Cornbread & sausage stuffingGary:
I don't know if it would rank as "great," but after trying a number of stuffings that didn't excite me, I've liked and regularly use a cornbread and sausage combination that goes something like this. (Proportions are inexact, but if you are actually stuffing a bird, you need to adjust to the size of the bird, anyway.)
1 good-sized recipe of cornbread (made without sugar), day-old and crumbled; about 4-5 slices of regular bread, torn-up and dried in the oven; between 12 oz. and 1 lb. of a good country bulk sausage, crumbled; a medium- to large-sized onion or equivalent in shallots (I generally prefer plain onion); celery (whatever looks right, maybe two stalks); garlic (to taste); turkey stock (or chicken stock if that's all that's available); a little dry sherry or white wine; and herbs (I use a fairly generous amount of parsely, a little sage, a very little rosemary, and a little thyme - Simon & Garfunkel knew what they were singing about). If you are a fan of fruit in stuffing, apples are OK in this. (Cider can be used as part of the liquid to moisten it.) And I've put walnuts or pecans in on occasion and they gave it a nice crunch. Oh, yes: salt and pepper to taste. (Since there's no raw egg or poultry in this, it is safe to taste as you mix.)
Brown the sausage, deglaze the pan and set aside the resulting juice. Saute the onions, celery and garlic in a little of the sausage fat until soft. Then mix everything together with enough stock; the reserved juice from deglazing the sausage pan; and sherry; wine; or cider to make it slightly mushy. If you're going to cook it in the bird, it should be a little drier than if you're cooking it separately.
This can be made ahead and stored in the refrigerator, although if I'm doing it ahead, I usually stop before the liquids are added, and do that just before stuffing.
Despite the fact that the directions are kind of "do what looks right," you should be careful to use good quality ingredients. You can taste differences from different kinds of sausage, stock, wines and so on.