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An Old-Fashioned Cornbread Dressing Recipe, Southern-Style

Holle loves to cook. She creates a lot of delicious recipes and enjoys sharing them.

My old-fashioned southern cornbread dressing. Yum!

My old-fashioned southern cornbread dressing. Yum!

Old-Fashioned, Southern-Style, Gummy Cornbread Dressing

Welcome to my online cooking school for American recipes! Today's lesson involves two Southern food favorites: cornbread and dressing. This recipe is an integral part of Southern culinary arts. You don't have to attend culinary school to learn to make it, however.

This is an old recipe for real old-fashioned Southern cornbread dressing—the dressing my mother and grandmother always made at Thanksgiving and Christmas. If you’re searching for a low-calorie or low-fat recipe, this ain't it! This is one of those twice-a-year splurges that's full of fat and calories and rich in savory, tantalizing tastes and aromas—one of the best American recipes of all.

The first thing you need to do is to make your cornbread. You’ll need an old-fashioned 12-inch iron skillet to get the right crust. Oil the skillet with about ¼ cup of vegetable oil (I like to use corn oil for this) and pre-heat it in the oven to 400 degrees until it’s good and hot before you add your batter. (You can also do this on the stovetop on high for 2-3 minutes.) This will make your cornbread crustier. While the skillet is pre-heating, mix your cornbread. Do not use packaged cornbread mix. That's one of my cooking no-nos!

Southern Cornbread Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups self-rising buttermilk cornmeal
  • 2 cups self-rising flour
  • Pinch of salt
  • Pepper to taste
  • 2 beaten eggs
  • ¼ cup of vegetable oil
  • 3 ½ or 4 cups whole buttermilk

Instructions:

  1. While your skillet is pre-heating, mix together the dry ingredients.
  2. Mix the eggs, buttermilk, and oil together in a separate bowl, and add to the dry ingredients slowly, mixing as you do so.
  3. Remove the skillet from the heat and tilt it around to coat the sides with the oil.
  4. Add the cornbread batter and bake at 400 degrees until it's a nice golden brown—about 50 minutes.

Old Fashioned Southern Cornbread Dressing Recipe

Ingredients:

  • The cornbread you made
  • A large onion
  • At least six cups of chicken stock (see below)
  • ½-1 cup of diced celery
  • ¼ cup of real butter
  • 2 large eggs
  • sage, salt, and black pepper to taste

A Note About Chicken Stock:

You’ll need to make your chicken stock first. Sure, you can use canned chicken broth, but it won’t be nearly as good! You’ll need about 7 or 8 cups of stock for the dressing. From my experience, the best, richest stock is made from chicken backs. Place 5 or 6 backs in 10 cups of water. Add salt and pepper and boil, covered, until chicken is done. I always add a little granulated chicken bouillon to my stock for even more flavor. When the stock is done, let it cool. Remove any meat and discard the skin and bones.

Instructions:

  1. Crumble your cornbread into a greased metal casserole pan. Don’t use pyrex – most of it is safe to only 350 degrees, and I cook my dressing at 400 degrees. I like a crusty outside and a soft inside.
  2. Chop a large onion and sauté it with ½ to 1 cup of diced celery in ¼ cup of real butter. Cook until soft. Add the entire ingredients of the pan to the cornbread crumbs, butter and all.
  3. Now add your stock. Start off with 6 cups. Mix it well with the other ingredients and let it rest for 10 minutes. Add another cup of stock and mix well. Also, add the chicken meat you got from the backs. This will add extra flavor to your dressing.
  4. Beat two large eggs and add to the mixture. Mix well again.
  5. Add two teaspoons of poultry seasoning, one teaspoon sage, one teaspoon of salt, and ½-one teaspoon black pepper, depending on your taste preference.
  6. You don’t want your dressing mix to be too stiff. If it is, add more stock or canned chicken broth. If it gets too soupy, don’t panic. Just add some crushed saltine crackers to the mix.
  7. Bake at 400 degrees for about 40-50 minutes. The edges should be brown, but the dressing should be soft.
  8. To save time, you can make your cornbread ahead of time and freeze it in an air-tight bag. Just thaw it before making your cornbread dressing.

If you have any stock left over, use it for your giblet gravy or freeze it for soups, rice, or chicken and dumplings.

Hope you enjoy my Southern cornbread dressing!

Please rate my dressing!

Questions & Answers

Question: I made southern cornbread, and it was moist, but also it was crumbly. What did I do wrong?

Answer: It could be that there wasn't enough gluten in the flour.