Chicken and Corn Bread Dressing
A Soul-food Holiday Favorite
Chicken and Corn Bread Dressing is a soul food favorite for the holidays. My Thanksgiving and Christimas meals just wouldn’t be the same without it. I use to watch my mother prepare her famous dressing every Thanksgiving. When I got older, she let me help out by cutting up the onions, peppers and celery.
Chicken and Corn Bread Dressing is an old recipe that has been in my family for many generations. This is also the recipe my grandmother made for her family. And I still use this recipe today. I wouldn’t make my dressing any other way. This dish also reminds me of how the slaves prepared their food--boil then bake. The chicken is boiled then later baked to finish the cooking process.
Boiling the chicken is highly recommended for this recipe because the broth makes the dressing. You can’t make old-fashioned corn bread dressing without it. And please, don’t use broth from a can for this recipe. It’s definitely not the same.
Below is my mother’s old-fashioned Chicken and Corn Bread Dressing recipe. This is an old recipe that is used today in many homes that prepare soul food for the holidays. It’s the best tasting dressing I’ve ever had. Try it for yourself.
TO PREPARE THE CHICKEN
You need 1 large fryer (whole chicken or hen)
Remove gizzards and livers inside chicken, then wash in clear water. Place chicken, gizzards and livers in large pot with 2 to 3 quarts water; add salt, pepper, and 1/3 cup of each chopped onions and celery to the pot
Cover the pot with enough water just above the chicken. Cook on high heat until pot start to boil. Reduce heat and continue boiling about 45 to 60 minutes or until almost done. The gizzards and livers will get done first. Remove them. Continue cooking until chicken is almost done; remove from pot. Set aside. Keep chicken broth. This is what makes the dressing.
OLD FASHIONED CORN BREAD DRESSING
1 cup corn meal, self-rising
3/4 cup flour, self-rising
1 cup buttermilk
2 eggs, slightly beaten
1/3 cup of each chopped - celery, green pepper, and onions
1/4 vegetable oil
1 to 2 cups sage bread crumbs
Salt and pepper to taste
1 to 2 tablespoons poultry seasoning
1 ½ - 2 tablespoons sage
1 cup + Broth to start
3 slices white bread, crumbled
3 boiled eggs, chopped
1/4 cup Margarine
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Combine cornmeal, flour; stir in milk, eggs, and the remaining chopped vegetables. Heat oil in skillet or 9 X 13 inch pan until hot. Pour in cornmeal mixture. Bake for 20 to 30 minutes or until golden brown. Immediately remove from oven; then place in roasting or large pan.
In a large pan, crumble cornbread. Add salt, pepper, sage bread crumbs, poultry seasoning, and sage. Continue mixing. Add a cup or so of broth to start; add white bread, and chopped eggs. Add chopped gizzards and livers if desired. Mix well until dressing is the desired texture. If dressing seem dry, add more broth until dressing is the texture that you want. For a dryer mixture, use less broth, for a moist mixture, use more broth. Sit aside.
FINAL PROCESS - Can be done the day of servingLightly rub chicken with margarine then sprinkle with paprika. Bake at 350 degree until done. The day of serving, cover and bake dressing until hot all the way through and the top and edges start to brown. Serve hot. Yield: 12 or more servings.
IMPORTANT TIPS TO REMEMBER
1. When using poultry and sage seasoning, use according to your taste. You may want to add more seasonings or less, just be careful not to add too much-- it will overpower the natural flavors. Seasonings make or break the flavor in corn bread dressing.
2. Make the dressing a day before serving. This gives the seasonings time to spread flavor throughout. Just make sure you cover and store in the refrigerator until ready to use.
3. For more flavor, cut up chicken gizzards and/or livers in dressing before baking.
4. Reserve some broth for left over dressing. Store broth in the refreg.
Treat your family to old-fashioned Chicken and Corn Bread Dressing.
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