I needed something different for the Thanksgiving turkey so I came up with this Chorizos Plantains and Brioche Stuffing. The spicy, robust flavors from the Spanish chorizos plunged through the mixture. In contrast, the sweet slices of plantains were mild and pleasant. And to thicken the servings, coarse slices of rich homemade brioche heightened the pleasure of eating this magnificent stuffing.
This was not the main course. Although it could have been, with the way my family wolfed it down. This was the stuffing I made for our Thanksgiving roast turkey. From the first time I made this side dish years ago, packed with interesting layers, I’ve made it again and again for our family roast turkey or chicken dinners, whether or not it was Thanksgiving.
The Spanish chorizos I used are a mainstay and favorite ingredient in Filipino dishes. The more festive the occasion, the more chorizos you will find in our dishes. It is a little luxury Filipinos like to indulge in and cannot resist having. If you’ve never had a Spanish chorizo, it contains both salty, sweet and spicy seasonings. If you mix it in casseroles, the paprika-like aromas provide an unforgettable impact to any dish and add a glorious gleam to the food presentation.
That’s why when I made this stuffing out of plantains (sweet bananas), brioche and chorizos, my sons couldn’t stop eating. This was one of the easiest ways to make my family finish up all the food.
I found many Spanish influences in this stuffing recipe. I knew it would appeal to my family. Spanish influence is strong in Filipino food. Over 300 years of Spain’s colonial rule in the Philippines starting in the 16th century is the reason for that.
“From Spain came olive oil, cured meats –longaniza or Iberian-style long sausages; chorizo de Bilbao for empanada, stuffed turkey and for Sunday’s boiled dinner, the cocido, “ was described in the article “Spain in the Philippine Palate” ( from the book ‘Pinoy Umami’).*
So with the brioche bread I baked a day before, I mixed it all in. It was a rich medley of flavors in a side dish. What better way to give thanks for the wonderful blessings our family has received this year.
Chorizos Plantains and Brioche Stuffing for the Thanksgiving Turkey
- 1 loaf brioche coarsely chopped chunks, about 2 and 1/2 cups brioche bread (homemade, store-bought or leftover ensaymadas)
- 1 whole large onion chopped
- 1 -2 stalks celery chopped
- 1/2 cup softened butter
- 4 Tablespoons vegetable oil
- 2 to 3 whole fresh, ripe plantains peeled, sliced
- 2 whole eggs
- 1 clove garlic finely minced
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon black pepper powder
- 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1 cup chicken broth with a little more reserved for adding if mixture gets dry
- 2 large pieces Spanish chorizos casings removed, meat loosened should be about 3/4 cup
- 1 large Spanish chorizo sliced, for garnish
- Peel and slice the ripe plantains. In a medium skillet, add the sliced plantains and pan fry in oil for two minutes on each side or till brown. Remove them from the skillet and drain on paper towels to remove excess oil.
- In the same skillet, add the butter and melt over medium heat. After a few seconds, add the onions and celery. Cook in butter for 1 to 2 minutes or till onions are slightly translucent. Remove them from the skillet and set aside.
- Take off the casings from the Spanish chorizos. Mash them up in a small bowl so meat loosens up. Then using the same skillet, over medium heat, add the loose chorizo meat. Cook this for 2 to 3 minutes or till the meat is browned and sizzling. The pork sausage will render its own fat in the skillet. When brown, remove the sausage meat from the skillet and set aside. Using the same skillet, add slices of 1 large chorizo, for the garnish. Pan sear the chorizo for 1-2 minutes till it becomes a darker, glossy color. Remove the chorizo slices and set aside for garnish later.
- In a separate bowl, coarsely cut up the brioche into large pieces. To these brioche chunks, add the onions and celery.
- Add the plantains, chorizo meat, eggs, chicken broth, salt, pepper,garlic, red pepper flakes. Blend all the ingredients well with a spoon. Place the whole mixture in an oven proof shallow pan (metal or oven proof glass) that has been pre-greased with cooking spray.
- Cover the stuffing mixture with aluminum foil. Bake in a preheated oven of 350 F degrees for 20 to 25 minutes. At the last 5 minutes of baking, take off the foil cover and continue baking till the top is slightly brown. Garnish with the chorizo slices. Serve as a side dish or a stuffing alongside a roast turkey or chicken.
- COOK’S COMMENTS: It is important to remember that you will still bake this stuffing at the end. So try not to overcook the plantains, onions, celery and chorizo meat or it will result in a dry, or even with some parts burnt if cooked too long. If brioche or sweet bread is not available, use any bread that is on hand.
- Ingredient Availability: Here in the States, I buy the plantains in major supermarkets by the ethnic fruits and vegetable produce section. They are also found in Asian markets. When I buy them fresh, often they are still green, so I cover them with brown bags or old newspapers when I get home, to hasten ripening. It may take 3 to 4 days for plantains to ripen if you buy them green. If you must make this soon and there is no time to ripen fresh plantains to a desired sweetness, you can use frozen cooked plantains, found in major supermarkets, at the freezer section of ethnic products.
- *Reference: “Filipino Cuisine, A Narrative Degustacion” by Corazon S. Alvina, from the book “Pinoy Umami, The Heart of Philippine Culture”, book concept by Nonna Nanagas.
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Nutrition Notes: The nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.