We are Thanksgiving traditionalists.  Or at least as traditional as what’s been on the American table in say, the last 25 years.  Turkey, Pepperidge Farm stuffing (which we love with sausage, of course), mashed potatoes, the sweet potatoes that nobody wants to admit they love but that everyone secretly hopes still make it to the table, cranberry sauce (me = jellied. don’t judge.), and 3 different kinds of veggies – usually carrots, green bean casserole, and onions.  Sound like your table?

Well, after missing last Thanksgiving due to an emergency hospitalization for Kyle on TG morning, I decided to make things a little extra special this year. And since we’re hosting, we’re doing things our way. I won’t go through the whole menu (stay tuned) but we’re brining the turkey, putting wine in the gravy, adding traditional Polish pierogies (a nod to Kyle’s heritage) in place of the mashed potatoes, keeping the sweet potatoes (yes!!), making cranberry chutney, and kicking the bagged stuffing to the curb in place of this Rustic Herb Stuffing.

I did a test run of this stuffing last weekend and completely fell in love with it.  It’s definitely rustic and earthy, and it will perfectly compliment my herb-stuffed turkey and the out-flipping-standing gravy (also tested last weekend) we’ll be making.  I didn’t know what to expect with Swiss chard as an ingredient since I’d never used it before but it cooks down much like fresh spinach and has a depth of flavor that spinach often loses when cooked with other ingredients.   This stuffing will be different for both my family and Kyle’s this year, but I’m confident they will enjoy it as much as I do.

What’s on your Thanksgiving menu this year?

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Rustic Herb Stuffing
source: Bon Appétit, November 2010

Ingredients:

  • 1 16-ounce loaf country-style French bread with crust, cut into 1/2-inch cubes (about 11 cups)
  • 10 tablespoons (1 1/4 sticks) butter
  • 2 bunches green onions, thinly sliced
  • 2 cups finely chopped celery
  • 3/4 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
  • 1 large garlic clove, minced
  • 1 teaspoon coarse kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 large bunch Swiss chard, stems cut from leaves and discarded, leaves coarsely chopped (about 12 cups)
  • 3 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup (or more) low-salt chicken broth
  • 3 ounces coarsely grated Parmesan cheese (optional)

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Spread bread on large rimmed baking sheet. Bake until bread is dry, about 15 minutes. Cool.
  2. Melt 10 tablespoons butter in heavy large skillet over medium heat. Add green onions and next 8 ingredients; sauté until celery is tender, 6 to 8 minutes. Add Swiss chard and toss until wilted, about 3 minutes. DO AHEAD: Bread cubes and vegetable mixture can be made 1 day ahead. Store bread cubes airtight at room temperature. Cool vegetable mixture slightly, then transfer to microwave-safe bowl; cover and chill. Rewarm vegetable mixture in microwave before continuing.
  3. Preheat oven to 375°F. Generously butter 13x9x2-inch glass baking dish. Place bread cubes in very large bowl. Add warm vegetable mixture; toss to combine. Whisk eggs and 3/4 cup broth in medium bowl. Add egg mixture to stuffing and toss to coat. Mix in Parmesan, if using.
  4. Add more broth (about 1/2 to 3/4 cup) to stuffing if dry. Transfer to dish. Cover with buttered foil. Bake 30 minutes. Remove foil; bake until golden, about 30 minutes.

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  • November 24, 2010 at 6:19 AM

    The rustic herb stuffing looks incredibly delicious and I love how the recipe uses parmesan cheese!!! Anything with cheese equals completely delicious. This year I’m probably just having Thanksgiving dinner with my mama. We’re having turkey, cornbread cranberry stuffing, potato gratin (Dorie Greenspan recipe), gravy for the turkey, cranberry sauce, rolls and cake for dessert. We’re not pie people so it’s cake all the way! 🙂
    Have a happy Thanksgiving Tara!

  • November 24, 2010 at 5:44 PM

    The stuffing sounds wonderful! We celebrate our heritage by having homemade pierogi on Thanksgiving as well, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. 🙂

  • November 24, 2010 at 10:36 PM

    I love stuffing. This recipe looks delicious. I can’t wait to try it.

  • November 26, 2010 at 11:23 AM

    I can smell the food..hmmmm absolutely herby

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