Stuffing recipes from 'Paula Deen's Home Cooking': Old country and cornbread

paula-deen-thanksgiving.jpgIf you're as TV-obsessed as we are at Zap2it, you're probably already assembling your Thanksgiving dinner with recipes from various Food Network stars. In case you're still looking for that perfect stuffing for your family to enjoy on Thursday, we're bringing you two delicious options from country cuisine queen Paula Deen.

If you're into a traditional stuffing, try her old country recipe - it's got a great surprising twist with sausage and mushroom gravy. If you want to wow your guests even more -- and maybe impress some in-laws -- why not try the sweeter cornbread stuffing?

OLD COUNTRY STYLE STUFFING:

Ingredients

    * 2 loaves oven-dried white bread (recommended: Pepperidge Farm)
    * 2 cups cooked white rice
    * 1 sleeve crushed saltines
    * 1 pound bulk breakfast sausage
    * 2 cups chopped celery
    * 1 large onion, chopped
    * 7 cups chicken stock
    * Salt and freshly ground black pepper
    * 1 teaspoon dried sage leaves
    * 1 tablespoon poultry seasoning
    * 3 eggs, beaten
    * 1/4 stick butter, melted
    * Mushroom Giblet Gravy, recipe follows

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Crumble oven-dried bread into a large bowl. Add rice and saltines.

Cook sausage in a large skillet until it starts to brown. Add celery and onion and saute until transparent, 5 to 10 minutes. Pour over bread and rice mixture. Add stock and mix well. Add salt, pepper, sage, and poultry seasoning. Mix well. Add the beaten eggs and melted butter. Mix well. Reserve 2 tablespoons of the stuffing mixture for the Mushroom Giblet Gravy.

Pour stuffing into a greased pan and bake until cooked through and golden brown, about 45 minutes.

Mushroom Giblet Gravy:

    * 4 cups turkey or chicken stock
    * Giblets from 1 turkey
    * 2 chicken bouillon cubes
    * 2 tablespoons reserved stuffing mixture
    * 3 tablespoons cornstarch
    * 1/3 cup cold water
    * 2 pints button mushrooms, sliced
    * 3 tablespoons butter
    * 1 hard boiled egg, sliced
    * Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Bring stock and giblets to a boil. Add bouillon and reserved stuffing mixture. Make a slurry by whisking together the cornstarch and water and add to the boiling stock; cook 2 to 3 minutes. Meanwhile, saute mushrooms until browned in butter. Add mushrooms to gravy with egg and salt and pepper, to taste.

CORNBREAD STUFFING

Ingredients

    * Cornbread, recipe follows
    * 7 slices oven-dried white bread
    * 1 sleeve crackers (recommended: Saltine)
    * 8 tablespoons butter
    * 2 cups chopped celery
    * 1 large onion, chopped
    * 7 cups chicken stock
    * 1 teaspoon salt
    * Freshly ground black pepper
    * 1 teaspoon sage, optional
    * 1 tablespoon poultry seasoning, optional
    * 5 eggs, beaten

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In a large bowl, combine crumbled cornbread, dried white bread slices, and saltines; set aside.

Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the celery and onion and cook until transparent, approximately 5 to 10 minutes. Pour the vegetable mixture over cornbread mixture. Add the stock, mix well, taste, and add salt, pepper to taste, sage, and poultry seasoning. Add beaten eggs and mix well. Pour mixture into a greased pan and bake until dressing is cooked through, about 45 to 60 minutes.

Cornbread:

    * 1 cup self-rising cornmeal
    * 1/2 cup self-rising flour
    * 3/4 cup buttermilk
    * 2 eggs
    * 2 tablespoons vegetable oil

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Combine all ingredients and mix well. Pour batter into a greased shallow baking dish. Bake for approximately 20 to 25 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool.

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Photo: Food Network