• Southern Chicken And Dressing

    Have you ever stopped to think just how many of the dishes we consider special actually came from trying to feed a family on nothing? Chicken and dressing, that dish that graces most of our Thanksgiving and Christmas tables, is one of those.

    From the time when every family had yard chickens and (while white flour might be at a premium) most had corn to grind for meal, mom’s all over the South did a great job of combining the two into something to be eagerly anticipated…all the way into the 21st century.

    I don’t know that my recipe is any better than anyone else’s, but I thought I would share it with you today. I’m making a fairly large amount so cut your ingredients according to your crowd.

    Cornbread has onion and celery baked into it.

    Cornbread has onion and celery baked into it.

    Everything except broth has been added to this pan. You can see the small pieces of white bread.

    Everything except broth has been added to this pan. You can see the small pieces of white bread.

    Ready to go into the oven, and you want to be sure that you use enough broth so that your dressing will not be too dry. Unfortunately, I was so busy trying to get this on the table that I completely forgot to take a finished photo!

    Ready to go into the oven, and you want to be sure that you use enough broth so that your dressing will not be too dry. Unfortunately, I was so busy trying to get this on the table that I completely forgot to take a finished photo!

    Ingredients

    Cornbread Fixings (or use your favorite mix with 2 packages per skillet)
    1 1/2 Bunches Celery
    Large Onion
    1 Whole Chicken
    Sage, to taste…and you will have to  taste the first time.
    Salt, to taste
    6 Eggs

    Preparation

    Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

    1. Chop celery and onion into small bite-sized pieces.

    2. Mix up enough cornbread to fill 3 skillets.

    3. Divide celery and onion between 3 batches of cornbread and stir into each.

    4. Add to skillets (that have a bit of hot grease covering the bottom) and bake according to recipe directions. I usually have to add another 15-20 minutes of baking time.

    I normally cook my cornbread a day or two ahead of time and refrigerate to make my serving day easier; however, you can certainly do it all on one day.

    5. Boil chicken until done. Be sure to use plenty of water and save as broth.

    6. Slice off of the bone. I usually skin as well.

    7. In very large container, mix crumpled cornbread, pieces of chicken, broth from the chicken, and Swanson’s chicken broth (not fat free!) if more is needed. You want to use enough broth so that the mixture is slightly soupy.

    8. Stir in 6 eggs.

    9. A lot of people don’t do it, but I like to take 6-10 pieces of white bread slices and crumb them into cornbread mix. We think this keeps the cornbread from being “mealy.”

    10. Pour all into a greased deep sided pan. I still use the old speckled blue, but I feel sure it will still be dressing if you use something else! :)

    11. Bake about 1 1/2 hours for this amount of dressing. You want to avoid baking until your dressing is too dry!

    12. Obviously, you can simply serve in a bowl, around your turkey, or even stuff into your turkey. You can also serve this chicken and dressing with no turkey at all!

    About Fredda Jones

    Fredda Davis Jones was raised “in the country” in Comanche County and learned very early that creativity and innovation are traits that can flourish even in small-town Texas and that with enough effort, indeed nothing is impossible, including being married to the same man for over 40 years! Rickey and Fredda have 2 children, 5 grandchildren, and a crazy life that includes sitting in the bleachers several times a week. The rest of her time is spent creating great content for texansunited.com and marketing small-town Texas.
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