Being the true Southern girl that I am, I love chicken and dressing. It is, of course, dressing --- not stuffing. My Nonnie always made the absolute best chicken and dressing. It was a community favorite. I liked it warm or cold --- didn’t matter. She never had a recipe to my knowledge.
The next best chicken and dressing maker would have to be my Aunt Sue, the youngest of Nonnie’s daughters. Hers was always the star attraction at family gatherings, especially at Deer Camp Sunday. (That would be the Sunday preceding the opening day of deer season around here.) In fact, she would make at least two batches so there would be enough to go around. Her batches were probably about the size of a #2 washtub!
My sister, Becky, does a decent dressing as well. Not quite as good as Aunt Sue’s. That may just be my imagination, however. She’ll probably kill me for saying that! (Perhaps you shouldn’t tell her that I said that.) The talent of making dressing never fell to me unfortunately. As much as I like to cook, go figure! I never really tried very hard knowing full well that I could usually get my craving fixed by making sure to end up with Aunt Sue’s leftovers.
That all changed not too long ago when I discovered this slow cooker version. Each year at my school prior to Christmas break, the teachers potluck together for several days with what we call “Merry, Merry Munchies.” We have some great cooks there, so none of us goes hungry!
Mrs. Parker’s contribution that year was this delicious Crock Pot Chicken and Dressing that was so tasty I almost missed out on it entirely because those closest to the teacher’s lounge got their first. (You don’t get much farther away than my classroom. That’s normally a good thing, I suppose.) I did manage to scrape the bottom of the crock and decided that this was the solution to my dressing impairment.
Here’s her recipe with a few of my minor changes:
1 8-ounce pan cornbread (your recipe)
8 slices white bread (I substituted two ciabatta rolls that were in the freezer.)
3 stalks celery, chopped
1 teaspoon salt (not so much for me)
2 chopped hard-boiled eggs
4 eggs, beaten
1 medium onion, chopped**
1 1/2 – 2 teaspoons sage (I used poultry seasoning blend.)***
1 teaspoon pepper (freshly grated, please)
2 cans cream of chicken soup
2 cans chicken broth
2 cups cooked, chopped chicken (more or les)
Butter the inside of the Crock Pot. In a very large bowl, crumble the cornbread and white bread. Add the sage, pepper, celery and onion. Mix together well. Mix together the chicken broth, cream of chicken soup and beaten eggs. Add to bread mixture and stir well. Fold in the hard-boiled eggs and chicken. Pour all into the Crock Pot. Put slices of butter on the top (6-8). Cover and cook on HIGH for 2-3 hours or on LOW 4-5 hours. (I will make this us the day before it is needed, refrigerate it, then cook it. It will take an hour or so longer to cook because it comes out cold from the frig.) I suggest you taste it for seasoning before cooking, but you need to remember that there are raw eggs in it.
***I also added two-three leaves of fresh sage stuck into the top of the dressing.
You can slant the top of the Crock Pot toward the end of the cooking time (last 30 minutes) in order to brown the dressing. This makes enough dressing to feed 6 easily. I usually freeze a portion of it for baking at a later time. It’s good leftover, however.
You will need to check this for the desired consistency. You can add more broth if needed. Stir about half way through the cooking time so that the outside edges do not overcook. (Remember to turn the crock in order to avoid those hot spots.)I leave the chicken in good size pieces because Hubby likes it better that way.
Before closing, I just have to tell you about this great birthday giveaway that Jan is hosting over at The Polka Dot Barn. You will certainly want to go wish her a Happy Birthday and check out what she’s got all wrapped up just waiting for you.
I’m anxious to see what you have to say. A special thanks to those of you who have chosen to follow my rambling on this blog. I feel very humbled by your consideration.
Linked to: Tasty Tuesday , Tempt My Tummy Tuesday and Tuesdays at the Table.