A Thanksgiving Stuffing recipe that combines Utica Greens, a Central NY favorite, with a traditional side dish to add just a little bit of heat to your Thanksgiving dinner.
Utica, NY is a small city in Central NY with a large Italian-American population, and we take our food very seriously :). We are home to a ton of delicious staples, like Chicken Riggies, the Half-Moon Cookie, and the dish that I am transforming today, Utica Greens. I grew up thinking these foods were eaten all over the country!
So I combined a Utica classic with a Thanksgiving classic, making a stuffing recipe that is both spicy and tasty, with a range of different textures. This will be the hit at the Thanksgiving table! You will never go back to the grocery store stuffing mix again.
What do I need to get started?
- A 9×13 casserole dish.
- Pickled Cherry Peppers. I used 5 and the stuffing was very hot. You can lessen the amount depending on your heat preference.
- Garlic Cloves.
- Grated Parmesan.
- Olive Oil.
- Chicken Stock.
- Bread crumbs,
- Stale white bread, chopped and cubed.
How to make Utica Greens Thanksgiving Stuffing
Start with olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Saute the cherry peppers, garlic, and pancetta until they’re aromatic and cooked through. This will take about 3-5 minutes.
Add the chopped and washed escarole and saute until it is soft and a bit shriveled. Then add the parmesan and breadcrumbs. Mix until everything is fully incorporated.
Remove to a large bowl and toss together with the dried bread cubes. Do not clean the skillet yet!
In the same skillet where you cooked the pancetta mixture, add the chicken stock to deglaze the pan as it heats up – you want to get all that flavor!
Once the chicken stock is heated through, pour it over the bread cube mixture.
Transfer to a large baking dish and top with more bread crumbs, parmesan, and any fresh herbs of your choice. Bake the stuffing for 30 minutes at 375.
Storage and Make Ahead
Everyone loves Thanksgiving leftovers! Keep your Utica Greens Thanksgiving Stuffing in the fridge in an airtight container for 3 days. You can add it to turkey sandwiches or have it for your own snack!
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 4oz pancetta
- 5 pickled cherry peppers (can use less depending on your heat preference)
- 5 cloves garlic, chopped
- 2 heads escarole, washed and chopped.
- 8oz grated parmesan cheese
- 1 cup Italian-seasoned bread crumbs
- 2 cups chicken stock
- 12-14 cups dried/stale bread cubes, about 1 1/2-2 loaves
- Preheat oven to 375.
- Place dried bread cubes in a large bowl and set aside.
- Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add chopped cherry peppers, garlic, and pancetta. Heat until it is soft and aromatic - about 3-5 minutes.
- Add chopped escarole and sautee until soft and shriveled.
- Add parmesan and bread crumbs. Mix until the cheese is melted and everything is fully incorporated.
- Remove the pancetta mixture from the heat and into the large bowl with the bread cubes, but do not clean the skillet.
- Toss the bread cubes and pancetta mixture it all together, until the bread is totally coated in the mixture.
- Add chicken stock to the skillet. Once it is heated through, scrape the bottom of the pan. Let it simmer for 3-5 minutes before pouring over the bread cube mixutre.
- Transfer the stuffing to a 9x13 baking dish. Top with more bread crumbs, parmesan, and any fresh herbs of your choice. Bake for 20 minutes.