Indian Meal Dressing with Celery Root and Shiitake Mushrooms


4 cups fresh unsweetened cornbread cubes (you can also substitute
Pepperidge Farm Cornbread Stuffing cubes)
2 ounces bacon or pancetta, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter
1 large celery root (also called celeriac), peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1 medium leek, white part only, cleaned and chopped fine
1 cup thinly sliced shiitake mushrooms, stems removed
2 to 3 cups turkey stock (good-quality canned chicken or turkey stock will do)
1 cup sweet or hard apple cider
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
4 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme leaves (or 1 teaspoon dried thyme)
3 tablespoons fresh chives, roughly chopped
Pan juices from the roast turkey


Preheat oven to 350º. If you’re using fresh cornbread, lightly toast the cubes about 5 minutes, turning once, until golden. Set aside.

In a large heavy-bottomed pot, cook bacon or pancetta over moderate heat until golden. Add butter, celery root, leek, and shiitakes. Cook, stirring frequently until leeks are tender, about 5 minutes. Add stock and cider, bring to a boil, reduce flame, and simmer until celery root is tender but still intact, about 10 minutes. Remove from flame and add cornbread. Season with salt and pepper to taste, add herbs, and toss gently to moisten. Remove from heat, cover pot, and allow the mixture to steam 10 minutes to develop flavor and aroma. If you want a moister stuffing, add a little more turkey stock and/or cider.

Turn the mixture into a gratin dish or ovenproof ceramic baker and baste the surface generously with turkey drippings. Bake 20 minutes before serving.

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