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Old 11-25-2013, 09:05 AM
 
Location: Wonderland
40,885 posts, read 32,642,286 times
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OK, I decided to share this cornbread dressing recipe because I am afraid it will be lost if I don't. It hasn't been written down till I did so a couple of years ago, but it's a very old Southern recipe from Louisiana. It's at least 100 years old. Both my family and my husband's family is from the same area of Louisiana and both families had very similar cornbread recipes but my mother in law's was absolutely THE BEST so I finally sat with her and wrote down every step.

It's an ordeal but WELL WORTH IT. If you're looking for an authentic, down home southern dressing recipe for cornbread dressing, you can't get much more authentic than this! Notice that there aren't really any spices in this recipe (don't worry - it's very flavorful) - I guess this is because back in the day, spices were a luxury that people didn't always have available.

Neva's Deluxe Cornbread Dressing

Whole chicken, boiled and cut up (boil in water, with skin on, plenty of salt and pepper) - don't dice too small.

Two skillets of cornbread (you can make more and make a LOT of this dressing because it freezes well so you can save the extra for Christmas)

6-8 eggs boiled and mashed fine with a fork

Small head of celery, diced finely, boiled in water with a pad of butter till tender, then strained off

Two large yellow onions, diced finely, boiled in water with a pad of butter till tender, then strained off


Crumble the cornbread very finely. Mix all ingredients except chicken together in a very large bowl or pan. You can pour some of the vegetable water in to moisten as well as the 7-8 or so ladles of chicken broth. The mixture should be loose but not soupy.

Salt to taste. A sprinkling of fresh ground pepper over the top is good too. You can try to add other spices but I promise you that this is delicious without any other seasonings. Hard to believe but true.

Spoon into baking pans and don't pack down, just smooth the top down. Top with large chunks of chicken. Don't make dressing too deep in pan - about two inches max.

Save some chicken, a couple of finely diced/mashed boiled eggs, and some of the cornbread/vegetable mixture aside to mix into gravy. I also save the giblets. I dice the chicken and the giblets up VERY finely to mix into the gravy. The gravy really is only 1-2 cups of the dressing, the small chicken pieces, two mashed boiled eggs, a couple of spoonfuls of the veggies and chicken broth as needed. You can add a thickener if you like, but if you add enough of the dressing mixture (mostly cornbread) you won't need much thickener. Add a little at a time.

This takes all day to make but it makes a LOT and like I said, it freezes well, so I just make up enough for Thanksgiving and Christmas and freeze it.

Enjoy!
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Old 11-25-2013, 03:20 PM
 
Location: Heart of Dixie
12,448 posts, read 10,126,539 times
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When you boil the celery/onions aren't you losing a lot of the flavor potential into the water?

My mother makes something similar but she covers the chicken with the dressing so the chicken doesn't dry-out during baking.
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Old 11-25-2013, 03:57 PM
 
Location: Wonderland
40,885 posts, read 32,642,286 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dirt Grinder View Post
When you boil the celery/onions aren't you losing a lot of the flavor potential into the water?

My mother makes something similar but she covers the chicken with the dressing so the chicken doesn't dry-out during baking.
I don't put a lot of water in the onions or celery - it's really just covering them and simmering them.

And I didn't clarify, but I cover the dressing with aluminum foil till the last ten minutes or so of baking.
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Old 11-25-2013, 04:36 PM
 
Location: Heart of Dixie
12,448 posts, read 10,126,539 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KathrynAragon View Post
I don't put a lot of water in the onions or celery - it's really just covering them and simmering them.
I suppose I would reserve the liquid and add it with the chicken broth.

I certainly want to give it a try - it's interesting to see how flavor profiles have evolved over time.
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Old 11-25-2013, 05:49 PM
 
Location: Wonderland
40,885 posts, read 32,642,286 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dirt Grinder View Post
I suppose I would reserve the liquid and add it with the chicken broth.

I certainly want to give it a try - it's interesting to see how flavor profiles have evolved over time.
Oh yes, you can use the liquid - any of the liquid. It's all good.

In fact, today, I used broth instead of water with butter to simmer the onions and celery and I am sure that will taste great too.

I better not mess too much with the original recipe though or my husband will be able to tell the difference and he won't be happy! He wants it to taste exactly the same every year!

This is a very rich, moist, chickeny flavored dressing - that's why it isn't lacking in flavor even though it has none of the traditional "stuffing" or "dressing" spices. If you try it and like it, let me know - and if you do anything else to it and it's good, I'd love to hear your ideas as well.
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Old 01-24-2014, 11:26 AM
 
6,940 posts, read 8,872,935 times
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My question is, do you use plain or sweet cornbread?
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Old 01-24-2014, 01:59 PM
 
Location: Texas
1,270 posts, read 1,250,937 times
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Plain.
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Old 01-24-2014, 04:56 PM
 
Location: N of citrus, S of decent corn
34,531 posts, read 42,694,765 times
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OMG. I'm a Yankee with very preconceived notions of what stuffing needs to be, which is not corn bread, but I want to try the southern, corn bread kind, so this one is the one I'll use. Thanks Katherine.
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Old 01-24-2014, 05:13 PM
 
Location: League City, Texas
2,813 posts, read 4,310,305 times
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KathrynAragon--that's pretty similar to my recipe, which is by way of north Mississippi/West Tennessee. The main difference is that I do use a good amount of sage, & for thanksgiving, I use turkey giblets cooked & cut up in the dressing. The rest of my recipe is a secret.

It's funny--most people are confused at the use of boiled eggs in the dressing! But that's how we have always done it.

Please folks--if you do decide to make a southern style dressing, do not--I repeat, do not--use sweet cornbread! Not no, but hail no!

I like to make the cornbread a day or two ahead if time so it can dry out. And yes, you actually can use a cornbread mix if you wish. Preferably white cornmeal or white cornbread mix.
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Old 01-24-2014, 05:21 PM
 
Location: Florida (SW)
38,422 posts, read 18,177,990 times
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Thank you for sharing this treasured family recipe....I have book marked it for next year! It sounds delicious.
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