Step 1: Toast Cornbread
While the cornbread is in the oven we'll prepare the rest of the ingredients.
Step 2: Prepare Base
~2T butter or olive oil
celery and/or fennel stalks, chopped
peppers, chopped (Hot, bell, chipotle, etc; I used all of these.)
leeks, chopped (optional)
Combine ingredients and saute until onions are soft.
Add chopped apples and a bag of cranberries, stir, and remove from heat.
Note that I'm NOT giving you quantities here- it's entirely a question of personal taste. Just about anything will work.
Step 3: Prepare Sausage
Try to get one of the "spicy/hot breakfast sausages"; these usually come in a tube, and can be made of pork or turkey. Extrude the mush into a hot pan, and stir around until fully cooked.
The other variety should be a chorizo, linguica, or other Iberian sausage. These are often pre-cooked, and just need to be into bite-size pieces for addition to the dressing.
Step 4: Combine Ingredients
*Any combination of fresh parsley, rosemary, tarragon, sage, oregano, thyme, etc. I usually add ground allspice at this point too.
Step 5: Add Stock
For a richer dressing use a mix of stock and half-and-half, and even beat an egg in if you're feeling particularly enthusiastic. I like my dressing a bit drier, as I then proceed to cover it in giblet gravy.
*I had homemade stock left over from a previous turkey, so it was an obvious choice. Making your own stock is easy if you've got a pressure cooker, and an even smarter idea if you've got decent freezer space. If you're making vegetarian dressing, use homemade veg stock or dissolved veggie boullion cubes.
Step 6: Store Then Bake
Bake at 350F until cooked through (especially relevant if you've used eggs in the mix) and just golden brown on top.
While you can certainly use this as a stuffing, I don't recommend stuffing turkeys. They cook more slowly, have a higher risk of contamination, and produce a soggy mess from the interior. It's best to cook turkey and dressing as separate items to optimize both.
Step 7: Serve
Dressing keeps beautifully in the refrigerator or freezer, and is best drowned in wonderful giblet gravy.