I am just going to wing this because I don’t have the recipe, but I know how to make it. It’s a great stuffing, a traditional New England recipe adopted by a Portuguese immigrant named Justina Gomes Rodrigues (the little lady in the photo, my paternal grandmother) and made to her Madeiran tastes.
One pound Italian sausage, casing removed, or
One pound of Portuguese chouriço or linguiça sausage (Gaspar’s or Amaral’s)
One green bell pepper, diced
Two yellow onions, diced
One can of black pitted olives, drained
Two hard boiled eggs
Garlic, two cloves sliced
Celery, three stalks, diced
Chicken broth, maybe three cups.
One or two packages of seasoned stuffing bread.
Red wine vinegar
Oil a large cast-iron skillet and sautee the green pepper, celery and two onions. When they are soft, set them aside. (I add a little chicken broth to hasten the softening of these vegetables.)
Chop up some fresh parsley. Chop or crumble the sausage. Then, in the same skillet, add a bit more oil and, over medium heat, cook the garlic until it softens, then brown the meat. After the sausage cooks for a few minutes, add the chopped parsley and stir.
Chop the black olives.
Slice and dice the eggs.
If your skillet is large enough, set heat to medium again and add the stuffing to the browned sausage, then the cooked vegetables, then the egg and olive pieces. (This can all be done in a large bowl or casserole because all the ingredients are already cooked.)
Add salt and pepper, two dashes of cinnamon, two dashes of poultry seasoning. Add two or three dashes of vinegar (essential!). Important: Add the chicken broth as you go to get the stuffing as moist as you like. My grandmother’s was moist, one of the reasons everyone loved it.
This stuffing stands alone delicious. I never top it with turkey gravy because it’s so good, as is. But to each his own on that count.
3 thoughts on “How to make Portuguese stuffing for Thanksgiving”
It’s fitting that an immigrant like your grandmother would have such a wonderful recipe for Thanksgiving, the most American of holidays. My father, also an immigrant, opined that if you stuff the stuffing in the cavity of the turkey it is “stuffing.” If, on the other hand, you serve it by itself as a side dish, it is not “stuffing” but rather, “dressing.” Either way, it is quintessentially American for a person born elsewhere to celebrate his/her status as an American citizen, giving thanks, first and foremost, for the opportunity to thrive in our wonderful country.
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Excellent point on stuffing v dressing.
Mmmm. Sounds real good. I remember your grandmother. Tiny little thing full of energy.
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