Cajun Cornbread Stuffing

Buttermilk Corn Bread (see below)
6 T (¾ stick) butter
1 lb andouille or other spicy, fully-cooked smoked sausage, diced
3 c chopped red bell pepper
3 c chopped green onions (2 bunches)
1 c chopped shallots (about 8)
1 c chopped celery
2 T chopped garlic
2 T chopped fresh thyme
2 t dried rubbed sage
1 t ground allspice
¾ t cayenne pepper
½ t minced bay leaves (8 small)
1½ c canned low-salt chicken broth
Salt and pepper
4 large eggs, beaten

Preheat oven to 350°. Arrange corn bread on large baking sheet. Bake until slightly dry and toasted, about 20 minutes. Transfer to very large bowl, cool.

Melt butter in heavy large Dutch oven over high heat. Add sausage, pepper, green onions, shallots, celery, garlic, thyme, safe, allspice, cayenne, and bay leaves; sauté until vegetables are just tender and mixture is very moist, about 15 min. Stir vegetable mixture into corn bread, season to taste with salt and pepper. Mix eggs into stuffing.

TO BAKE STUFFING IN TURKEY:
Add ½ c chicken both to stuffing and mix thoroughly. Fill main turkey cavity with stuffing. Mix enough chicken broth into remaining stuffing to moisten (about ½ to ¾ c broth, depending on amount of remaining stuffing). Spoon remaining stuffing into buttered baking dish. Cover tightly with buttered aluminum foil. Bake stuffing in dish alongside turkey until heated through, about 30 min. Uncover stuffing and bake until top begins to brown, about 15 min.

TO BAKE STUFFING IN PAN:
Preheat oven to 350°. Butter 13x9x2-inch baking dish. Mix 1½ c chicken broth into stuffing. Transfer stuffing to prepared baking dish. Cover tightly with buttered aluminum foil. Bake until stuffing is firm and heated through, about 45 minutes. Uncover stuffing and bake until beginning to brown on top, about 15 minutes.

Buttermilk Corn Bread
2 c yellow cornmeal
1 c sifted flour
6 T sugar
1 T baking powder
¾ t salt
½ t baking soda
½ c (1 stick) chilled, unsalted butter, diced
1½ c buttermilk
3 large eggs

Preheat oven to 400°. Butter bottom of 9x9x2-inch baking pan. Mix first six ingredients in processor. Add butter and cut in, using on and off turns, until mixture resembles course meal. Beat buttermilk and eggs in large bowl to blend. Add cornmeal mixture to egg mixture and blend. Transfer to prepared pan.

Bake until cornbread is light golden-brown on top and tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 30 in. Cool in pan on rack. May be prepared 1 day ahead.

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