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Saturday, December 24, 2011

Southern Style Cornbread Dressing




While folks in other parts of the world are having savory bread dressings and rice dressings and various bread "stuffings," the people in the South are VERY adamant about having cornbread dressing as a necessary side dish to the Holiday turkey!  In fact, this may be THE quintessential Southern side dish of the holiday season!!

This is not exactly a "make at the last minute" dish; BUT it is one that you can certainly make a day ahead of time and refrigerate or freeze until you are ready to pop it into the oven for the big meal. And that turns out to be a big plus when you have so  many other things going on with family, food, and other activities that need your attention.

Here's a video tutorial for this recipe.

Ingredients:
  • 1 pan of cornbread
  • 1 large onion, chopped (about 1 1/2 cups)
  • 2-3 ribs celery, chopped (about 1 cup)
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic
  • chicken meat
  • chicken broth
  • fresh sage, chopped (about 2 tsp)
  • salt, pepper, poultry seasoning
  • chopped green onions (1/4 - 1/3 cup)
  • 2 raw eggs

 
Step-by-Step:
Prepare a pan of your favorite cornbread (my family likes Jiffy).
Make a pan of your favorite cornbread
Prepare your chicken broth.  This may take different forms.  Some of you may boil a chicken with seasoning to make a rich broth.  Well it just so happens that when I looked at chickens the other day, a whole, raw chicken was more expensive than buying a cooked and seasoned rotisserie chicken.... so you know which way this story will go.  I bought that, used some of the meat for another meal, and now I'm going to use the rest for this broth.  (stretching the dollar, folks!)  

I cut the majority of the rest of the chicken off of it (since it's already cooked), and threw the carcass in the pot with some chicken broth, water, seasonings - salt, pepper, garlic powder, poultry seasoning.
I brought it to a boil, then back to a medium-simmer for quite a while until reduced and rich.  It will need a while to extract the flavoring out of the chicken bones.
By now, my cornbread has cooked, and cooled a bit.  Golden brown and delicious!
Crumble the cornbread.  Try not to eat too much of this in the process.  Yumm... warm cornbread.
Strain the broth to separate it from the bones, skin, etc.
Add the cooked, chopped chicken back into the broth to get all juicy again.
Looks pretty good, huh?  Nice and rich. Pretty good for a left over chicken carcass!!
Saute the celery and onions in butter.  I start with the celery first for a few minutes since it will take longer to soften than the onions.
2-3 ribs of celery, chopped
Here are the onions....
1 1/2 cups chopped onion
After another few minutes, the garlic.
2-3 cloves of chopped garlic
Here they are after sauteing on low for a while - soft and translucent.
Add the vegetables to the crumbled cornbread.
Add the chicken from the broth.  Add as much or little as you like.  I used about 2 cups of meat.  Some folks of the older generation prepared meatless dressings, but I grew up with the addition of meat.
Add the broth to the mix.  I had 2 cups of the final broth that I added here.
2 cups chicken broth
Mix.  It will be VERY soupy... but this is good.  The cornbread will soak up a LOT, and you don't want the final baked dressing to be dry.
Stir in some chopped green onion. 
1/4 - 1/3 cup chopped green onions
Add in some chopped sage.  Careful!  It's pretty strong and floral.  Taste and season at this point.  Salt, pepper, poultry seasoning, etc. 
2 tsp chopped sage
Add in the two beaten eggs.  This will help the dressing stay light and fluffy.
2 eggs, beaten
And here is the dressing that is ready for either the oven or the fridge/freezer.
Bake the dressing at 350 F for about 30 - 45 minutes.  Yes, that is a BIG range, but it depends on the quantity that you are baking.... most likely closer to 45 minutes for a large casserole dish; but significantly less for an individual casserole dish or ramekin as shown below.  You want the top to be golden brown and nice and crusty, the inside cooked through and set - not jiggly. 
So here's the close up.... nicely browned, some crunchy edges, lots of seasoning throughout.
- but moist and flavorful in the middle.

Now then.  Doesn't that make everything better?  Sure is good to live in the South!!

Method:  Prepare a pan of your favorite cornbread.  Prepare your chicken broth.  If using a whole chicken, once the meat is cooked, remove it to another bowl so it won't be overcooked and dry.  Crumble the cornbread.  Strain the broth to separate it from the bones, skin, etc. if you are using a whole chicken.  Add the cooked, chopped chicken back into the broth to get all juicy again. 

Saute the celery and onions in butter. I start with the celery first for a few minutes since it will take longer to soften than the onions. After another few minutes, the garlic.  Add the vegetables to the crumbled cornbread.   Add the chicken from the broth. Add as much or little as you like. I used about 2 cups of meat.  Add the broth to the mix. I had 2 cups of the final broth that I added here.
Mix. It will be VERY soupy... but this is good. The cornbread will soak up a LOT, and you don't want the final baked dressing to be dry.  Stir in some chopped green onion.   Add in some chopped sage. Careful! It's pretty strong and floral. Taste and season at this point. Salt, pepper, poultry seasoning, etc.   Add in the two beaten eggs. This will help the dressing stay light and fluffy.

Bake the dressing at 350 F for about 30 - 45 minutes. Yes, that is a BIG range, but it depends on the quantity that you are baking.... most likely closer to 45 minutes for a large casserole dish; but significantly less for an individual casserole dish or ramekin as shown below. You want the top to be golden brown and nice and crusty, the inside cooked through and set - not jiggly.

Order the Menu Musings Cookbook!

Looking for more dishes to serve on your holiday table?
Butter Pecan Sweet Potatoes or Video Recipe to Butter Pecan Sweet Potatoes
 
Roasted Cornish Hens

Pumpkin Ravioli with Brown Butter and Crispy Sage Leaves
Video Recipe for Pumpkin Ravioli with Brown Butter and Crispy Sage Leaves

Creamed Spinach

Tomato, Zucchini, and Ricotta Tarts

12 comments:

  1. Looks delicious. Would love for you to share your pictures with us over at foodepix.com.

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  2. A great idea, but I'll make my own cornbread. Mixes have too many unknowns in them, plus too much sugar for this Southern girl!

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    1. Southern Girl.... I bet it will be great with your homemade cornbread!! I have a lot of readers, however, with limited culinary confidence... So I was trying to make the recipe as non-intimidating as possible to get new cooks into the kitchen. Thanks for dropping by. :) Julie

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  3. This is exactly the same recipe my mom had many years ago minus the sage. She made it the day before and put it in the fridge, then baked it early the next morning. It is delicious!

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    Replies
    1. You MUST be from the South! LOL Julie

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  4. no, not Jiffy! That's like cake :(

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    Replies
    1. Notice the instructions read "Prepare a pan of your favorite cornbread." I won't criticize your family's preferences if you won't criticize mine.

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  5. To save some time I add all the vegetables to my cornbread. They get cooked twice so there isn't any undercooked onion or celery. Just a thought to put out there.

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  6. A trick to making good chicken broth out of a rotisserie chicken carcus is to brown the bones in the oven at 400 degrees for 20 minutes, then throw it in the crock pot with the veggies. Makes a big flavor difference.

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  7. There is a packaged cornbread mix named Glory that is so close to grandmas', you won't know the difference.

    ReplyDelete

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