In case you’ve been living under Plymouth Rock, Thanksgivukkah, the hybrid word du jour references the unlikely convergence of the Thanksgiving and Hanukkah holidays.
Such a calendar occurrence won’t happen again for approximately 70,000 years, so professional and home cooks alike have crossbred the respective culinary traditions with the fervor of 1,000 turduckens.
One such mash-up from Tori Avey, who blogs as The Shiksa in the Kitchen, is a savory challah stuffing recipe — and for that, we’re thankful.
Savory Challah Stuffing
Recipe reprinted with permission from The Shiksa in the Kitchen
Kosher Key: Meat or Pareve depending on oil/broth used
1 cup pre-shelled roasted chestnuts or 3/4 lb. chestnuts in shell
1/4 cup schmaltz or margarine, divided (if you’re not keeping kosher, feel free to use butter)
1/2 lb. (8 oz.) sliced white mushrooms
1 onion, minced
2 cups celery, diced including leaves
1 cup carrots, diced small
1/2 cup curly leaf parsley, minced
2 Tbsp fresh sage, minced
1 Tbsp fresh thyme leaves, minced
1 tsp fresh marjoram, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 quart (4 cups) chicken or vegetable broth
1 medium loaf of dairy-free challah bread, cubed (about 10 cups of cubes)
4 eggs, beaten
If you are using pre-peeled chestnuts, chop them into bits and reserve them in a bowl for later use. If you are using chestnuts in the shell, you will need to roast and peel them before chopping — in my experience this takes about 45 minutes of prep time.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. In a skillet, melt 2 tablespoons schmaltz or margarine over medium high heat, tilting to coat the bottom of the pan. Spread the mushrooms in a single layer at the bottom of the skillet. Sprinkle them with salt and pepper and turn the heat to high. Let the mushrooms sear without stirring. After 2 minutes, stir the mushrooms continuously for another 2-3 minutes until they are seared golden brown and shrink to half their size.
Reserve the mushrooms in a bowl, return skillet to the stove. Turn flame to medium high and melt 2 more tablespoons of schmaltz or margarine in the skillet. Sauté the onion till it softens, then add the celery, carrots, minced garlic cloves and chopped chestnuts.
Pour in 3 cups of the chicken or veggie broth (reserve the last cup), bring to a boil. Reduce heat and allow mixture to simmer for 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Remove from heat and let the mixture cool for a few minutes.
Meanwhile, spread challah bread cubes in a single layer across two cookie sheets and place them in the oven. Let them lightly toast for 5-6 minutes until the edges start to turn golden. You want to dry out the cubes just slightly; they should still retain some of their sponginess.
Place challah bread crumbs in a very large mixing bowl. In a small bowl, beat the eggs. Pour the eggs over the breadcrumbs, stir with a large wooden spoon or spatula. Add the broth mixture and continue to stir till the vegetables and liquid are fully incorporated into the breadcrumbs.
You can use this stuffing to stuff a 10-16 lb. bird, or you can bake the stuffing separately. If stuffing the bird, make sure you follow the appropriate food safety guidelines.
To bake the stuffing outside the bird, spread the stuffing in an even layer in a 9×13 baking dish and place uncovered in the oven. Let it cook for 30-45 minutes. Check once halfway through cooking; if the stuffing seems too dry, pour more chicken broth evenly across the top. Let it continue to bake till the top turns golden brown.
Serve hot. To keep this dish vegetarian, use vegetable broth and butter or margarine.
Explore more Thanksgivukkah recipes from Tori Avey:
Sweet Potato Latkes with Brown Sugar Syrup & Candied Pecans
Rum Raisin Cranberry Kugel
Or, see all of Eatocracy’s best Thanksgiving recipes and advice.