Prep1 hr 30 mins
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
- 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. 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 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.