Recently on a cool rainy day my mother sent me a text saying “Mmmm… doesn’t Mayme’s Chicken & Dressing sound good right now?” From that moment I was craving my Grandmother’s Chicken & Dressing. Now that we are finally into November and the countdown to Turkey Day has officially started I wanted to share this beloved recipe for my Grandmother Chicken & Dressing with all of you….
While I’m a lover of all things Turkey my Grandparents are not Turkey people and for them a holiday meals always consisted of Chicken & Dressing and Ham. This Chicken and Dressing is one of my Mothers favorites and since her birthday usually falls on or around Thanksgiving Day she always requests this as her birthday meal. My Grandmothers Chicken and Dressing recipe is simple and easy to make requiring just a little prep work the day before.
This wonderful Chicken & Dressing recipe all starts with my Great-Grandmother Long’s Cornbread Recipe. My Great-Grandmother Long was my Grandfathers Mother and he often talks about all her cooking. This cornbread recipe is a very simple one consisting of white corn meal, very little flour, baking soda, salt, and buttermilk. There is no egg in my Great Grandmothers original cornbread recipe. Now when my Grandmother makes cornbread she will sometimes whisk in 1 egg with the buttermilk and according to my Mother my Papa would always comment “I can taste that egg in that cornbread.” When I made this cornbread recipe I kept it traditional and left out the egg.
To have enough cornbread for the dressing you will need to make about 3 batches of Great Grandmother Longs Cornbread… 3 batches will make a little more than needed but this cornbread is so good you will keep sneaking bites while cooking.
I hope you will enjoy these two great family recipes as much as I do.
Great-Grandmother Longs Cornbread
3/4 Cup White Cornmeal
1-1/2 Tablespoons Flour
1/2 Teaspoon Salt
1/4 Teaspoon Baking Soda
1 Cup Buttermilk
2 Tablespoons Bacon drippings (or shortening )
Preheat oven to 450 degree along with a 8 inch heavy cast-iron skillet.
Sift dry ingredients into a bowl. Stir in the buttermilk. Add the drippings into a VERY hot skillet and then pour in the batter. Bake at 450 degrees for 20-25 minutes until browned.
**Note: The “Egg” Debate
My Great Grandmother Longs cornbread recipe originally doesn’t call for an egg. But when my Grandmother would make this she would sometimes whisk 1 egg in with the buttermilk… So whisk in 1 egg if you like.
My Grandmothers Chicken & Dressing
1 Whole Chicken (about 4 pounds) Boiled and shredded
Reserve the Chicken Broth
7 cups Cornbread, crumbled*
1 Medium Onion, chopped
1/2 Cup Celery, chopped
1 Tablespoon Butter
2 Teaspoons Rubbed Sage (to taste)
1 Teaspoon Black Pepper
Salt to Taste
2-1/2 – 3 Cups Chicken Broth
- Note : The cornbread is best if made the day before making the dressing. If not using homemade cornbread uses 3 packages of Martha Whites White corn bread mix.
Make 3 batches of Great Grandmother Longs Cornbread (or 3 packages of white corn bread mix) the day before making the dressing.
Place the whole chicken in a large stock pot and cover with cold water. Bring to a boil and cook for about 30-40 minutes until the chicken is cooked through. (My mom always said once the chicken is floating it’s done.) Remove the chicken from the broth, cover with foil, and allow it to rest. Once the chicken is cool to the touch shred in to bite sized pieces.
Add the chopped onion and celery to a sauté pan with one tablespoon of butter and a pinch of salt and pepper. Sauté until just tender, about 5 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 375.
In a large mixing bowl add the crumbled cornbread, sautéed onions and celery, shredded chicken, black pepper, and 2 teaspoons of rubbed sage. Mix everything together, add in 2 1/2 – 3 cups of the reserved chicken broth and salt and pepper to taste. Then mix in 1 beaten egg.
Add the chicken and dressing to a 9×13 baking dish and bake at 375 degrees for 30-35 minutes.