I changed my tried and true dressing recipe a little this year. I didn't make quite as much as normal for one thing. For another I stayed more of a purist with mostly cornbread and a few slices of stale white bread added.
A day or two before making the dressing, you'll need to bake at least two cast iron skillets of cornbread. Remove them from the oven, let them cool and then crumble into pieces. Let them air dry on a baking sheet overnight.
You'll also need to cook the chicken:
1 stewing hen (or 4 chicken breasts, bone-in)
2 quarts chicken stock
In a large Dutch oven, add the chicken and the chicken stock. Slowly bring stock to a boil and then reduce heat to simmer. Skim off any scum that forms on top of the stock. Let chicken cook until it is falling off the bone tender. Remove chicken from stock and let cool enough until you can shred meat. Set aside. Strain chicken stock and reserve until you're ready to mix up the dressing.
6 - 8 slices of white bread, torn into pieces and either dried in a warm oven or overnight with the cornbread
1/2 stick butter
2 large yellow onions, chopped
4 ribs celery, chopped
1 t. poultry seasoning
1 t. dried sage
4 eggs, lightly beaten
In a large skillet, over medium heat, melt butter and add onions and celery and sauté until vegetables are translucent. Remove from heat.
In a VERY large bowl, add crumbled cornbread and white bread. Add the onions and celery and stir to combine.
Slowly ladle in chicken stock a few ladles at a time and stir to soften the bread. Continue until the bread is thoroughly moistened. You may or may not use all the chicken stock. Add salt and pepper to taste along with the poultry seasoning and sage.
Taste and adjust the seasoning as necessary. You may need a little extra sage or seasoning to get it just right for you.
Add the beaten eggs and stir to combine. Gently add the shredded chicken.
Spoon into a large baking pan(s) and cover with foil. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 45 minutes, give or take 10 minutes or so. The baking time will depend on the size of the baking dish you have chosen.
When the dressing appears dry on top, you're done.