With Thanksgiving just around the corner, allow us to suggest this flavorful stuffing recipe from the 13th-century Syrian cookbook Scents and Flavors, with pistachios, lemon juice, and a variety of herbs and spices including parsley, mint, caraway, thyme, and cinnamon. Of course, there were no turkeys in 13th-century Syria, but we think substituting turkey for chicken in this recipe will work just fine.
Here’s what you’ll need:
- Rue (Rue is a bitter herb. The website Cook’s Info suggests fenugreek seed as a substitute.)
- Bread crumbs (The recipe calls for “white kumāj bread,” which is a thick flatbread of Turkish origin, cooked in a pan set on embers. Any type of sturdy white bread, torn into small pieces, will work for this recipe.)
- Toasted pistachios
- Coriander seeds
- Olive oil
- Toasted sesame oil
- Lemon juice
- Chicken broth
- A whole chicken (or turkey)
And here is the recipe from Scents and Flavors—use your best judgment for the quantities, and season to taste!
Take the sieved crumbs of white kumāj bread. Take three parts parsley, one part mint, and one-half part rue. Mince them all fine and rub with the bread crumbs until the herbs wilt. Add toasted pistachios crushed in a mortar, along with coriander seeds, caraway, thyme, mixed spices, pepper, salt, ground Chinese cinnamon, a bit of olive oil, and some toasted sesame oil. Knead with lemon juice until it is sour enough for you. Then boil a chicken and fry until done. Stuff with the bread-crumb mixture and spread some on the breast and wings and between the thighs. Then thin the remainder of the stuffing with just enough chicken broth and lemon juice that you can dip bread in it and pick some up, and place in a bowl. Use only a small amount of bread crumbs; the more pistachios, the better.