My grandmother made this dish at EVERY holiday dinner and sometimes just as a special treat. She was a phenomenal cook and without chicken and dressing, it just wasn't a family dinner. After she passed, the responsibility fell to me to make sure our dinners were complete with her authentic recipe. This past Christmas, I worked with an aunt and uncle to supply all of my grandmother's best recipes to other family members in a book I called The Wright Stuff. This recipe leads the way. I'm sure you'll love it!
1Cut 2 of the celery stalks into halves, and two of the onions into quarters. Wash the chicken, add to a stockpot with water, celery, onions, salt and pepper. Fill with water and cover chicken 1-2 inches. Cook until very tender, approximately 45 minutes to an hour.
2Remove chicken from stockpot and set aside to cool. Strain chicken stock and set aside. Discard celery and onions. Take all chicken off the bone and cut or tear into bite sized pieces. Set chicken aside for later.
3Crumble cornbread, biscuits and saltine crackers in large mixing bowl. Chop remaining onion and celery and add to bread mixture. Add salt, pepper and sage to taste. Work in a stick of softened butter. Add chicken stock until mixture is almost a "soupy" consistency. Taste at this point and make any adjustments you'd like. Stir in beaten eggs and mix well. Gently fold in chicken pieces. If you stir too much, the chicken will come apart and you won't have lovely, moist bites of chicken.
4Butter a 9x13 baking dish or pan, or coat with butter flavor non stick cooking spray. Pour dressing into pan. Bake at 325 degrees until light golden brown. Allow to cool. This step is necessary in order for the dressing to "set up."