I love everything about Thanksgiving and one my favorites is my sausage stuffing recipe. And with family, friends, food and football, what more can you ask for? Every year we go to my in-laws for dinner around 4 in the afternoon which leaves me plenty of time to roast a turkey and make stuffing at my house. And that stays at my house. Confused? I will explain. Despite the fact that my mother in law puts on a full Thanksgiving spread, I think every house should have a turkey and stuffing roasting in its oven on Thanksgiving. It’s tradition, it’s Thanksgiving. The smells lingering in the air, catching a whiff as you pass near the kitchen, tummy rumbling in anticipation for some good ole’ fashion turkey and stuffing. This is the stuff kids remember. This is what I love to do.
The Thanksgiving menu is very important in our family. My mother in law makes the same thing every year and I roast the same turkey and stuffing the same way every year. Everyone looks forward to it and no one is allowed to change it up. With that said, I thought, “What if we did change it up? What if we wanted to make something a little more Arizona?” We’ve all lived here long enough! So, as I started thinking about how that turkey and stuffing would be prepared I knew that I had to give it a try – Thanksgiving dinner with a southwest flare. This is what I came up with: Hand Rubbed Hatch Chile Turkey with a Chorizo Sausage Stuffing. I did the chorizo sausage stuffing first, because you need to ‘stuff’ the turkey with it. This stuffing recipe is really just a slight deviation from my Italian sausage stuffing recipe (my family’s favorite) and I’m happy to report it worked incredibly well. The chorizo sausage has a stronger spice flavor than Italian sausage which complemented the mildness of the queso blanco I used instead of parmesan. The recipe makes more than you need for the turkey so you have a wonderful side dish of turkey stuffing.
I didn’t stop at ‘how to make stuffing?’ No, I was bound and determined to make the turkey for you too. All I can say about that is, stay tuned for the turkey video. It got a little late at night and I got a little slap happy! With that said, I truly enjoyed the challenge of taking a traditional holiday dinner like Thanksgiving and giving it some new life. I asked my kids if I could make it for Thanksgiving this year and they said, “No, but you can make it any other time.” Thanks, I’ll remember that! What can I say? Tradition is tradition around here and never to be broken. Maybe this recipe will become a tradition in your house. If you give it a try, please let me know. I would love to hear from you. Enjoy!
CHORIZO SAUSAGE STUFFING RECIPE
- 1 loaf Italian or crusty bread, cut into 1 inch cubes( 8 cups)
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 lb chorizo sausage, casings removed, divided
- 1 stick unsalted butter, cut into pieces
- 2 medium sweet onions, chopped
- 3 large celery ribs, chopped
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 4 large eggs, lightly beaten
- ¾ cup heavy cream, divided
- ½ cup chicken broth
- 1 cup queso blanco, shredded
- ¼ cup flat parsley, chopped
- ¼ cup cilantro, chopped
Preheat oven to 350 with rack in the middle(if using 2 ovens, set 2nd oven to 425 for stuffing). Butter a baking dish. Put bread in 2 baking sheets and bake, rotating pans ½ way through until just dried out, about 10 minutes OR buy pre-cut stuffing bread that’s already been dried out. Heat 1 tbsp of oil in a 12-inch heavy skillet over med-high heat until it simmers, then cook half the chorizo, stirring and breaking into small pieces until golden brown, 6-8 mins. Transfer to a bowl. Add the remaining oil to pan, cooking the rest of the chorizo. Pour off fat from pan and wipe clean. Heat butter in pan over medium heat. Cook onions, celery, garlic and ½ tsp of salt and pepper for 12-15 mins, until golden, stirring occasionally. Add vegetables and bread to chorizo.
Whisk together eggs, ½ cup cream, stock, queso blanco, parsley and cilantro, stir into stuffing and cool completely, about 30 mins. Drizzle with remaining 1/4 cup of cream. Set aside 5 cups of stuffing to stuff turkey with and spoon remaining into buttered baking dish. Cover and chill.
About 45 mins before turkey is done roasting, take stuffing out of refrigerator and let come to room temperature. When turkey is done(or if you have 2 ovens 20 mins BEFORE turkey is done)increase temp to 425. Cover stuffing with foil and bake for 20-25 mins. Uncover and bake for 15-20 mins more.