Southern Style Chicken n' Dressing (Or you can use turkey)

This may look like a complicated process but it isn't. Dressing is NOT one of those recipes that you have to follow verbatim.

First you have to make cornbread to go in the dressing. A lot of times I just freeze leftover cornbread to use for dressing. Even the Martha White website suggests doing this.

Cornbread for the dressing
Martha White Self-Rising Flour
Martha White Self-Rising Cornmeal (I like the buttermilk kind)
1 tsp. baking powder
1 Tbsp. sugar
1 egg
1/4 cup canola oil to mix in cornbread
1/4 cup canola oil to put in skillet
1 cup buttermillk
1/2 cup water

Preheat oven to 450. I always bake cornbread in an iron skillet to get that nice brown crust, so I preheat the skillet with just enough oil to cover the bottom, about 1/4 cup oil. Sift dry ingredients into a large mixing bowl. I put enough flour to cover the screen at the bottom of the sifter, then I fill the sifter to just above the top line with cornmeal, leaving plenty of room for my other dry ingredients. I always measure the flour and meal like this. After sifting into a large bowl, add other ingredients and stir well, do not use a mixer. It does something different to the texture of the cornbread. Bake at 450 for about 30 minutes or until it tests done (cake tester or toothpick inserted in middle comes out clean.) Set aside to cool. Sometimes I make my cornbread the day before or I just make dressing from leftover pieces of cornbread that I have frozen. You can't tell the difference in the dressing.

1 whole chicken (deboned)
1 cup chopped celery (I boil my celery and onions together in water with 2 Tbsp. margarine.)
1 cup chopped onion
3 cans chicken both and broth from chicken
3 hard boiled eggs sliced or chopped (your preference)
4 Tbsp. margarine
2 Tbsp. ground poultry seasoning (some to sprinkle chicken before cooking and the rest goes in the dressing.)
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 tsp. garlic powder

Next cook chicken for dressing. Remove inside chicken parts and place them with the chicken in a 9x13 baking dish. Many people make giblet gravy with these "extra" parts. I'll post that recipe next. Rub chicken with 2 Tbsp. margarine. Sprinkle chicken inside and out with salt, pepper and poultry seasoning, and garlic powder. Cover with foil and bake at 350 for about an hour. While chicken is baking, chop celery and onions. Test chicken for doneness. I usually cut into the large part of the leg. There should be no blood and it should be easy to cut so you can pull chicken off the bone. While chicken cools, boil celery and onions in 3 cups water with 2 tbsp. margarine until soft. Debone chicken.

When your cornbread is cool enough to handle, crumble it up in a very large bowl. You can add leftover biscuits or bread that needs to be used if you like. Just crumble them in too. We don't like to waste around our house.  Stir in all your ingredients for your dressing. Pour into a 9 x 13 baking dish. Bake dressing at 450 for about 30 to 40 minutes, stirring in the edges when they start to brown every 15 minutes or so. Remember there are no raw ingredients, so just cook it until it suits your taste. Serve with jellied cranberry sauce. Enjoy!

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