How to Make It

Step 1

Boil chicken in salted water until done, "till it's so tender it falls off the bone." (Boil for at least 1 hour.) Chicken legs can be substituted. Chicken breasts can also be substituted, "but it ain't as good," Mama says. Break the chicken into small pieces, but do NOT shred. Be careful to discard small pieces of bone and gristle, but do NOT discard the skin. "That's where your flavor is."

Step 2

In a large bowl, break up cooked cornbread into small pieces; gradually stir in the chicken broth, mixing until you have a moist, pudding-like consistency. Stir in chicken, beaten egg, onion, celery, and seasonings. Pour into iron skillet. A pan is fine, if you are a Philistine.

Step 3

Bake in preheated oven at 375º until the top of the dressing is crisp and golden brown and the inside is creamy. (This could be anywhere from a half hour to 45 minutes, depending on the oven.) A spoon should make a faint cracking noise as it breaks the surface of the dressing.

Step 4

Serve with green beans, mashed potatoes, and cabbage-and-carrot slaw.

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