Cornbread Dressing

I have had the priveledge of giving advice to a few young wives and I would have to say my favorite little tidbit is this...... learn to cook your husband's favorite dish that his mom makes.  Okay, I know you are thinking that is a bit too simple, but really how much love must you have for a person to want to be able to transport him to his childhood when he is 60 and his mom is long gone.  For my husband it was cornbread dressing.  Keep in mind my precious mother in law did not read nor write, but she was one of the wisest women I have ever known.  I watched her make this many times and am now so thankful for this dish.

This is before baking.  I was so excited about eating it I forgot the after picture.

Granny's Cornbread Dressing
1 whole chicken, washed and anything left inside removed
3 small onions, diced
4 ribs celery, diced
1/2 bell pepper, diced
4 green onions, green and white part
2 tablespoons diced jalepeno pepper
1 pan cornbread, any recipe works
Ground Sage

Since Granny didn't use a recipe, neither do I  but I tried to keep up with everything this time so I could give the recipe.  The first thing I do is make cornbread, I make it the day before putting it together.  Place the chicken in a stock pot and completely cover with water.  Add salt and pepper, probably around a tablespoon of each.  Simmer until chicken is falling apart when you touch it.  Crumble the cornbread, you can throw it in a food processor to get it really crumbled well.  Remove chicken from the pot leaving the broth.  Add onions, celery, bell pepper, green onions, and jalepeno.  Simmer until veggies are tender.  Using a slotted spoon add veggies to cornbread.  Remove chicken from bone and add to cornbread mixture.  Now you will begin ladeling chicken broth into cornbread mixture.  This is all about texture, the amount you add will depend on the consistency you like.  Add salt, pepper, and sage to taste.  I use a LOT of sage, it even changes the color of the dressing.  Just taste, taste, taste.  Everything in it is cooked so don't worry about eating raw ingredients.  Allow the dressing to sit at least an hour or so to soak up the broth allowing you to know whether you should add more or not.  I mix mine the day before I bake it because it seems to really let the flavors meld.  Bake on 350 degrees for an hour, or until golden brown on top.   I serve mine with gravy and cranberry sauce.


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