Tia Mowry Has a Clever Trick for the Best-Ever Cornbread Stuffing
Tia Mowry-Hardrict has kept busy since her days starring on Sister, Sister — and not just in the acting world. Mowry has actually turned the majority of her attention to the kitchen. She’s the author of the cookbook Whole New You, starred in her own Cooking Channel show called Tia Mowry at Home, and, as we recently learned, has a very popular recipe for cornbread stuffing.
The first thing you’ll notice about Mowry’s cornbread stuffing recipe, which receives five stars of FoodNetwork.com, is the lengthy ingredient list and the somewhat intimidating instructions — the whole thing takes a whopping 10 hours (although not all of that is hands-on, of course). It certainly requires more effort than any other recipe in our cornbread stuffing showdown, but I was willing to see if it was worth it. Here’s what I learned when I headed to the kitchen.
Get the recipe: Cornbread Stuffing with Fennel and Sausage
How to Make Tia Mowry’s Cornbread Stuffing with Fennel and Sausage
You’ll want to get started the day before you plan to serve the stuffing, since the cornbread needs to dry out overnight. You’ll begin by baking a pan of homemade cornbread, which you’ll then cube and set on a baking sheet to dry. You’ll also cube several slices of white bread to dry out alongside it.
The next day, transfer both breads to a large bowl. Sauté celery, garlic, onion, and fennel in melted butter, then add the veggies to the bowl with the bread. Brown a couple of tablespoons of butter, add a few chopped apples, dust with freshly ground nutmeg, and sauté until tender. Add them to the bowl, brown some Italian sausage, and add that to the bowl as well, along with chopped fresh parsley and sage. You’ll then transfer the stuffing mixture to a 9×13-inch baking dish, pour chicken stock overtop, and finish with freshly ground black pepper. Bake, uncovered, for 40 minutes.
My Honest Review of Tia Mowry’s Cornbread Stuffing
I’m going to cut right to the chase: This loaded cornbread stuffing is 100% worth the long ingredient list and extra effort. Both the flavor and texture totally won me over, so much so that I didn’t want to stop eating it. Every bite is packed with so much flavor — equal parts savory, salty, sweet, and herbal. It’s the combination of several small upgrades that make it shine, like the addition of fennel, freshly grated nutmeg, brown butter, and two types of bread.
Unlike most stuffing recipes, which have you mix together the dry and wet ingredients before adding the mixture to the baking dish, this recipe has you spread the bread mixture in the baking dish, then pour only chicken stock (no cream or eggs) over top. Because you never mix the two, I worried I would take the baking dish out of the oven to find a pool of stock at the bottom and a layer of soggy bread, but that wasn’t the case at all. In fact, that step is a big part of what makes this recipe so great. By just pouring the liquid over the bread cubes, you get a super-soft bottom layer and a crispy, toasted top layer. It’s the best of both worlds.
My only criticism with this recipe has to do with the homemade cornbread. It’s just okay, and the whole batch doesn’t end up getting used for the stuffing. Next time, to simplify things, I’ll skip Mowry’s cornbread recipe and start with a box of Jiffy mix.
A Tip for Tia Mowry’s Cornbread Stuffing
Start with one box of Jiffy mix instead of the homemade cornbread in the recipe. If you want to make your own cornbread, but want an option that’s faster and involves fewer ingredients than the one in the stuffing recipe, one box of Jiffy Corn Muffin Mix is the way to go.
Have you ever made Tia Mowry’s Cornbread Stuffing with Fennel and Sausage? Tell us what you thought!