Chicken and Dressing

Regional favorites always have local trends; barbecue springs to mind, but more subtle examples are available.

Take chicken and dressing, for instance, a staple of the Mid South.  Along the coast, you’ll find dressings using a dried French loaf, but as you move north, cornbread enters the picture. I’ve seen recipes in north Louisiana and central Mississippi using a mix of the two. This is a typical north Mississippi recipe.

Make cornbread the night before, stick it in a paper sack, and put it somewhere it won’t get eaten. Next day, crumble bread into a large bowl and add enough strong chicken stock to make thick slurry.

To two quarts of such a mixture, add no more than 4 eggs well-beaten and at least two cups shredded chicken. Sauté a cup (more if you like) each of finely-diced white onion and celery in a half a stick of butter, and add to the mix. Some people like diced pepper in their dressing, but I find it overpowering.

Season with salt, pepper, thyme, and sage; I like plenty of sage in mine. Pour into a greased pan and bake at 350 until the top is browned and the center firm.

This goes with anything, anytime.