From Katherine Ryan (sort-of…)
Chicken stock (I would get the large carton)
Home made corn bread-1 pan–just follow the directions on the corn meal bag, but double it–make sure you put oil in the bottom of the pan and put it in the oven while the oven is pre-heating–use self-rising corn meal–just be careful when pouring the batter into the pan as the pan and the oil will be very hot
3 slices of bread (stale bread works great)
Boil chicken ’til done.
Cook your corn bread in the oven.
While the corn bread is cooking, chop several stalks of celery (that have been washed) and cut up a large onion. Try to peel off as many of the strings from the celery as you can. You will never get them all, but when the celery cooks, it will cook the remaining strings so that they won’t be difficult to chew. Some people cook the celery and onion on top of the stove for a few minutes to make it soft in some of the broth. (When you add them to the dressing pour broth and all into the pan. But Katherine never did that, so I don’t do this.)
In a big bowl, place the celery and onion and tear up the cooked corn bread (it will crumble), add the 3 slices of bread, salt, pepper, and sage, to taste. It won’t take as much sage as you think so take it easy on the sage. The trick with the sage is that, since everything is cooked already, you can add some, then taste the cornbread, then add a little more, then taste it again until you get the taste you are looking for. It doesn’t take a lot of sage, and if you add too much, you can simply add a couple more pieces of torn up bread and chicken broth. If you want the chicken in the dressing, you can put it in with the celery and onion, or really anytime. Just be certain to stir it well.
Then add the chicken stock until the dressing is very moist and let it sit, being bread, it will soak up a lot of stock and you will stir it and add more stock before putting it in the oven. It should be almost soggy, because you will re-heat the dressing maybe a couple of times, and if you don’t have a bunch of chicken stock in it, it will dry out.
Bake on 400 until brown on top. You bake on a higher temp to bake it quickly and not dry it out. You may want to buy one of those large disposable cooking pans for the dressing, because this makes a lot.