Halloween is creeping upon us, and soon we will be looking toward Thanksgiving as a time of family, food, and football. Tradition is important this time of year, especially here in the south. Thanksgiving has always had a special place in my heart as a time for the family to congregate and share a wonderful feast of dressing, gravy, and, in my family, chicken. My personal holiday tradition is at least two crescent roll sandwiches made from the dishes above, it's simply not Thanksgiving without it. Well, that and some pumpkin pie and whipped cream.
My family broke with tradition and eschewed the turkey and went with two baking hens prepared in a pressure cooker, lightly seasoned with salt and pepper. It served not only as the main dish, but also an ingredient in the dressing and gravy. And personally, I'm glad they did. Chicken offers great flavor while not being as sleep inducing as Turkey, nor as dry in my experience. Gravy, as delicious as it is, can only stretch so far. And with Chicken it doesn't have to work so hard.
Hannah Family Southern Style Cornbread Dressing
Cornbread Muffin Mix (2 boxes)
1 box of corn flakes
1 large onion, finely chopped
6 eggs, lightly beaten
At least 3 cups chicken broth and chicken pieces (preferably dark meat) from the baking hens. (Amount of either is subject to preferences but you don't want to run out!)
3 Tbsp vegetable oil.
Salt and Pepper to taste.
Glass baking pan
Large mixing bowl
Cast Iron Skillet
Preheat oven to 350 F.
Prepare the cornbread muffin mix according to directions. However, instead of baking it, pour the vegetable oil in a cast iron skillet and proceed to make cornbread pancakes with the mix until it has been used up. Take the cornbread pancakes and crumble them thoroughly. Take 2 cups of corn flakes, crush them finely, and add them to the cornbread crumbs, stirring thoroughly. Stir in chicken broth and eggs until the cornbread has reached a consistency slightly thicker than the original cornbread dough. Mix in onions, salt, and pepper to taste. Pour the cornbread mixture into a greased glass baking pan. Place chicken pieces on top of the dressing mix.
Cover with aluminum foil and cook for 35 minutes. Remove tin foil and cook for five more minutes.
It is not the holidays, neither Thanksgiving nor Christmas, without this dish on my table. I hope you and yours will enjoy it this holiday says. Happy Thanksgiving!