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Old-Fashioned Cornbread Dressing
From Sonja

In my family, making this cornbread dressing was a fun thing for the older kids to do on Thanksgiving or Christmas morning.  To make the amount of cornbread dressing we required for a clan-get-together meal required enamel dish pans as the mixing utensil of choice.  The cornbread -- recipe available on this website -- was usually baked the previous evening. This is a recipe you can really get up to your elbows in.  If you prefer to be dainty, use a large mixing bowl and a sturdy wooden spoon.  The amounts of ingredients called-for can be doubled or tripled without much of a problem.  One Thanksgiving, my cousin Wesley manned the cutting board, chopping onions and celery, and I was up to my elbows in raw egg, chicken stock, cornbread and light bread (what we called commercial white bread).  My aunt was busy cooking, and she set Wesley, my cousin Frankie, and me to washing dishes.  Daddy came into the kitchen to help dry dishes, and Wesley and I got to playing Rap Jack with the dishcloths.  We got so wild that Daddy took to his heels and left the kitchen.  He told my uncle (his brother), "They're getting too rough in there for me."  A wet dishcloth can deliver a painful wallop if snapped just right.  Take it from someone who knows.

Old Fashioned Cornbread Dressing

1 pan baked cornbread, cooled
1 bunch celery, washed, trimmed, chopped
1 large loaf light bread (sandwich white bread)
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon salt
4 to 6 eggs
1 teaspoon powdered sage
1 teaspoon poultry seasoning
coarsely chopped meat of 1 boiled chicken or fryer chicken
1 to 2 large onions, chopped
chicken or turkey stock and pan drippings in which the chicken or turkey was cooked, or 2 to 3 cans commercial chicken stock

With hands, crumble cornbread and light bread together.  Add seasonings.  Stir in eggs, chicken meat, onions, celery, and moisten with the chicken stock or drippings.  Mixture will be soupy.  If it is dry, add more chicken stock.  Turn mixture into large, well-greased sheet cake pan or roasting pan.  Bake in preheated 350 degree oven for about one hour to one and a half hours or until top of dressing is golden brown.  If making giblet gravy, 1/2 to 3/4 cup of the dressing may be removed to stir into the giblet gravy to thicken it either before or after cooking, or at any time during the baking process.

Some members of our family liked to use squirrel meat in the place of chicken.  If you have an avid hunter in the family, this is a way to make use of wild game.


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