Chef John Folse's Shoepeg Cornbread Dressing

Prep Time: 1 Hour

Yields: 6 Servings



Most often in South Louisiana, meat and oyster dressings are found as accompaniments on the holiday table. Bread or cornbread dressings are definitely a Southern tradition, but are seldom seen in Bayou Country. As an added flavor enhancer, add 1 pint of shucked oysters with liquid to the pot during the final cooking phase.



1 cup yellow cornmeal

1 (11-ounce) can shoepeg corn

½ cup flour

2 tsps baking powder

1 tsp salt

2 tbsps sugar

1 egg

5 tbsps melted butter

¾ cup milk

4 chicken leg quarters

½ cup diced onions

½ cup diced celery

½ cup diced red bell peppers

1 tbsp minced garlic

¼ tsp rubbed sage

⅛ tsp dried basil leaves

⅛ tsp dried thyme

¼ cup minced pimentos

¼ cup sliced green onions

¼ cup chopped parsley

1 pint oysters with liquid (optional)

salt and black pepper to taste



Preheat oven to 375°F. In a mixing bowl, combine cornmeal, flour, baking powder, salt and sugar. In a separate bowl, whisk egg, 2 tablespoons melted butter and milk. Add egg mixture to cornmeal and blend well. Pour corn bread batter into a well-greased 9-inch cake pan and bake 15–20 minutes. Remove and cool. Separate chicken legs from thighs. In a 2-quart stockpot, combine chicken, onions, celery, bell peppers and garlic. Cover with 6 cups of cold water, bring to a rolling boil, then reduce to simmer. Cook 30–40 minutes or until chicken is tender and falling from bones. Remove chicken and allow to cool. Retain stock and seasoning. Bone and finely chop cooled chicken. Return meat to pot with stock and seasonings. Stir in shoepeg corn, sage, basil, thyme, butter, pimentos, green onions and parsley. Bring to a rolling boil, reduce to simmer and cook 15 minutes. If desired, add oysters and liquid and cook 2 minutes longer. Strain stock and reserve 3 cups. Crumble corn bread into a large mixing bowl. Season reserved stock with salt and pepper. Add chicken and seasonings to crumbled corn bread along with 2½ cups of seasoned stock. Stir until well-blended. Dressing should be very moist, but not watery. If desired, use unbaked dressing to stuff roasts, such as Crown Roast of Pork. (See recipe.) To serve dressing as a side, pour mixture back into cake pan and drizzle with 3–4 tablespoons of stock. Bake uncovered 20–30 minutes or until dressing begins to brown lightly around edges. Dressing may be made the evening before cooking, but should be baked immediately prior to serving. Do not overcook as dressing will tend to dry out.