Our family has been keeping these recipes a secret at our own holiday tables over the years. But now I've realized they're just too good not to share. Whether it's Thanksgiving, Christmas or any other celebration happening this season, this beautiful ode to Southern cooking will be enjoyed by all members of the household.
Preheat oven to 350ºF.
For the cornbread:
Mix dry ingredients, eggs and milk together in a large bowl. Stir in oil. Pour mixture into a lightly oiled baking dish (9-inch by 9-inch) and bake at 350ºF until golden brown, about 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool to room temperature.
For the dressing:
Crumble the cooled cornbread in a large bowl. Add chopped bell peppers, onions, eggs and seasonings. Taste to check the amount of seasoning is to your liking.
Add eggs and broth and stir to combine. Add milk and stir. Mixture should be moist and firm, not watery.
Pour ingredients into a lightly oiled oven-safe baking dish. Bake at 350ºF until lightly brown, about 30 to 35 minutes.
For the country gravy:
Boil the chicken parts in 2 quarts of water or broth with chopped bell peppers and onions.
On another burner, heat oil in a skillet over medium heat. Sprinkle flour onto the hot oil, a little at a time until most of the flour has been absorbed within the oil. Stir until the flour starts turning golden brown, or the desired color you want for your gravy.
Once at desired color, slowly introduce the roux into the broth. Remove chicken parts from the gravy to separate meat from the bones. Add that meat to the pot of gravy.
Season to taste and add hard-boiled eggs. Simmer on medium heat until gravy has thickened.