Holiday feasts are just regular ol' meals to me without cornbread dressing.
The females in my family have a sick sense of humor. Once, when I was young enough to not be expected to help in the kitchen, I ran in and asked if the dressing was ready yet. They exchanged glances and my mother looked me square in the eye. "Nope. We decided not to make any this year."
I tried to be tough, but I couldn't stop the tears. They were laughing so hard it took them a moment to recognize my heartbreak. Then, because they're not entirely evil, someone opened the oven to let me peek and smell one of the several dressings they'd prepared. It wasn't uncommon to have three or four. Some family members liked oysters, some didn't, some liked onions, some didn't.
I liked them all.
Now that I help with the cooking I've realized the tremendous effort required to juggle all of the holiday dishes with one oven. So, when my mother's friend gave her a crock pot recipe for dressing, I've cherished it ever since.
This recipe has more steps than the others I've posted, but it's dressing... in a crockpot.
We've made several adjustments over the years. Feel free to do the same.
DELICIOUS CROCK POT DRESSING
8 inch pan cornbread, crumbled
Pepperidge Farm cornbread stuffing
1/2 Cup celery, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
1 Tablespoon salt
2 Tablespoons sage (Note: I prefer a big handful. The original recipe called for 1 T.)
1/2 Tablespoon black pepper
4 eggs, beaten
2 cans cream of chicken soup
2 cans chicken broth (or home made)
- Saute celery and onion.
- Pour all ingredients into crock pot.
- Dot top with butter.
- Cook on low for 4 hours. If it doesn't seem brown enough at the end of time, lift lid and continue to cook. It will brown.I usually leave the lid off for a good half hour or so.
Adjustment 1: We like to mix the dry ingredients the day before so the flavors have time to combine, but it is still delicious if you don't plan ahead.
Adjustment 2: Make your own chicken broth and add chicken to the dressing. Here's how we do it:
- In a pot, place cut up onions, celery and 4-5 chicken thighs.
- Put just enough water to cover it.
- Once it boils, turn it to simmer until tender.
- Use fork to see if meat pulls off easily.
- Cool broth and chicken at room temperature.
- Pull meat off bone. Chop or pull into edible pieces.
- Mix meat in with other ingredients.(Dry chicken before adding, or it will make the dressing too moist.)
- Measure your homemade broth to substitute for the two cans of chicken broth.
Adjustment 3: If you'd prefer to avoid the crock pot--hey, who am I to judge?--simply place in a 375 degree oven for 30-35 minutes or until brown.
Let me know how you like it!