Chef John Folse's Shoepeg Cornbread Stuffing

Most often in South Louisiana meat and oyster dressings are found as accompaniments to the holiday table. The bread or cornbread dressings are definitely southern in tradition, but seldom seen in Bayou Country. Since I am a fan of both the meat and the cornbread dressing, I’ve decided to share one of those versions with you here.

Note: As an added flavor enhancer you may wish to add one pint of shucked oysters with liquid to the pot during the final cooking phase.


  • 1 cup yellow cornmeal
  • 1 (11-ounce) can shoepeg corn
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 2 tsps baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsps sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tbsps melted butter
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 4 chicken leg quarters
  • 1/2 cup onions, diced
  • 1/2 cup celery, diced
  • 1/2 cup red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 tbsp minced garlic
  • 1/4 tsp rubbed sage
  • 1/8 tsp dried basil leaves
  • 1/8 tsp dried thyme
  • 3 tbsps melted butter
  • 1/4 cup pimentos, chopped
  • 1/4 cup green onions, sliced
  • 1/4 cup parsley, chopped
  • salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. In a large mixing bowl combine cornmeal, flour, baking powder, salt and sugar. Blend well to incorporate all dry ingredients. Whisk egg with 2 tablespoons melted butter and milk, then add to cornmeal mixture, blending thoroughly. Pour the cornbread batter into a well oiled 9-inch cake pan and bake 15-20 minutes. When done, remove and cool. Separate chicken legs from thighs. In a 2-quart stock pot place chicken, onions, celery, bell pepper and garlic. Cover with 6 cups of cold water, bring to a rolling boil, reduce to simmer and cook 30-40 minutes or until chicken is tender and falling from the bones. Remove the chicken and allow to cool. Retain stock and seasoning. When chicken is cool, de-bone and finely chop. Return the meat to the pot along with the stock and seasonings then add sage, basil, thyme, butter, pimento, green onions, shoepeg corn and parsley. Bring to a rolling boil, reduce to simmer, and cook 15 minutes. If oysters are to be added, put oysters and liquid into the pot at this point and cook 2 minutes longer. Pour the contents of the pot through a strainer, capturing the chicken and vegetable seasonings, while reserving 3 cups of the stock. While chicken is draining, crumble cornbread into a large mixing bowl and season the reserved stock using salt and pepper. Place drained chicken mixture into the crumbled cornbread bowl along with 2 ½ cups of the seasoned stock. Stir until well-blended. Dressing should be very moist, but not watery. Use as is to stuff into a crown roast of pork, or pour the dressing back into the 9-inch cake pan, and drizzle with 3 to 4 tablespoons of the remaining stock. Bake uncovered for approximately 20-30 minutes or until dressing begins to brown lightly around the 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.

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