Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Melba's Chicken and Dressin'

'Round here we don't call it "stuffing" we call it "dressin". Always have and probably always will. My fondest memories of my grandma are of us in the kitchen on Thanksgiving Day making her famous Chicken and Dressin'. I helped her with it one last time in 2007. I've been wanting to try to recreate this dish for a few years, but was always afraid that I wouldn't remember how and that I would somehow be disappointing her if it wasn't correct. This year I threw caution to the wind, and once I got started everything started coming back to me. It's actually a really simple recipe.

2 pans cornbread crumbled
6 slices day old bread cubed
1 white onion diced
3 stalks celery diced
3-4 hard boiled eggs diced (optional)
6 cups of chicken broth
1 tablespoon sage (approximate)
1 tablespoon poultry seasoning (approximate)
1/4 cup of butter
1 tablespoon of butter
1 pound of shredded chicken, white and dark meat
Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 425.

Saute celery and onion in one tablespoon of butter until translucent, set aside. Make 2 pans of cornbread according to the instructions, once cooled crumble into a large bowl. Add cubed bread, onion, celery, eggs, sage, poultry seasoning, salt. pepper and shredded chicken reserving some pieces for the top. Stir in chicken broth a cup or two at a time until you reach your desired consistency. I like my dressin' sticky so I use all 6 cups, but feel free to play around with it and use what you like. I left the eggs out of mine because I don't really use eggs unless absolutely necessary ha ha. They're gross. You can also add more or less sage/poultry seasoning, taste as you go.

Melt 1/4 cup of butter and grease the bottom and sides of a 9x13 baking dish, if you have butter left over stir it in to the dressin'. Pour the mixture in the pan and top with remaining pieces of chicken. Bake covered for 45 minutes. Remove the cover and bake for an additional 30 minutes or until the top is browned.

Voila! Melba's dressing can be yours. It's pretty simple but extremely delicious. My family loved it this year and it looks like I get to make it every year from now on. I should have taken a picture of the finished product but I didn't, so here are some pictures of my lovely granny instead.

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