Monday, November 21, 2011

Chicken and Dressing

Just in time for Thanksgiving I offer you a southern tradition, cornbread dressing. This recipe is from my sister, Gale. She usually gets recruited to make the dressing for the family functions, although all of my sisters can cook up some tasty dressing, Gale's is always delicious and moist. No need for gravy to juice this stuff up. It has a perfect consistency and is packed with flavor. I highly recommend picking up some fresh sage to add to the dried rubbed sage. Fresh sage is so aromatic and flavorful, it enhances the dish tremendously.
This recipe is a guideline. Dressing is one of those things that once you make it the first time, if it isn't perfectly suited to your taste buds, you can tweak it the next time. Everybody has a slightly different combination to make theirs unique. Here's a really fantastic way to begin, it don't need anything to improve it in my opinion, only a plate and a fork!

 Boil 4 chicken leg quaters and one breast in a large pot full of water. I also add celery tops and some onion, salt and pepper to taste. You will use this broth plus you may need some canned broth.

10 cups cornbread
6  left over biscuits or dinner rolls or you can use 6 pieces of loaf bread
1  sleeve of saltines crushed
1  medium onion chopped
2  ribs celery, finely chopped, you may use more if you wish
2 Tbsp seasoned salt
1 Tbsp  lemon pepper
2 Tbsp black pepper
3 Tbsp rubbed sage, I like to use some fresh sage and parsely if I have it. You may also want to use more or less sage to your taste.
4  eggs beaten
12 to 15 cups of broth, depending on how moist you like your dressing.
Mix all ingredients except eggs. Taste and adjust seasonings. (very important)
Add eggs and chicken meat you have removed from bones.

This is enough for an 11" by 13" cake pan and a 2 qt corning ware casserole dish. You may want to halve the recipe unless you are feeding a crowd.
 If you wish you can use a larger flatter pan instead of 9x13. I prefer my dressing cooked in a shallow pan to prevent the center from being too mushy. (my tip, sorry Gale!)
Cook in a preheated 350 degree oven until edges a browned and center is set, usually about 30 minutes in an undisturbed oven.Too many door openings affects cooking time.

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