How about adding a touch of Polish cuisine to your Thanksgiving dinner this year? We asked Aleksandra August from the PBS Flavor of Poland series to share some ideas with us! Take a look below for a great Polish inspired recipe for turkey stuffing from Aleksandra! The recipe involves only a few simple steps, and you can find all the key Polish ingredients you need on Polana.com! Smacznego!
There are a lot of options when it comes to Thanksgiving turkey stuffing! Though breadcrumbs combined with onion, celery, mushrooms or carrots, generously seasoned with herbs like sage or parsley are considered the American classic, there are plenty of other ingredients we can stuff inside our annual Thanksgiving turkey too! When it comes to Thanksgiving dinner, though certain dishes and sides make a ceremonious annual appearance at the table, there really is no standard. With the diversity of a nation like the United States, Thanksgiving dinners in homes across America are often inspired by cherished multi-cultural traditions. Whether it be via the main course, dessert, or beverages the holiday is a great time to celebrate our favorite family tastes and customs!
This year, I’m going to incorporate some of my favorite aspects of Polish cuisine into Thanksgiving dinner, and I’m going to start by sneaking some of them into the turkey stuffing! If you remember episode #1 of Flavor of Poland, you’ll recall I showed how to make a traditional Krakow-style roasted duck. The stuffing I used in that recipe is also a great option for roasted turkey!
I modified the recipe just a bit to give it a flavor profile just right for Thanksgiving. You’ll notice it’s a rich recipe. If you want, you can treat this stuffing as a substitute for mashed potatoes…but you can certainly also have those on the side if you wish too! (Unless you want to have potato-filled pierogi instead. That would also work!)
If you love Polish traditions as much as I do, I hope you find a way to incorporate them into your Thanksgiving dinner this year. Wishing you all a beautiful Thanksgiving, and a delicious meal enjoyed in the warmth and company of the ones you love!
~ Aleksandra August
Makes enough stuffing for a 15-18lb Turkey (serves 10+)
- 3 cups of Roasted Buckwheat Groats
- 2 cups of sliced champignon mushrooms
- 20 grams (1 packet) of dried forest mushrooms
- 1 red onion (chopped)
- 1 white onion (chopped)
- 0.4 lb. of smoked gypsy bacon (cubed)
- 5 long, organic celery stalks (cleaned & trimmed)
- ½ cup of chopped parsley leaves
- 1 tbsp. of crushed marjoram
- Soak the forest mushrooms in a pot of water overnight (a few hours during the day is fine too). Next, bring the water in the pot to a low simmer and cook the mushrooms until they are soft. Then strain, cool and slice them.
- Cook the buckwheat then set aside to cool.
- Slowly fry the (cubed) gypsy bacon over medium heat in a frying pan until it achieves a delicate golden tone –Do not fry to a full crisp.
- Add the white and red onions into the pan over the bacon and sauté, folding the ingredients together until the onions are tender.
- Add in all the mushrooms. Continue to stir and cook until the mushrooms are tender & lightly browned.
- Finally, add the chopped celery and fold into the rest of the ingredients. Stir for just a few minutes. Do not let the celery get too tender as it will soften during baking inside the turkey.
- Set your sauteed mixture off to the side to cool.
- Combine all the cooled ingredients along with the buckwheat in a separate bowl, stirring them together thoroughly.
- Season with marjoram, salt & pepper to taste. Mix in the chopped parsley leaves for an added, fresh taste.
- Fill your turkey with the buckwheat stuffing and truss at both ends. You can also opt to serve this stuffing as a side to your turkey dinner.
I also recommend a good cranberry sauce to compliment the flavor combination of turkey with this polish stuffing.
Smacznego! ...that means “enjoy!”