My grandmother was a true Southern Belle. She wore high heels until the day she passed away and never went a day without eye liner and perfume. She believed in true Southern hospitality and good manners. I always think of her around Mother’s Day and so I wanted to tell you a little about her and share with you one of my favorite recipes that she passed down to me, Cornbread Chicken Casserole.
Mariella Grace, a double name staying true to her Texas roots, she was the wife of an oil man. during the ups and downs of the oil business she always stayed by his side. And when things we’re good, they enjoyed life to the fullest, owning air planes, going on extravagant trips, and even taking day excursions in their plane to nearby cities just for a date. She loved playing cards, having a bridge club with her friends, her and my grandfather would even sneak away late at night when the kids were asleep to play cards with the neighbors. (By the way, wouldn’t it be so fun to revive the bridge playing days, this is a goal of mine!). She hosted parties and always made people feel welcome in her home, even me. I remember going to her house and being greeted with a warm hug and a large Root Beer float. And every morning waking up to the smell of honey buns being cooked in the oven.
Here is a photo of my Grandmother when she was around my age. Wasn’t she so elegant?!
I adored my grandmother. Her photo sits right on my desk as I work. I hope some of her class and warmth rubbed off on me. This recipe of hers is simple and can easily be altered to whatever you have on hand in your kitchen. Every time I make it it’s a little different but one thing remains, leftover cornbread tops off the dish making for a sweet crusting top to every bite.
- 2 chicken breasts, cooked and shredded
- 1 green bell pepper, cut into 1 inch squares
- 1 cayenne pepper (or any spicy pepper you have on hand)
- 1/2 cup chicken broth
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon pepper
- 1 cup cheddar cheese
- 3-5 pieces of leftover cornbread, broken into pieces
- Mix the chicken, chicken broth, and peppers and place in a square baking dish. Season with salt and pepper. Top with cheese and crumbled cornbread. Bake at 350 until bubbly (about 20-25 minutes).
Sometimes I serve this with salsa if its not hot enough and I often garnish the dish with slices of avocado.