms stuffing mix, and still turned out fabulous. Lots of compliments– I/you were the reigning Stuffing Queen. The sweetness of the corn bread and the sugar, I think, is what makes it. Very yummy.)

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