Hi, Friends! Are we all in full Thanksgiving menu planning mode? This Herb Ciabatta Dressing wants a home on your Thanksgiving table. And we’re cooking it in a cast iron skillet so it won’t even take up one of your serving dishes. Herb Ciabatta Dressing is polite like that. ;0 The ciabatta bread is a perfect base, yielding a delightful texture-no mushiness here, thanks very much. Cooking in cast iron also creates a gorgeous, crunchy, caramelized crust which will have everyone fighting for the outer rim pieces.
Most years, Alan and I host Thanksgiving. Partially because we really like to cook (duh) and partially because we have these tiny humans. I find it easier to host a holiday than pack up my children, and our families are kind enough to cooperate with this arrangement. Have you tried to travel with a baby? Overrated.
There was the one year I actually cooked a turkey. Mostly because it seemed like a mandatory bit of adulting. I was 30, I was newly married, I was hosting Thanksgiving and it seemed the appropriate thing to do. It turned out well, but that year I realized nobody is actually all that excited about the turkey. People are there for the SIDES! Thanksgiving side dishes are basically your childhood holiday memories served up on a platter. Specifically, the dressing! I’ve rotated through a few variations over the years but this Herb Ciabatta Dressing is one I’ve landed on and it has earned a forever place on our Thanksgiving menu.
Alan was always adamant that chicken livers be incorporated in our Thanksgiving dressing. I did not concur and as I was the one cooking it, I sort of pretended I didn’t hear. But a few years ago, I decided to humor that darling husband of mine. He works hard- he deserves his chicken livers. So, I channelled my inner 1950s housewife and I took some chicken livers- (not as challenging to work with as I anticipated) and added garlic, salt, lots of herbs and dry vermouth. Turns out, they are fantastic. Imagine a rustic pate laced through your Thanksgiving dressing. It’s basically heaven. And it also means that he was once again right about something I resisted. Annoying.
All that to say, after many Thanksgiving dressing experiments, this is the one I hope will evoke childhood Thanksgiving memories for my boys when they are grown. Because it will live on my Thanksgiving table forever. Happy cooking, friends. I hope you have much to be thankful for this Thanksgiving season.