Cooking Louisiana - Chuc's Lazy Cornbread Dressing

Chuc's Lazy Cornbread Dressing - Chuc Ryan - Houma, LA

Two - 16 oz. containers of Savoie's Real Cajun Dressing Mix. 
Two pounds Owens sausage (mild).  Comes in 1 and 2 pound rolls.
1 lb. ground meat.
6 cups frozen chopped onion, celery, bell pepper seasoning mix.(*)
1 can Campbell's cream of chicken soup.
1 can Swanson's chicken broth (for added moisture if needed).
A triple batch of cornbread.  1 batch is usually 1 cup flour and one cup cornmeal.  I       use the recipe off the Clabber Girl Baking Power can.

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(*) OR instead of frozen onions etc. seasoning mix...
3 large or 6 medium onions chopped fine
2 stalks of celery (chopped) fine
1 bell pepper (chopped fine)
2 shallots (chopped)
4 parsley sprigs or 1 Tablespoon dried
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Make your corn bread the day before and let it dry out and become a bit stale. Only about 2 of the batches will go into the dressing, one batch is to eat on.  See corn bread recipe below. 

Brown the Owens sausage roll and ground beef completely.  This should be completely cooked.  Dump into a colander and allow it to drain. 

Sauté the onions, pepper and celery until beginning to brown. Add the Savoie's Real Cajun Dressing Mix to the seasonings and bring to a boil.

DO NOT ADD ANY WATER.  This mixture has to be rather dry.

Put the cooked ground meat back into the pot with the onions and Savoie's and heat it all until it simmers. You can turn off the fire at this point and add the cream of chicken soup.  Stir the whole mixture around really good.  You are now finished cooking.

Somewhere in the midst of all this, one needs to crumble about HALF the cornbread up in a large mixing bowl.  Most of the pieces should be about the size of a grain of rice.  Some can be as large as your little finger nail.  I do a triple batch because vultures usually descend and eat some!  So one probably only needs 2 batches or a little less for the actual dressing.

Start adding the meat mixture to the corn bread.  Fold the meat mixture into the cornbread without gumming it up. 

I like a proportion of about half cornbread and half meat.  The real secret of a good cornbread dressing is one that is not too dry and not too moist for your family.  That is why I suggesting only crumbling about half the cornbread to begin with.  You can add more cornbread to get the right consistency.

One does not have to bake this dressing.  Everything is completely cooked.  Elois (mom) always put hers in the oven in a casserole pan.  Probably because it was made the day before and had to be heated.

The baking process is simply to heat it up.  This is an opportunity to add more fluid if the dressing is too dry.  Chicken broth works well but add it by the teaspoon not by the cup or you will end up with soup. 

I have been packaging mine in containers of about a pint and a half for the frig or freezer. 

It's a good idea to have a "gravy" (see below) on the table as some folks like it more moist than others. 

Cornbread Recipe

Cornbread recipe is right off the Clabber Girl Baking Power Can. 

1 cup yellow corn meal
1 cup sifted enriched flour
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 teaspoons Baking Powder
1 egg
1 cup milk
1/4 cup shortening, soft.

Mix together dry ingredients into bowl, add egg, milk and shortening.

Beat with egg beater until smooth, about 1 minute.  Do not Overbeat.

Bake in greased 8 inch square pan or greased muffin pans in hot oven (425°F) for 20 to 25 minutes.  (Bake on middle rack in oven.)

BELLE'S TURKEY GRAVY

1 can cream of of celery soup
1 can of water
1 tablespoon Kitchen Bouquet
1 cup turkey or chicken broth
1 teaspoon dried parsley or 2 fresh sprigs
Pinch of salt
Pinch of pepper

CORN BREAD DRESSING WITH OYSTERS

For an oyster cornbread dressing follow the above, plus:

1 pint of oysters, saving juice to moisten cornbread. Oysters should be placed in one cup of boiling water along with a half of chopped onion and stalk of chopped celery.  Cover and steam for about 5 minutes.  (Save this water for cornbread).  Obviously all of the liquid cannot be used.  One has to choose which liquid to use as far as the taste desired.

 

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