The day before Thanksgiving, 2017, we came home from a 4 month, life changing hospital stay with my sister.
I remember talking to my mom when we were in the hospital. We were heading home the next day without nursing care, a patient who needed 24 hour care, and no idea what life was going to look like. We were talking about what or even when we were going to have a meal, let alone shop for Thanksgiving food since we were all hands on deck at home, when my husband called to let me know that his mom, sister, and aunt planned to bring my family an entire Thanksgiving feast! It was a true blessing and I’m not sure that we would have prepared a Thanksgiving meal ourselves in those jam packed days of 2017.
This recipe is from the cookbook my mother in law gifted me where she shared her dressing recipe- the same one she made for us that year. I made a few slight changes that resulted in a lower calorie, whole food option. Like she said in her cookbook, it’s hard to get the consistency just right so you will get better with practice, but I typically reserve chicken broth just in case!
What Ingredients are in Cornbread Dressing?
Chicken, cornbread (recipe here), eggs, onions, celery, butter, sage, celery seed, and chicken broth.
You can definitely leave the chicken out, or add in turkey for the holiday, but in the south, Chicken n' Dressing is a thing. If you decide to go with chicken, I would make it a head of time to make preparing the dressing on Thanksgiving even easier. Cooking it in the pressure cooker- like the on here- is my go to shredded chicken method!
I use 2 batches of my cornbread recipe to crumble into the dressing. Again, making it a head of time is the best way to save less work for Thanksgiving day. You can make it months ahead and freeze it, or just a couple of days ahead!
Eggs bind it all together and without them, you won't have a casserole type dish. Blend them in well!
Onions, celery, butter, sage, celery seed, and chicken broth
The rest of the ingredients really make the dish! I like a lot of sage, but some people prefer no more than 1 Tablespoon. To me, these ingredients taste like Thanksgiving. Chicken broth is one of those things that you kind of have to go with on this one. If you make this ahead of time, save some broth to add to the mix the day of so that the dressing isn't overly dry. Reheating leftover dressing is another time when you want more broth, but add it slowly so the dressing doesn't become too soggy.
- 2 recipes of cornbread crumbled
- 2 large eggs beaten
- 1 large onion chopped
- 2 pounds of chicken breast cooked and shredded (to cook, add 2 chicken breasts to 6-8 cups of water, salt and pepper and boil or cook in a slow cooker/pressure cooker)
- 4 ribs celery chopped
- 1 Tablespoon Butter
- 2 Tablespoons sage
- 1 teaspoon celery seed optional
- 6 cups chicken broth can use water in pot after cooking chicken breasts
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- In cast iron skillet, melt 1 Tablespoon butter over medium heat and saute chopped celery and chopped onion until they are translucent (about 5 minutes).
- In a large bowl, shred chicken (precook in pressure cooker or slow cooker for ease).
- Crumble in cornbread, add all other ingredients and mix well.
- Spoon mixture into a prepared baking dish.
- Add the 6 cups of chicken broth, may need more if the mixture is dry.
- Bake at 350 for 40 minutes or until golden brown. Careful not to over cook!
- Remove from oven and serve right away! If making ahead of time, reserve some chicken broth (2 more cups) to pour over the dressing before reheating.