Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner may be the only time you eat Southern cornbread dressing with chicken, but it doesn’t have to be.
Cornbread dressing is very easy to make and tastes wonderful any day of the year.
Though there are different ways to make chicken and dressing, and some quicker than others, I like traditional Southern style.
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What is Southern Cornbread Dressing?
Southern style has cornbread. Some Southern cornbread dressing recipes only include cornbread. Others also add white bread or an herb stuffing mix.
I use cornbread and Pepperidge Farm Herb Seasoned Classic Stuffing, and it tastes truly amazing. The recipe is a family favorite that my mother used to make every Thanksgiving.
My mom had a knack for jotting down the ingredients needed from the grocery store for recipes. I discovered a few of her ingredient lists in her cookbooks. But she didn’t tend to record her recipes.
Mother’s youngest sister has always made her dressing the same way as my mom. However, she has passed the holiday cooking to others in the family. So I’m sharing this family recipe with you and hope that you, too, will enjoy it as well.
How to Choose the Chicken for the Dressing
Chicken and dressing can be made with a whole chicken or parts of the chicken. For example, some people prefer only white meat. If that describes you, use chicken breasts.
Others like dark meat and would rather have a dressing with chicken legs and thighs.
However, I’ve chosen the whole chicken for this recipe because I like both white and dark meat in my dressing.
What to Look for on a Whole Chicken Package
Typical details I look for on a whole chicken package are:
- No Added Hormones
- 100% Natural
- No Artificial Ingredients
- No Preservatives
- Chicken With Giblets and Neck
What Can You Do With Giblets and Neck?
Make giblet gravy to go with the chicken and dressing. If you do this, cook the giblets separate from the whole chicken.
Chicken and dressing topped with rich gravy is very good. The giblets in a gravy are first boiled then chopped up and cooked in the gravy.
Hint: Check inside the chicken for the neck and giblets before cooking the chicken. It can be quite funny to cook your chicken and then to find out you forgot to take the neck and giblets out from the middle of (inside) the chicken.
You can cook the neck and giblets in the stockpot with the chicken. Don’t gag, but some folks actually enjoy eating the chicken liver and gizzards.
Does eating anything with chicken giblets and neck make you lose your appetite? If so, feel free to discard them.
How to Season Chicken and Dressing
Basically, salt, pepper, and poultry seasoning. A lot of people use sage in their cornbread dressing. I don’t unless I’m using poultry seasoning.
What is Sage?
Sage is one of the ingredients in poultry seasoning, a popular ingredient for the famous Southern cornbread stuffing or dressing.
I don’t care for sage too much. There is an exception though. It’s not so overpowering in poultry seasoning, so I include the seasoning in my chicken and dressing.
What to Do If You Added Too Much Sage
Have you ever eaten turkey and dressing and all of a sudden, you had a strong taste in your mouth?
Possibly, it was because someone liked the sage so much that they thought a little more would be even better.
There are possible solutions, however, if you make chicken and dressing and overdid it with the sage or poultry seasoning. Check out the solutions suggested by SPICEography.
Which is better, cornbread or cornbread mixed with the herb stuffing?
My opinion is the mixed, although my maternal grandmother’s Southern cornbread dressing always tasted very good. And hers was made with cornbread without the herb stuffing. I suppose that back then Pepperidge Farms hadn’t yet invented their herb stuffing mix.
Grocery List for this Recipe
- A young chicken (Why? It’s bigger than a hen. That means more meat.)
- 2 6-ounce packages of Martha White Yellow Cornbread Mix (This kind doesn’t have sugar. Jiffy is a favorite brand of mine, but it has a little sweetness. Or if you want, make cornbread from scratch.)
- 1 14-Ounce package Pepperidge Farm Herb Stuffing Mix (I used two cups of the herb stuffing mix, but you can use more if you think you have too much broth.)
- 2 bunches green onions
- 1 bunch celery
- 1 dozen eggs
- poultry seasoning
- black pepper
- 3 32-ounce containers low sodium chicken broth
How to Make Chicken and Dressing
The old-fashioned traditional way to make chicken and dressing takes a little extra time because of boiling and deboning chicken. To begin with, I want to share with you some do-ahead prep tips.
Do-ahead steps make the whole chicken and dressing process easier. For instance, boil the chicken and bake the cornbread the day before you prepare the dressing.
The following ahead-of-time steps (you’ll want to do them to save time on the cooking day) include:
- Boil the chicken.
- Bake the cornbread.
- Boil and chop the eggs.
- Debone the chicken.
- Crumble the cornbread.
- Chop the veggies (onions, celery).
- Mix all ingredients well and pour into a large rectangular metal pan or foil pan.
- Press the chicken into the top of the dressing until the top is mostly covered with pieces of chicken.
Store the pan of dressing in the fridge overnight. The next day, bake at 375 degrees for 45 minutes.
You’ll be so glad you cooked the chicken and did the prep for the chicken and dressing ahead of time.
Making chicken and dressing is really not hard at all. But it is time consuming. However, you’ll save yourself some stress by doing the do-ahead steps.
