The West Texas Way
With a supporting cast of bread, onions, celery, and spices, dressing (or stuffing in some quarters) is infinitely customizable. Coastal Southerners may fold in oysters; others, andouille or breakfast sausage. And when you hail from El Paso, Texas, like barbecue master John Lewis, your Thanksgiving dressing is studded with hatch chiles. The long green chile pepper that’s roasted and celebrated in New Mexico in early fall lends a welcome kick to the usual suspects. Growing up an hour’s drive from Hatch, New Mexico, where his great-grandparents owned a hatch chile farm, Lewis is a major champion of the pepper. “We put them in everything,” he says. At his namesake barbecue joint in Charleston, South Carolina, he purees them into a green barbecue sauce, and adds them to his wildly popular corn pudding. The mildly spicy chile plays well in this dressing with slightly sweet golden raisins and the crunch of pecans—an ideal side for smoked turkey.
Hatch chiles bring a subtle kick to this dressing, which is baked in a skillet for extra crunch.