by Victoria Granof on bonappetit.com
¾ cup (1.5 sticks) unsalted butter plus more
for baking dish
1 pound day-old cornbread, broken into 1.5-2 inch pieces (9 cups)
1 pound breakfast sausage links, casings removed
2.5 cups chopped yellow onions
1.5 cups 1/4-inch slices celery
¼ cup apple cider vinegar
3 cups low-sodium chicken broth, divided
1 ¼ cups chopped toasted pecans (optional)
0.5 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
2 tablespoons chopped fresh sage
1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
1 teaspoon kosher salt (omit if you don’t use a low-sodium broth)
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 large eggs
Arrange racks in upper and lower thirds of oven; preheat to 250°. Butter a 13x9x2-inch
baking dish; set aside. Scatter cornbread in a single layer on 2 rimmed baking sheets. Bake, stirring often and rotating sheets halfway through, until dried out, about 1 hour. Let cool. Transfer to a very large mixing bowl.
Meanwhile, cook sausage in a large skillet over medium-high heat, breaking up into ½ to 1-inch pieces with a wooden spoon, until browned, 8-10 minutes. Transfer to bowl with cornbread but do not stir.
Heat ¾ cup butter in same skillet; add onions and celery and cook, stirring often, until softened and just beginning to brown, about 10 minutes. Add to cornbread in bowl. Return skillet to heat. Add vinegar; cook, scraping up browned bits from bottom of pan, for 1 minute. Pour into bowl with cornbread. Gently fold in 1.5 cups broth, pecans, if using, parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme. Add salt and pepper. Let cool.
Preheat oven to 350°. Whisk 1.5 cups broth and eggs in a small bowl. Fold gently into cornbread until thoroughly combined, taking care not to mash cornbread (mixture will look wet). Transfer to prepared dish, cover with foil, and bake until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center of dressing registers 160°, about 40 minutes.
Uncover; let cool. Dressing can optionally be made a day ahead and refrigerated at this point. Bake dressing, uncovered, until set and top is browned and crisp, 40-45 minutes longer (if chilled, add 10-15 minutes).