Like my pumpkin pie tres leches recipe, this recipe is for my second-gen Latin immigrants who brine their Thanksgiving turkeys in Cuban Mojo. This chicharron thanksgiving stuffing recipe takes traditional American stuffing and infuses it with some Caribbean flare.
This stuffing has a lot of bold flavors and textures from the crunch of chicharrones to the sweetness of the fried plantains.
What you'll need for this recipe
- Chicharrones (fried pork belly)
- Ripened (sweet) plantains
- Cuban Mojo
- Dense and crusty bread like sourdough or baguette
- Chicken broth
- Pork/bacon drippings
- 9x13 casserole dish
- Large mixing bowls
How to Make Chicharron Thanksgiving Stuffing From Scratch
First you'll need to make your chicharrones, you can use my recipe. If you don't want to make the chicharrones and live in an area where they're easily accessible you can buy them already made. If you made them from scratch, you'll need to reserve the fat drippings.
Then you'll need to peel, cut and fry up your sweet plantains. For this recipe, I like to chop up the plantains into small cubes.
Sauté your onions and celery in the reserved pork fat drippings from your chicharrones. If you didn't make your own chicharrones, you can use bacon drippings or store-bought lard.
In a small sized bowl, mix your eggs, mojo and broth. In a separate large bowl, fold in your chopped chicharrones, sweet plantains and bread cubes. Pour the pork fat, onion and celery mixture over the breadcrumbs and mix. Finally, pour the broth mixture over the bread mix and gently fold in.
Pour the mixture into a 9x13 pan, cover with aluminum foil and bake.
Tips for making the BEST Chicharron Thanksgiving Stuffing
To save time, bake, chop and dry out the bread the night before and leave uncovered on the counter. Be sure to chop your bread into small ½ inch cubes, anything bigger will make it hard to mix.
Salt to taste! The chicharrones tend to have a good amount of salt in them as does the rendered pork fat and cuban mojo. As as a result, I do not add a lot of salt to this recipe, but you're welcomed to add more to your liking.
If you need to keep the homemade stuffing warm before serving it, loosely cover it with foil and stick it in a 200F oven.
What’s the Best Bread for Stuffing?
For this chicharron Thanksgiving stuffing used a French baguette for this recipe, a sturdy sourdough loaf would work too. It retained the flavor but still maintains its texture.
I tried to keep it completely Spanglish and attempted to use Cuban bread instead, but it turned into a mush. I wasn’t a fan of that, it felt like a savory bread pudding.
How to store your Chicharron Thanksgiving Stuffing
this stuffing can be stored in an airtight container for up to 5 days in the refrigerator.
What to serve with this Chicharron Thanksgiving stuffing
Chicharron Thanksgiving Stuffing Recipe
- 9x13 casserole dish
- large mixing bowls
- 1 lbs of cooked chicharron chopped
- 1 large sweet plantain chopped
- 1 cup of rendered pork fat
- 1 Pound day-old white baguette or sourdough bread diced into ½-inch cubes and dried
- 1 large yellow onion diced small
- 1 cup celery diced small
- ½ cup of Cuban mojo
- ¼ teaspoon salt or to taste
- 1 teaspoon pepper or to taste
- 1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
- 2 large eggs
- Preheat oven to 250F. Place cubed bread on a baking sheet and bake, stirring occasionally for 45 minutes. Once out of the oven, allow them to cool and place in a large bowl.
- Preheat oven to 350F and spray a 9x13 inch pan with cooking spray; set aside.
- Fry your peeled and chopped sweet plantains in a medium skillet with about ¼ cup of corn oil over medium heat. Be sure to not burn them and turn them occasionally. Use a slotted spoon and remove from heat. Place your cooked sweet plantains on a paper towel to drain out excess oil and set aside.
- In a smaller bowl, mix the mojo, salt, pepper, eggs, chicken broth, and toss well to combine; set aside.
- To a large skillet, add your rendered pork fat, onions and celery at medium heat. Cook until softened and are just beginning to lightly brown, about 10 minutes. Stir frequently.
- Transfer vegetables with pork renderings, chopped chicharron and fried sweet plantains to the bowl with bread. Gently mix ingredients.
- Pour half of your broth mojo mixture and gently fold ingredients til combined. Add the remaining broth mixtures and fold again.
- Pour mixture into prepared 9x13 casserole dish then cover with foil and bake for 40 minutes.
- Uncover and bake for an additional 40 minutes, or until top is as lightly golden browned as desired. Serve immediately.
- To save time on the day of, bake and dry out the bread the night before and leave uncovered on the counter until the morning you’re ready to make the stuffing.
- If you need to keep the homemade stuffing warm before serving it, loosely cover it with foil and stick it in a 200F oven.
- Add salt to taste