|Chicken and cornbread dressing in a casserole form and served with homemade gravy is pure comfort food anytime of the year. It's a perfect dish to carry to a potluck or church social too!|
Southern Chicken and Cornbread DressingI previously posted my Chicken and Herb Dressing recipe, because, while chicken and dressing is more traditionally made with cornbread, I happen to be a southern gal - yes born and bred - who loves herb and bread dressing.
I know. I am such a rebel.
Seriously though, that's the kind of dressing my southern born and bred Mama always made and what I grew up with. Mostly though, when I posted that herb dressing with chicken, I needed to use up a bunch of odds and ends pieces of bread that had accumulated in the pantry. And, that is one thing you can be absolutely certain of. We are all about using it up Down South. Okay. It might have also had a little somethin' to do with me being downright lazy and not feeling up to making a skillet of cornbread first too.
So here's the chicken and cornbread dressing because, yes we also do indeed love our cornbread - though you can get in a big ole argument with some southerners about that even. But guess what? I use both cornbread and bread in my chicken and cornbread dressing, cuz that's how we rebels roll.
You can use any kind of leftover chicken, boil a chicken, or grab one of those rotisserie chickens from the deli and let them do the work! Here I used about 3 pounds of chicken thighs that I roasted in a 425 degrees F oven for about 35 minutes or so. Use homemade chicken stock if you've got that, otherwise, a commercial broth is fine, just be mindful about the overall salt unless you're using a reduced sodium version.
Consistency is one of those areas that can take a few times with a dressing. Too much liquid and it's far too gooey. Not enough and it's way too dry. I used 4 cups of broth this time - here's the consistency. A little soupy, but not too much.
This produced a nice dressing that will hold together in squares as in the top picture, yet still be moist, as hopefully shown in the picture below.
Before turning it out into the casserole dish, you can mix it all together if you like, but I'm kinda into this concept of layering with the chicken sandwiched between the layers of dressing. Neither way is right or wrong, so do what you prefer. I do dressing first on the bottom layer, then topped that with the cooked chicken.
And then topped that with the rest of the dressing.
Bake it uncovered at 350 degrees F until bubbly and golden brown, about 45 minutes or so.
Recipe: Southern Chicken and Cornbread Dressing with Homemade Chicken Gravy©From the Kitchen of Deep South Dish
Prep time: 10 min |Cook time: 45 min | Yield: About 10 to 12 servings
For the Gravy:
- 3 cups of cooked, shredded chicken
- 1 pan of cornbread, cooked and crumbled (about 6 cups)
- 4 slices of bread, toasted and crumbled
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) of butter
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 1 cup of chopped celery
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt, or to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon of Cajun seasoning (like Slap Ya Mama), or to taste, optional
- 1/4 teaspoon of freshly cracked black pepper, or to taste
- 1 teaspoon of Bell's seasoning, or homemade copycat, optional
- 1 teaspoon of poultry seasoning
- 4 to 6 cups of chicken broth
- 3 eggs, beaten
- Additional butter, sliced, optional
- Homemade Gravy, recipe below
- 1/2 cup of fat (bacon drippings, canola oil, butter, or a combination)
- 1/2 cup of all purpose flour
- 2 cups (more or less) of room temperature chicken stock or broth
- Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper, to taste
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter a 9 x 13 inch oblong baking dish or coat with non-stick spray; set aside.
In a large bowl, combine the cornbread and bread. In a separate skillet, saute veggies in butter; let cool. Add to cornbread mix. Add 4 cups of the broth and let stand 5 mins. Add the beaten eggs; gently toss. This is where you fix the consistency. If you want a more fluffy stuffing, you'll use less stock. If you prefer a wetter stuffing, add additional stock as needed to reach desired consistency, taking care not to get too overly soupy! In the recipe pictured here I used 4 cups.
Add half of the dressing to the prepared baking dish, top with the shredded chicken, top with the remaining dressing on top and spread out, but do not pack down. Dot the top with slices of butter, and bake at 350 degrees F, uncovered, for about 40-45 minutes, or until light golden brown on top. Cook longer for a crunchy consistency on top. Let rest 5 to 10 minutes before serving.
For the gravy, heat the fat in a cast iron skillet over medium high heat. Stir in flour, cooking and stirring with a wooden spoon until fully incorporated. Continue cooking, stirring constantly until mixture turns a very light brown color. Reduce the heat if needed - just take care not to burn the roux! Remove skillet from the heat and turn heat source down to medium. Slowly begin adding in at least one half of the stock, stirring constantly until fully incorporated, adding more stock as needed to reach the desired consistency. Taste, season with salt and pepper as desired. Drizzle over individual servings of the chicken and dressing.
Tip: Use a 9 x 9 inch pan of homemade cornbread, or use the back of the bag recipe, or two boxes of Jiffy cornbread, made in a 9 x 9 inch glass baking dish. Can also substitute the large (16 ounce) bags of pre-seasoned Pepperidge Farm Cornbread Stuffing - just be sure to adjust seasonings since those are pre-seasoned crumbs.
Be sure to check out my 7 Top Tips to Perfect Your Holiday Stuffing. See my gravy tips for additional information.
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