I recently joined and was reading some of the recent recipes for stuffing. This recipe comes from my Grandma and has been in the family since 1914 and she taught me how to make it from childhood until she passed in 2001. So in her memory...I share it with you. It takes a little time and TLC to make, but it is well worth the work. Back in her day, there were always big Family gatherings and often she served 100 or more people. She put a lot of love in all she cooked and loved doing it. Hope you enjoy.
1THE NIGHT BEFORE....I do all my prep work. Chop onions, celery and garlic. Put in storage bags. Make cornbread in 13X9 in. cake pan or Cast Iron Skillet and biscuits. When cool, crumble both finely and mix together well. Spray an Enamel Oven Roaster or electric roaster with cooking spray. Add cornmeal and biscuits to roaster cover and leave alone till morning.
Wash chicken and put it in a medium or large stockpot or soup pot. Add Chicken Broth, spices(Except Sage and eggs), butter and enough water to cover chicken and poach until chicken is tender and done. Remove chicken and let cool. Save and refrigerate chicken stock. When chicken has cooled, de-bone and tear into bite size pieces. Put in storage bag and refrigerate till morning
2COOKING DAY....Take out reserved stock and skim all fat off the top. Put it in stockpot or soup pot to heat.
In large skillet put a stick of butter. When it is almost melted, add onions and celery and cook until translucent and do not burn. When onions and celery are done and tender, add them to the cornbread mixture.
Put chicken in roaster with cornbread mixture and spread it out. When stock is hot, stir into roaster with other ingredients. Mix in well. You want your dressing moist but not runny so get it wet enough to mix but it should have enough stock to keep it moist while cooking. Kind of like a thickened pudding consistency.
Add Sage. Mix well and taste. You can add more according to taste. Our Family likes just enough to truly enjoy the sage but we have found too much will give you heartburn. So it is up to you. Make sure you mix it in well because that is alot of dressing. Why make so much you ask? That is how I was taught and over the years I have tried to convert it to smaller portions and it just isn't as good. But also...Dressing freezes well for up to 2 or three months. That is what we usually do after everyone gets what they want to take home.
3ALMOST DONE....after adding the Sage to taste, break the eggs in a bowl and beat. Add the eggs slowly into the dressing and stir to mix well. Remember not to taste at this point because of the raw eggs. The eggs help the dressing pull together and truly makes the texture firm but very moist.
Cook in an Oven set at 375. Cooking time is usually about 3 hours but keep an eye on it. If it starts to turn too brown, foil or cover it with lid. Do not overcook. Insert knife into center of roasting pan and when it comes out clean, it is done. Let set covered for a few minutes. Hope you enjoy it as much as our Family does. Alot of work but well worth it.