26 Mar Southern Style Dressing & Gravy
A gravy recipe is often-times a Southern family’s ‘best-kept secret’, but we’re going to share one with you (don’t tell!). Adding a good gravy can transform the simplest of dishes into a savory Southern delicacy. Gravy, especially a good recipe, can be used at nearly any meal time; from biscuits at breakfast, to a fried chicken topper at lunch, to the quintessential addition to turkey, hams, chickens and mashed potatoes at holidays feasts. If done well, there is no dish more appreciated at a Southern table than a full gravy boat.
So, how can you make gravy like a Southerner? Don’t worry, you don’t need to know the answer because we’re going to tell you! This tried and true combo is for homemade cornbread dressing and giblet gravy. This particular recipe has been guaranteed “tasty” by generations of native Georgian Southerners.
For this recipe, you’ll need to start by making cornbread:
|5 ½ cups medium cornmeal – plain|
|3 cups self-rising flour|
|5 tsp baking powder|
|1 Tbsp salt|
|1 Tbsp sugar|
|1 13 oz can evaporated milk|
|2 cans of water|
|¼ cup vegetable oil|
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
In a large mixing bowl, add the cornmeal, flour, baking powder, salt, sugar, eggs, evaporated milk, and water. Mix until smooth.
Use vegetable oil to grease a large cast iron pan. Add the mix to the pan.
Bake for 20 minutes until golden brown.
While the cornbread is baking, you can begin making the dressing. Here is what you will need:
|¾ package of celery|
|4 to 5 lb hen (including giblets: liver, heart, gizzard)|
|1 whole loaf of bread|
|2 packages of saltines|
|2 tsp salt|
|2 tsp pepper|
|2 tsp poultry seasoning|
|1 Tbsp Nature’s Seasoning|
|2 Tbsp sugar|
|2 to 3 cans of chicken broth|
|Yellow food coloring|
Stew the chicken stock, onions, celery, and hen in a large pot until the meat easily pulls of the bone. Leave the giblets aside for the gravy.
Brown a whole loaf of bread at 300 degrees and crumble – this can be done ahead of time and stored in the freezer if needed.
Hard boil 4 eggs (3 for the dressing and 1 for the giblet gravy)
In a large mixing bowl, crumble cornbread, saltines, and whole loaf of bread. Add salt, pepper, and poultry seasoning to taste, 1 Tbsp nature’s seasoning, and 1 to 2 Tbsp sugar. Pour in the chicken stock from the stewed hen, leaving 1 ½ cups of the stock aside for the Giblet Gravy. Add 2 extra cans of chicken broth. If you like your dressing moist, use 3 or more cans of chicken broth. Add 5 beaten eggs. Mix in the stewed celery, onions and some of the shredded meat from the hen (leave the remainder of the shredded meat and the giblets for the Giblet Gravy). Chop 3 of the boiled eggs and stir into the dressing mixture.
Generously grease two large baking pans with butter, baking spray, or cooking oil. Add the mixture evenly to both pans.
Bake at 350 degrees for 30 to 45 minutes. Turn the heat up during the last 5 minutes to brown the top of the dressing.
You can use the ingredients you reserved while making to dressing to make the gravy:
Dice up the giblets from hen and it to the add the reserved 1 ½ cups of chicken stock and shredded meat from the stew. (Add 1 more can of chicken stock if you want more gravy).
Chop the remaining hard boil egg and add it to the mixture. Add salt and pepper to taste, ½ to 1 tsp of poultry seasoning, a dash of nature’s seasoning and yellow food coloring.
Bring the mixture to a low boil.
Mix 1 Tbsp of cornstarch with ¼ cup of water. Add it to the boiling gravy mixture. You can add more cornstarch subsequently to get the desired consistency of the gravy.
Optional – add ½ to 1 tsp of sugar to the gravy.