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Italian Chard Stuffing

Photo: Leigh Beisch; Styling: Dan Becker
Total time 1 hr, 30 mins
Yield Serves 16 (makes 12 cups)
If we could have only one other dish besides turkey for Thanksgiving, this would be it: Hunks of juicy sausage, fresh parsley, good bread, and lots of chard—a stuffing that works as a side dish too. Former Sunset food editor Jerry Anne Di Vecchio got it from her mother-in-law, and it's just as appealing now as it was 42 years ago.

Ingredients

  • 3/4 loaf (3/4 lb.) French bread
  • 1 1/2 cups nonfat milk
  • 2 pounds Italian sausages
  • 1 cup chopped parsley
  • 1 garlic clove, minced or pressed
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped celery
  • 1 1/2 pounds green Swiss chard, stem ends trimmed, coarsely chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups freshly grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dried basil
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried rubbed sage
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • Salt

Nutrition Information

  • calories 318
  • caloriesfromfat 59 %
  • protein 15 g
  • fat 21 g
  • satfat 8.3 g
  • carbohydrate 16 g
  • fiber 1.6 g
  • sodium 815 mg
  • cholesterol 51 mg

How to Make It

  1. Cut bread into 1/2-in. slices. Place slices in a large bowl and add milk. Mix gently with a spoon to saturate with milk and let stand about 30 minutes. Stir occasionally.

  2. Meanwhile, place a 6- to 8-qt. pot over high heat. Squeeze sausages from casings into pot. Discard casings. Cook meat, stirring often to crumble, until lightly browned, 10 to 15 minutes; discard fat. Add parsley, garlic, onion, and celery. Cook, stirring often, until vegetables are lightly browned, 5 to 8 minutes. Add chard and 1/2 cup water and cook, stirring often, until wilted, about 5 minutes.

  3. With your hands, squeeze bread slices to break them into tiny pieces. Add cooked meat mixture, parmesan, basil, sage, and rosemary. Season with salt to taste.

  4. Preheat oven to 325° or 350° (use temperature turkey requires; see Note below). Spoon stuffing into a shallow 3-qt. (9- by 13-in.) casserole. For moist stuffing, cover with foil; for crusty stuffing, do not cover. Bake until hot (at least 150° in center) or lightly browned, at least 30 minutes.

  5. Make ahead: Up to 1 day ahead, make stuffing, put in casserole, cover, and chill. Allow about 1 hour to bake.

  6. Note: For turkeys 10-13 lbs., oven/bbq temperature should be 350°; for turkeys 14 lbs. and over, oven/bbq temperature should be 325°.

  7. Note: Nutritional analysis is per 3/4-cup serving.