Is it just me or did Thanksgiving kind of sneak up on us this year? I’m not complaining, as we all know how much I love this time of year. It combines my love of three Fs (food, family, football) with the kickoff of the holiday season (one of my favorite traditions — cueing up the holiday playlist the day after Thanksgiving and listening to this on repeat for a month) and, in the case of Friendsgiving at least, my most OCD spreadsheet-loving organizing self.
This year’s Friendsgiving is on Sunday, and I had a lot of mental back-and-forth about the menu. I am very of the “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” mentality, especially when solo-cooking dinner for 15 people. I already have the perfect stuffing recipe, one that is Norman Rockwell-esque in its Thanksgivingness. Why mess around with another?
But I’ll be honest: I’ve been dreaming of making this stuffing FOREVER. The combination of salty, spicy, smoky chorizo, and slightly sweet, crumbly corn bread has been haunting my dreams. (I have weird dreams.) Yes, the classic version is amazing, but sometimes you want something a little surprising at your table, and this is definitely it.
One important note here: this recipe calls for Spanish chorizo, the dried and cured pork sausage that’s flavored with lots of smoked paprika (giving it that distinctive red color). It’s usually found with the salami and hard sausages. Don’t use Mexican chorizo, which is usually sold fresh at the meat counter. (Here’s a great explainer on the differences between the two.)
I also cheated and used store-bought cornbread, but if you’d like to go the homemade route, I’d highly recommend making it a few days in advance. In fact, go ahead and make the whole stuffing a day or two in advance — stuffing actually gets better as it sits, since all the flavors can kind of meld together. So do yourself a favor and make this ahead of time. To reheat, two hours before dinner time, take the stuffing out of the fridge and let it come to room temperature. Then drizzle a half-cup of broth over top, cover with a piece of buttered foil and reheat for 30 minutes, then uncover and finish reheat for an additional 15 minutes. (You can do this after you take out your turkey, while it’s resting.)
Traditional stuffing is amazing and will never not be a good decision. But I’ll be honest, sometimes change can be good. And change that involves cornbread and chorizo stuffing is always something I want to be a part of.
MORE THANKSGIVING: Literally every recipe you need is over here. Not seeing something you need or have any questions? Let me know in the comments!
- 1.5 pounds corn bread (if using storebought) OR a double-batch of these (minus the jalapeño and cheddar)
- 8 ounces Spanish chorizo*, casing removed and sausage diced
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 medium onions, chopped
- 4 celery ribs, chopped
- 3 medium carrots, chopped
- 5 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth
- 1 large egg
- salt and pepper, to taste
- Preheat the oven to 350F. Butter a 3-quart shallow baking dish (or go my route, and just use your skillet!).
- Cube the corn bread into 1/2-inch pieces, spreading them out in 1 layer in a large sheet pan. Bake, tossing occasionally, until the cornbread pieces have dried out, 20-25 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool the cornbread completely.
- Meanwhile, heat the oil in a 12-inch heavy skillet on medium heat. Crisp the chorizo, stirring occasionally, for 2-3 minutes, then add the onions, celery, carrots, garlic, oregano and 1 teaspoon each of kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper. Saute until the vegetables have softened slightly, 10-12 minutes. Stir in the cornbread cubes and let cool for 15 minutes.
- Whisk together the chicken broth and the egg, then pour over stuffing and toss well. Transfer to baking dish (if using), and cover tightly with buttered foil (OR just cover the skillet with the foil).
- Bake for 1 hour. Remove the foil and bake until the top is golden, about 15 minutes more.
- *As mentioned, you're looking for Spanish chorizo, a dried and cured pork sausage. I had no trouble finding it at the grocery store, but if you're having a hard time, it's also available on Amazon.