MAKE CORNBREAD IN ADVANCE:
Preheat the oven to 375°. In a medium sized bowl, combine sugar, milk, eggs, melted butter, Cornbread Mix, and cayenne. Pour into buttered 8 x 8-inch pan, and bake for 24 to 28 minutes; a toothpick will come out clean, top will crack, and edges will be golden brown. Cool completely.
Remove from the pan using a small offset spatula or butter knife to release the sides, turn pan over onto cutting board, and turn out of pan. Cut whole cornbread in quarters, each quarter in half horizontally, and finally cut ½-inch strips, quarter turn and cut ½-inch cubes.
Allow cubes to dry out on half sheet pan for a day or two, or dry in 200° oven for about 1 to 2 hours, gently tossing a couple of times. Cubes should be dry on the outside, but NOT all the way through like a crouton.
Preheat the oven to 375°. Butter 8 x 8-inch pan generously.
Melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onions and cook, stirring for about 15 to 20 minutes or until soft and caramelized. Season with salt and pepper, add sage and cook for one more minute.
Place the cornbread pieces in a large mixing bowl, add onions and toss until well combined. In a separate bowl, whisk together the egg, cream, and stock, and distribute over the bowl. Carefully toss all the ingredients together until thoroughly coated; some pieces will start to break apart, and others to stick together. (If it needs more liquid, add a little extra cream or stock, a TBSP or two at a time.)
Spoon into buttered baking dish, cover with foil, and bake for 30 minutes. Remove foil and bake another 15 to 20 minutes until hot, and a little crusty with some color on top.
To stuff into a turkey, stuff both the neck and the body cavities, using about 1/2 to 3/4 cups of stuffing per pound of turkey. Do not pack it tight -- the stuffing needs to reach 165 degrees F. Any extra can bake alongside in a separate dish.
Chef’s Note: To make this dish vegetarian, use a vegetable broth instead of chicken stock, and bake in a buttered dish rather than stuffed in a turkey.
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