South Mississippi Delicacies On The Menu This Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving from my family to yours! I hope you spend this day surrounded by family, friends, and delicious South Mississippi food!

In politics we may not always agree on everything, but one thing that we can agree on is the abundance of wonderful food in South Mississippi. Shrimp and oysters from the Mississippi sound, sweet potatoes, and pecans, and who needs to worry about a “turkey shortage” when we have some of the best chicken in the world. This Thanksgiving, my family will be enjoying a baked chicken with shrimp stuffing and other wonderful ingredients from our State. Keep reading to see the recipes that we will be cooking this Thanksgiving!

Chicken Roulade with Shrimp Stuffing

To butterfly the whole chicken:

    1. Put the whole chicken, breast side down, on a cutting board. With heavy duty kitchen scissors, cut through the backbone and remove.
    2. Gently flatten chicken on a cutting board and carefully remove the breast bones and remove wings.
    3. Flatten the breast as much as possible, being careful not to pound all the way through the breast. You want your breast to be as uniform in thickness as possible. It will make it easier to roll.
    4. Store the chicken in the refrigerator until ready to roll.
    5. When stuffing is prepared (recipe to follow) remove the chicken from the refrigerator and lay the butterflied bird, skin side down on a cutting
    6. Sprinkle meat with a little salt and pepper.
    7. Spread the stuffing mix in a 1/2-inch-thick layer over the meat, leaving about a half inch border on all sides. Don’t mound the stuffing too much or it will be difficult to roll.
    8. Using kitchen twine, carefully tie and gently roll the chicken, tucking in any stuffing that falls out. Tie the chicken firmly with kitchen twine every 2 inches to hold the bird together.
    9. Place the stuffed chicken breast side up in a well-greased roasting pan.
    10. Brush with melted butter and sprinkle with Cajun seasoning.
    11. Place any leftover stuffing under or around the bird in the roasting pan.
    12. Roast chicken in a 350° oven for one and a half to two hours or until an instant read thermometer registers 165° in the thigh. Make sure that your thermometer is touching the meat.
    13. Allow chicken to sit at room temperature for at least 15 minutes for the juices to redistribute. Carve 1/2 thick slices and serve with extra rice stuffing. Enjoy!

*You can stuff the bird with any dressing of your choice but this is my take on a Cajun rice stuffing that is traditionally found inside a turducken. 

Cajun Stuffing

-2 cups cooked rice
-1 recipe cornbread, crumbled (recipe to follow)
-1 pound peeled shrimp
-1 pound Cajun boudin, chopped and casings removed, if needed
-3 tablespoons butter
-6 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
-1 medium onion, diced
-1 medium red or green bell pepper, diced
-1 large carrot, diced
-3 stalks celery, chopped
-1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
-1 1/2 tablespoons chopped fresh sage or 1 teaspoon dried rubbed sage
-1-2 cups chicken stock


  1. Melt butter in a large skillet over medium high heat.
  2. Add onion, bell pepper, carrot, and celery, garlic, and sauté three minutes or until tender.
  3. Add in shrimp, crawfish tails, and boudin and cook over medium heat for about two minutes.
  4. Stir parsley and sage into the rice and cornbread mixture.
  5. Stir in sautéed vegetable mixture and then add broth. Stir to moisten.


Southern Cornbread

-1 cup stone ground cornmeal
-1 heaping Tbs. flour
-1 tb salt
-1 rounded tsp. sugar
-½ tsp. baking soda
-1 tsp. baking powder
-1 cup plus 1 Tbs. buttermilk
-1 egg, beaten


  1. Preheat the oven to 450.
  2. Mix all wet ingredients and mix all dry ingredients. Then, beat together until well mixed.
  3. Put about 2 T oil in a well-seasoned iron skillet, swirl so all sides are coated.
  4. Heat oil on the stovetop until very hot.
  5. Carefully pour oil into mixture and stir well.
  6. Pour mixture into skillet and bake at 450 for 15 minutes until browned on top.

*Stuffing can be made a day or 2 ahead and stored in the refrigerator.


Roasted Sweet Potatoes

This is a simple, gluten-free, and vegetarian option for your menu. The potatoes can be roasted the day before, peeled and sliced, and placed in a casserole dish. Simply heat up and serve with various toppings. This allows the guests to top the potatoes with whatever they would like.

-4-5 large sweet potatoes, well-scrubbed
-Topping suggestions: Butter, toasted pecans, brown sugar, mini-marshmallows, chipotle-sour cream*


  1. Pierce sweet potatoes a few times with a fork to allow steam to escape.
  2. Place potatoes on a cookie sheet lined with foil and bake in a 375-degree oven for about 45 minutes to an hour until potatoes are tender. Remove and allow to cool slightly.
  3. Peel potatoes and slice into 1-inch rounds. Layer in a well-greased casserole and keep warm. (If using at a later time, cover the casserole dish and store in the refrigerator. When ready to eat, heat potatoes in a 350-degree oven for about 25 minutes until warm).
  4. Serve with a variety of toppings and enjoy!

*To make chipotle-sour cream: combine 1 cup sour cream with one finely chopped canned chipotle chili in adobo sauce, and ½ teaspoon salt.


Citrus Pecan Dressing

-1/3 cup canola oil
-1/2 cup fresh orange juice (satsuma juice, if available)
-2 tablespoons ground pecans, toasted
-1 tablespoon sugar
-1 teaspoon celery salt
-1 teaspoon yellow mustard
-Freshly ground black pepper to taste

1. Mix all ingredients in a jar at least an hour before serving.

2. Serve on a bed of spinach salad with mandarin orange or satsumas segments, cranberries, and a little crumbled goat cheese and enjoy!


Pecan Pie

-1 refrigerator pie crust or one homemade pie crust
-2 whole eggs
-¼ t salt
-½ cup sugar
-1 cup light corn syrup
-1 t vanilla
-2 T butter, melted
-1 cup pecans, slightly chopped

1. Beat eggs with salt until foamy.
2. Beat in remaining ingredients.
3. Line pie plate with pie crust (do not pierce with fork.) Pour mixture over crust and bake at 350 degrees for about 1 hour or until firm.
4. Serve with ice cream or whipped cream and enjoy!


Oyster Chowder

-1 (12 ounce) container shucked oysters, drained with liquid reserved
-1 onion, chopped
-1 potato, diced
-1 cup coarsely chopped broccoli
-1 cup water
-½ cup frozen corn
-¼ cup butter
-¼ cup all-purpose flour
-3 cups milk
-salt and ground black pepper to taste

1. Cook oysters and reserved liquid in a skillet over medium heat until edges curl, 5 to 10 minutes. Remove skillet from heat.
2. Combine onion, potato, broccoli, water, and corn in a saucepan; bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until vegetables are tender, 10 to 15 minutes. Drain vegetables and reserve liquid.
3. Melt butter in a large pan over medium heat. Stir flour into melted butter until smooth, about 1 minute. Slowly pour reserved vegetable water and milk into butter-flour mixture; cook until thickened, about 5 minutes. Add oysters and vegetables to the milk mixture and cook over medium-low heat until heated through, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.