Southern Cooking with Andy Bedwell


Chicken and Dressing Casserole and Shoe Peg and Geen Bean Casserole

Thanksgiving is nearly here and I just have to share these two recipes. I already have two pans of dressing in the freezer and I beginning to start baking pies. I have also made homemade cranberry sauce this year.

Do you remember when life moved just a little slower, good food brought everyone together and neighbors really did lend each other cups of sugar? This brings back  memories of my wonderful neighbor, Aurene Townsend. We never had a social in my home that we didn’t insist that this fantastic lady attend.  She could absolutely “tear up” a piano and play anything that you could hum without any written music. My dad would always say what a better world this place would be if everyone were as wonderful as  Aurene Townsend.  As the holidays approach, I love to remember my childhood years. Looking back, it almost seems like a magical time of life to me!

Cherished recipes usually come out at the holidays.  Here are two of my favorites.

Mary Virginia’s Chicken and Dressing Casserole

3 boneless chicken breasts, cooked and shredded

4 cups cornbread, crumbled

1 can cream of chicken soup

1 can cream of celery soup (can use cream of onion)

1 stick of margarine

2 cups chicken broth

1 egg, beaten

1 cup chopped onion

3/4 cup milk

Chopped parsley (very important)

1 teaspoon dried sage

1 teaspoon poultry


1/2 teaspoon black pepper

Cook your chicken in a lot of water and save your broth.  Saute onion in margarine, then add all of the rest of the ingredients except chicken and parsley.  After all is mixed, add chicken and about 1/4 cup dried parsley. Pour into a greased three-quart Pyrex dish and bake at 400 degrees until brown.  The middle should move when you shake.  If you just want dressing, leave the chicken out.  Before you bake sprinkle parsley on top.

Andy’s Note:  I cannot say enough about this re-cipe. My daughter Mary Virginia put this recipe together and I am so proud of her.  So, I guess a little of me has rubbed off on her.  I cannot tell you have many people have told me that this is the recipe they use for their dressing.  You can double or triple it and it still turns out good.  So many people have told me that they cannot make dressing.  Well, now you can! This recipe tripled will make two huge pans of dressing. Of course, I never add the chicken when I am making this for Thanksgiving.

Shoe Peg Corn/Green Bean Casserole

2 tubes of Ritz crackers

1 1/2 sticks of margarine, melted

3 cans French style green beans, drained

1 can shoe peg corn, drained

1 can water chestnuts, drained and sliced

8 ounces sour cream

2 cups extra sharp cheese, grated by you

1 can cream of chicken soup

1 medium onion, chopped

Crumble one tube of crackers into a lightly greased dish. Melt one stick of margarine and combine with beans, corn, chestunts, sour cream, soup, onions, and cheese. Pour over your crumbs. Crumble remaining tube of crackers. And yes, you sprinkle over the top. Dot with remaining 1/2 stick of margarine. Bake at 325 degrees until bubbly round the edges (about 45 minutes). Be careful and not let crackers get too brown. And yes, you sprinkle with parsley before you bake.

Andy’s Note: I have probably used this recipe more than any recipe that I have. When I was cooking holiday meals for people, I would put this casserole in foil pans and freeze.

This weekend, Mary and I will have a booth at the “Everything Christmas Show” in Trussville. Cookbooks, cookies and Andy Bedwell in an apron for the weekend. I hope some of you can drop by and visit with us.

Roll Tide and War Eagle!

Happy Thanksgiving Cooking,

Andy Bedwell

“Southern Cooking with Andy Bedwell” can be purchased at Alabama Gift Company in downtown Gadsden and The Messenger on Rainbow Drive.

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