This green olives and chouriço stuffing melds spicy pork sausage and briny olives into a ciabatta or sourdough bread stuffing with outstanding results. It’s certain to be the most talked-about dish at the table.
I love the concept of stuffing. It’s a blank slate waiting to be painted in flavors that depict who you are. Green olives are my ode to California, while the chouriço, saffron, and vinegar speak for the India I grew up in.–Nik Sharma
Green Olives and Chouriço Stuffing
- 1 pound ciabatta or sourdough bread
- 1 stick (4 oz) unsalted butter plus more for the baking dish
- 20 strands saffron
- Fine sea salt
- 11 ounces uncured chouriço
- 1 (10 1/2 oz) leek ends trimmed and thinly sliced
- 1 medium (9 1/4 oz) yellow onion thinly sliced
- 4 garlic cloves peeled and thinly sliced
- Two (7-ounce) Granny Smith or other firm tart baking apples, cored and diced
- 3 ounces dried tart cherries (optional)
- 1/2 cup walnut halves
- 1/4 cup apple cider or malt vinegar
- One (6-ounce) can or jar medium green olives drained and halved
- 2 cups store-bought or homemade low-sodium chicken stock
- 2 large eggs lightly whisked
- 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro for garnish
- 2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley for garnish
- Preheat the oven to 200°F (93°C) and line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Cut or tear the bread into 1/2-inch (12-mm) cubes, spread them in a single layer on the baking sheet, and bake until dry, about 1 hour. Remove from the oven and let cool completely. Transfer to a large bowl.
- Increase the oven heat to 350°F (177°C). If baking the stuffing outside the turkey in a baking dish, coat a 9-by-13-by-2-inch (23-by-33-by-5-cm) ceramic or glass baking dish with a little butter. If baking the stuffing inside the turkey, proceed with the recipe.
- Using a mortar and pestle or spice grinder, grind half of the saffron to a fine powder with a little salt.
- Remove and discard the casing from the chouriço and break the sausage into small bits. Toss it in a medium saucepan over low heat and cook, stirring occasionally, until the sausage starts to brown, 8 to 10 minutes.
- Add the butter and stir until it melts. Increase the heat, add the leek and onion, and sauté until they start to turn translucent, 4 to 5 minutes. Add the garlic and sauté for 1 minute. Add the whole and ground saffron strands and stir to combine.
- Stir in the apples, cherries, if using, and walnuts and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add the vinegar and remove from the heat. Gently fold in the olives followed by the dried bread. Season with the salt.If baking the stuffing outside the turkey in a baking dish, transfer the mixture to the prepared baking dish.If baking the stuffing inside the turkey, transfer the mixture to a large bowl.
- In a medium bowl, whisk 1 cup of the stock with the eggs, then whisk in the remaining stock. Pour the liquid over the bread mixture in the baking dish or bowl and gently stir to combine. (You can let the stuffing rest at room temperature for 30 minutes before baking or cover it with plastic wrap and refrigerate it overnight.)
- When you’re ready to bake the stuffing, discard the plastic wrap. If chilled, leave the stuffing on the counter for 15 minutes.
- If baking the stuffing outside the turkey in a baking dish, cover the baking dish snugly with a sheet of aluminum foil to form a tight seal and bake for 40 minutes. Reduce the heat to 300°F (149°C), remove the foil, and continue to bake, uncovered, until the top is golden brown and crispy and the liquid has completely evaporated, 20 to 30 minutes. A skewer or knife inserted into the center should come out clean. Remove from the oven and let cool for at least 10 minutes. Garnish with the cilantro and parsley and serve warm.If baking the stuffing inside the turkey, place the stuffing in the cavity of your turkey and roast according to whatever recipe you’re using for the turkey. The stuffing is done when an instant thermometer inserted in the centermost part of the stuffing reaches the same desired internal temperature as the thickest part of the turkey thigh (namely, 165°F | 75°C).
Recipe Testers’ Reviews
The instructions are easy to follow and the final results exceed my expectations. My recommendation is try to make ahead of a time and you won’t be stressed out.
I started at 9:42 pm to do the prep, with my mom helping cut and slice all the ingredients while I was cooking the sausage and mixing all the ingredients. I enjoyed it and it reminded me of when we used to cook for Christmas. At 11 pm, we had everything ready and decided to bake it the next day.
This is a welcome change to usual stuffing recipes—it’s full of vibrant flavors and textures and I can promise you won’t miss the usual celery and thyme. The saffron delicately perfumes the bread and blends nicely with the chouriço and dried cherries. It’s good enough to eat plain all on its own and everyone had seconds.
Not wanting to waste money, I used canned olives for testing, but I can assure you that you will want higher quality, briny ones, especially if you’re making this for company. My only concerns are the stuffing was a little too wet to feel like stuffing…below the surface it felt a little too soft like bread pudding and I certainly would want more crusty/crunchy bits (i.e. texture contrast), especially if it was being served with a sauce or a gravy.
Since the apples leech out moisture as they cook, I would recommend using only 2 cups of liquid.
Originally published December 18, 2020