1 hen or leg quarters equal to about 1 pound
Salt and pepper to taste
4 cups medium-ground cornmeal
1 ½ cups self-rising flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ cup oil, plus more for pans
About 1 cup whole milk
2 medium onions, chopped
1 (14-ounce) package cornbread stuffing mix
¼ teaspoon garlic powder
¼ teaspoon dried onion
3 to 4 tablespoons freeze-dried chives
1 family-sized (26-ounce) can cream of chicken soup
1 (10 3/4-ounce) can cream of celery soup
1 stick (1/2 cup) butter
In a large stock pot, cover chicken with water and season with salt; boil until tender. Remove chicken from the broth; reserve chicken for another use and set broth aside.
In a mixing bowl, combine cornmeal, flour, baking powder, eggs, oil, salt to taste and enough milk to create a batter that is thick, but pours easily. Pour into a greased 12-inch skillet and bake at 475 F until bread is lightly browned on top. Let cool and crumble into an extra-large roasting pan.
Note: This pan will be used for mixing only; dressing will be baked in separate pans.
To crumbled bread, add chopped onions and the next four ingredients; add salt and pepper to taste.
To the chicken broth, add both cans of soup; warm and stir. Pour over crumbled bread and mash with a potato masher. Dressing should be much soupier than the desired consistency as it will dry significantly during baking. Grease sides and bottom of two 9-X12-inch baking pans with oil and pour dressing into prepared pan. Dot dressing with thin pieces of butter. Bake at 350 F until top is browned.
Note: Charlene often uses the reserved chicken from this recipe for chicken salad, and she recommends using Pepperidge Farm brand stuffing mix