Southern Chicken and Dressing
Chicken and Dressing with Hetb Stuffing
- 1 Pkg Young whole chicken
- 3/4 Tablespoon Salt
- 2 6-ounce Pkg Martha White Yellow Cornbread Mix
- 3 Each Large Eggs
- 2 Cups Pepperidge Farms Herb Stuffing Mix
- 1 Cup Chopped Green Onions
- 3/4 Cup Chopped Celery
- 3 32-ounce carton Low Sodium Chicken Broth (use 2-1/2 cartons)
- 3/4 Tablespoon Pepper
- 2 Teaspoon Poultry Seasoning
Before putting the chicken into a stockpot, take out the neck and giblets from the inside of the chicken (save for cooking giblet gravy).
Put the whole chicken into a stockpot, cover with water, add the salt, and turn the burner on high until boiling.
Turn burner on low to medium and cook for about 30 minutes or until done.
While the chicken is boiling, mix the cornbread according to the package directions and bake.
When adding the two cornbread mixes, remember to double the milk and eggs required for each package
When the chicken is done, transfer it to a large bowl to cool down enough so that you can debone it.
Save the broth and set aside for the dressing.
Debone the chicken, and discard the fat and bones.
Boil the eggs, peel, and chop.
Crumble the cornbread and add the Pepperidge Farms stuffing mix with it.
Add the eggs to the cornbread mixture.
Chop the onions and celery and add to the cornbread mixture.
Then add the pepper and the poultry mix with the cornbread mixture and pour the mixture into a metal baking pan.
Place chicken pieces into the top of the cornbread mixture.
Bake at 375° for 45 minutes or until done.
It’s best to make chicken and dressing at least a day ahead of when you plan to serve it. After you mix the broth from the cooked chicken and the second 32-ounce carton of chicken broth with the cornbread mixture, you may prefer not to add the third carton of broth.
Let the chicken and dressing set overnight then consider adding the third carton (or at least half of it) of broth the next day before baking the dressing. It’s much better to eat a dressing that’s a little moist rather than dry.
You may think at first that you’re adding too much broth to this recipe. However, chicken and dressing tends to dry out easily if it doesn’t have enough broth.
I used the broth from the chicken cooked in the stockpot in addition to 2-1/2 32-ounce cartons of low-sodium broth. The dressing tasted delicious, perfectly moist, and not too dry.
Other Casseroles You May Like
A Breakfast Casserole
I do love breakfast anytime of the day. So, of course, I had to start with this delicious dish.
The next casserole with bacon and green beans is great for lunch or dinner.
Casseroles can make a convenient meal-in-one for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. But when the casserole doesn’t include meat like these squash and broccoli and corn dressing dishes, simply add bacon.
Visit Full Plate Thursday to see more delicious recipes.
Miz Helen’s Country Cottage
Years ago holiday casseroles were often cooked in Pyrex dishes. It’s so different these days in that foil pans are usually used to bake casseroles. And they are very handy to take to parties.
Save yourself a trip to the supermarket, and order the foil pans from Amazon. Shown below is a link to order 20 disposable foil pans with lids.
A Family Heritage Story About the Women in My Family Who
Annually Cooked Chicken and Dressing for the Holidays
Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays mean different things for people. I love being around family, cousins, aunts and uncles, and friends during the holidays. That probably has a lot to do with my mother growing up in a family of ten children.
My mom and her siblings stayed close all of their lives. Every Christmas Eve night when I was growing up, we made the trip to my maternal grandmother’s home. It still amazes me how we all crowded into her little house, all ten children and grandchildren.
On Christmas Day my family exchanged gifts then went to my paternal grandmother’s home to celebrate with my dad’s family.
Some Celebrate Holidays and Others Don’t
Families celebrate the holidays in different ways. Some don’t celebrate Thanksgiving or Christmas. Then there are individuals who feel lonely during these festive seasons.
No matter what your circumstances are, I invite you to take a moment to think of a food that makes you happy. That’s what this little family heritage story is about. Chicken and dressing is a dish that brings me happy thoughts.
Reason You Are Visiting This Page
Perhaps you have visited this page because you happen to be my daughter, granddaughter, niece or cousin. Keep this recipe, and make it at least once a year.
Or maybe you have visited this blog because you love to read about family heritage stories centered around holiday food.
Chicken and Dressing Recipe
My mother, (Nana/Aunt Myrl), made this chicken and dressing recipe for Thanksgiving. You can make it any day of the year. It’s that good.
Though I’m sure she made the dressing recipe for Christmas many times, she was ready for her homemade stew by the time Christmas arrived.
Pass this Recipe Down
Pass this recipe down to your daughters and granddaughters. And tell them the stories about the holidays, the laughter and funny stories you remember, and the favorite recipes.
Remember to mention our grandmother who lost her husband when the youngest of their ten was only three weeks old. She continued to raise her children alone, teaching them about the Gospel of Jesus Christ. She lived by faith, had great faith, and was a praying woman.
There were times she had little to feed her children. But she would set the table and serve what she had.
She was Momma to her children, Grandmother or MawMaw to her grandchildren. She was loved by all.
My grandmother cooked chicken and dressing more than one day a year or just at Thanksgiving. The table at the annual Christmas Eve family gathering always was set with a large pan of her own chicken and dressing. Chicken and dressing continued to be included at the annual Christmas family event through the years.
Got a warmhearted family holiday food story you want to share with me? Share it. If you’ll put it in the comment area below on this page, others can read and enjoy your own memorable holiday story. Thanks so much.