Thanksgiving Corner: A Classic with a Twist

I’ve never met someone who has been able to look me square in the eye and say that their least favorite part of a Thanksgiving meal is the stuffing. Generally, it’s the one thing that everyone can agree is delicious at the table. Even if the turkey is burned and the pie is soggy, stuffing always shines through because of its deep, savory flavor profile and its stunning ease to create. Just throw your ingredients in a pan (or the bird, if you’re so inclined), turn up the heat and let it do its thing in peace. Stuffing (or “dressing” if you’re in the south, or “filling” if you’re in some parts of Pennsylvania) is also beloved for its versatility. There are approximately 1,000 ways to make stuffing that’s halfway decent – from the oyster-based decadence of Boston recipes, to the tangy, sourdough-rich flavors of San Francisco. It seems that everyone has an old family recipe that’s been passed down through the generations, but today we’re going to look at a recipe – my personal favorite – that my family has enjoyed making for many years.

Disclaimer: I have always made stuffing in a pan, and never by putting it in the cavity of a turkey. If that’s your way, no worries! Just make sure you follow all safety precautions to ensure that everything is cooked all the way through.

Challah Stuffing with Spicy Chorizo

Materials: Oven, preheated to 425 degrees; Deep baking pan/Pyrex; Skillet; Knife; Cutting board; Measuring cups; Large mixing bowl; Medium mixing bowl

Challah bread (about 12 cups)
1 lb chorizo (you can use any sausage
you like; my family usually alternates between spicy
chorizo and sweet Italian sausage)
3 medium-sized yellow onions; chopped
(the smaller you chop, the quicker the onion
will cook)
3 celery ribs; chopped
4/5 cloves of garlic; minced
4 large eggs
1 1/2 cups chicken broth/turkey stock
1 cup heavy cream
3/4 cup chopped flat-leaf or Italian parsley Dried sage (to taste)
Dried thyme (to taste)
Salt (to taste)
Pepper (to taste)
Olive oil

Method: 1. If stale, chop your challah bread and arrange in your baking pan. If not, chop, arrange, and place in oven for 12-15 minutes until dried out (careful not to burn).

2. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat and add sausage until browned (~5 minutes). Transfer to large mixing bowl.

3. Add more oil to skillet and wait until shimmering. Add onions, celery, garlic, thyme, sage, salt and pepper, and brown lightly (approximately 13 minutes). Add to large mixing bowl, toss, then add to bread.

4. In medium mixing bowl, whisk eggs, stock, cream and parsley together, then pour over stuffing. Mix well. If you’re cooking ahead, or if your turkey isn’t anywhere near done, you can cover and stick in the fridge. If not, don’t worry! Your stuffing is ready to go in the oven as is.

5. Cover stuffing tightly with foil and bake until hot throughout (~25 minutes). Remove foil and bake until top is crisp (~10 minutes).—Bronwyn Davila

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