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Deep South Dining

Deep South Dining | Pumpkin Spice Countdown

The month of November starting on a Monday seems pretty charmed, as it setups the rest of the month to be all about the business of the holiday season. The countdown to Thanksgiving has begun and there are plenty of items to check off to ensure success. Also remember to give yourself plenty of grace during the holiday season and maybe a pumpkin spice latte, if that is your thing. Special guest host, Joe Sherman fills in for Malcolm White and (for a time) converts Carol Puckett into a partaker of pumpkin spice. Also during the show, we hear from one of the top Cooking and Coping posters, Tim Pierce about how he achieves such beautiful food photos. Let's eat y'all!

Tim Pierce’s Mom’s Chicken and DressingChicken & Chicken Stock Ingredients
  • 1 whole chicken  (Mom preferred a 5-7 pound hen)
  • 1 12” iron skillet of cornbread (about 12 cups)
  • 6 slices of stale bread, buns or biscuits (Mom kept leftover bread in the freezer just for dressing)
  • 1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped, not sautéed
  • 4 celery ribs, finely chopped,not sautéed (Mom didn’t use celery but I like it)
  • Sage and Black Pepper (Mom did it to her taste. If Dad was home he added more   which she always said, ”Daddy you’re gonna ruin the dressing”).
  • 6 +/- cups chicken broth, enough to make the dressing moist but not soupy
  • Cooked chicken breast, wing, thigh and leg, (or your favorite pieces) ,rough chopped (no skin)

Chicken & Chicken Stock Directions

Place whole chicken and giblets in a heavy stockpot. Cover with water and add 2 tablespoons of salt. Bring to a boil, cover, and gently simmer at least 2 hours, preferably 4. Mom did not add aromatics or herbs. (After removing the meat from the bones she did add vegetables to the bones and skin to make broth for chicken soup or chicken and dumplings).

Cornbread Ingredients
  • 3 cups self-rising white cornmeal
  • ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons bacon grease
  • 1 cup full-fat buttermilk
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 4 eggs  (Add more if you like. Mom put eggs in the cornbread, not raw eggs in the dressing)

Cornbread Directions

Preheat oven to 425°. Add bacon grease to a 12” black iron skillet and heat skillet in the oven while you’re mixing the batter. 

Thoroughly mix the remaining ingredients. Remove the skillet from the oven and add the hot bacon grease into the mixture leaving 2 tablespoons of grease in the skillet. Stir to combine quickly. Then pour the mixture into the hot skillet so you hear the sizzle. Return the skillet to the oven and bake 20 minutes until golden brown.

For Assembly

Mom used a large stainless steel mixing bowl, as do I. Crumble the cornbread into the bowl and add the bread torn into small pieces. Add in remaining ingredients until thoroughly combined. Mom used her hands and made sure there were no large pieces of bread. She was always afraid the finished product would be dry. Again, make sure it’s really moist but not soupy.

Pour into 9 x 13 dish (or bigger). This makes a lot of dressing and freezes well or shares well.  Bake on 350° for one hour or until golden browned. Do not overbake. You should be able to scoop it to serve; not cut it in squares.

*** The dressing is equally as good meatless.  

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