Created: November 20, 2020 04:55 PM
Green Chile Pinon Stuffing
First, this recipe has been adapted almost word for word from The Joy of Cooking. So all credit goes to them. I have been preparing this recipe annually at Thanksgiving for at least 40 years. I adapted it to the Land of Enchantment in 1998 (when I moved here) with the spicy pork sausage, the hot green chile, and the pinon nuts. It is so popular with my family that I make a double recipe so that the leftovers can be consumed for another week. And while I always use hot green chile and spicy pork sausage, you can use milder versions if you like (as long as you are not worried that some may see you as an inauthentic New Mexican as a result.)
The recipe yields enough to stuff a 14 – 17 pound turkey. Many of the variations yield enough for an additional small casserole of stuffing. To stuff an oven roaster or 6 to 8 rock Cornish hens, halve the recipes. For a larger turkey, increase all the ingredients by half. The optional egg(s) makes the stuffing firm (I always use two of them). If you prefer the bread to be moist, skip the toasting step.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
Toast until golden brown (or precut and allow to dry overnight, which is what I do, or both):
1-pound sliced firm white sandwich, French, or Italian bread, including crusts, cut into ½-inch cubes, or 10 cups lightly packed bread cubes. Place into the largest bowl you own or can borrow. (Trust me.)
Toast ½ to 1 cup of pinon nuts until lightly browned. Set aside for now.
In a large skillet on medium to high heat, fully cook 1 pound of spicy pork sausage. Transfer cooked sausage to another bowl, keeping drippings in the frying pan.
Heat in the same large skillet over medium-high heat until the foam subsides:
4 to 8 tablespoons (1/2 to 1 stick) unsalted butter
Add and cook, stirring, until tender, about 5 minutes:
2 cups chopped onions
1 cup finely chopped celery
2 four ounce cans of hot green chile, diced
Remove from the heat and stir in:
¼ to ½ cup minced fresh parsley
1 teaspoon dried sage, or 1 tablespoon minced fresh
1 teaspoon dried thyme, or 1 tablespoon minced fresh
¾ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon ground black pepper
¼ teaspoon freshly grated or ground nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
Stir this mixture into the bread cubes and toss until well combined. Depending on how much butter you started with and how firm you want the stuffing, stir in, a little at a time, until the stuffing is lightly moist but not packed together:
2 large eggs, well beaten (I always use 2 eggs)
1/3 to 1 cup chicken stock (NOTE: If I am cooking the stuffing inside the turkey, I do not add chicken stock. However, if cooking in a dish in the oven, I add enough to make the stuffing moist but not wet.)
Once bread, vegetables, and seasoning well mixed, add:
Cooked pork sausage
Toasted pinon nuts
Adjust the seasonings to taste.
Enjoy! And have a Happy and Safe Thanksgiving this year, with the hope that we can all be together with families in 2021.
David Scrase, MD
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