Prep 1 hr 30 mins
Cook 1 hr
An old family recipe that's been tweaked little by little over the last 100 years. This makes 2 large pans about 1/2-3/4 filled. To relieve holiday stress make the pre-cooked dressing the week before Thanksgiving and freeze. Use one pan for Thanksgiving and one for Christmas. Begin defrosting 2 days before in the refrigerator. I split the prep process between 2 days. On the first day make the cornbread, boil the fryer, pick the meat and save the broth. The second day assemble and freeze. For OAMC split dressing into even smaller portions; may need to reduce bake time. My picture is of a smaller baked portion.
- 3 cups yellow cornmeal
- 1 cup flour
- 4 tablespoons sugar
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 3 cups buttermilk
- 4 large eggs
- 1⁄2 cup vegetable oil
FRYER AND BROTH
- 1 fryer (for 4 - 5 cups cooked chicken)
- water, to cover
- cornbread (see recipe above)
- 16 ounces jimmy dean fresh pork sausage (Regular or Sage)
- 2 medium onions, chopped
- 1 cup chopped celery
- 1 cup thin sliced green onion
- 1⁄4 cup butter (half stick, sometimes I use whole stick)
- 1⁄8-1⁄4 teaspoon sage
- 8 slices bread, decrusted and cubed (wheat or honey wheat)
- 1 (10 3/4 ounce) cancan cream of chicken soup, undiluted
- 1 egg
- 1 jalapeno pepper, chopped (optional)
- 5 cups chicken broth (more or less)
- salt and pepper
- (Make 1 day in advance to allow to dry slightly without being refrigerated.) Grease a 9x13 or 11x14 inch baking pan.
- In a large bowl, stir together cornmeal and next 4 ingredients. In a small bowl, whisk together buttermilk, eggs and oil. Pour wet mixture into dry and mix until just combined. (Note: the mixture should be moist, but not soupy). Pour cornmeal mixture into prepared baking pan. Bake in preheated oven 350 degrees for about 40 - 50 minutes or until golden around the edges and pick inserted into the center comes out clean.
- FRYER AND BROTH:.
- For ease, do this step 1 day ahead. Cut fryer in half or quarters then place in a large stockpot and add cold water just to cover. Cover with lid and bring to a simmer, cooking until tender, about 45 - 60 minutes.
- Remove chicken from pot and allow to cool to the touch, reserving broth. Discard skin then remove meat from the bone and chop into chunks. Measure and reserve 4 - 5 cups meat. Refrigerate.
- Strain the broth and refrigerate.
- Preheat oven 350 degrees. Heavily butter 2 9x13 or 11x14 inch baking pans; set aside.
- Crumble pre-baked cornbread into a very large mixing bowl. Add decrusted bread cubes.
- In a separate microwavable bowl add the 1/2 stick butter, chopped onions and celery. Loosely cover and microwave until tender about 8 - 10 minutes. Mixture will have rendered juices. Cool slightly and pour this mixture over cornbread mixture. Do not stir until instructed to do so.
- In a seperate medium microwavable bowl, cook in microwave the pork sausage until no longer pink, about 8 - 12 minutes; breaking into pieces and crumbling. Once cooked, drain well and add to cornbread/bread cubes/onion.
- Mix together undiluted cream of chicken soup with the 1 egg. Pour this over cornbread/bread cubes/onion/sausage.
- Skim fat from the reserved chicken broth, discarding the fat. Measure 5 cups of degreased broth and pour over cornbread/bread cubes/onion/sausage/soup.
- Add to the cornbread bowl, 4 - 5 cups cooked chicken meat, sage and optional jalapeno pepper.
- Salt and pepper to taste.
- With 2 large paddles or spoons, gently toss all ingredients together until thoroughly mixed. Ladle into prepared baking pans.
- Cover with plastic wrap then aluminum foil and freeze or bake immediately, approximately 1 hour until edges are browned and pick inserted in center comes out clean.
- NOTE: This can be made into one large disposable aluminum pan (11x13x3 inch). Increase baking time.