Thanksgiving was a major Mexican family affair for Rob Tamez during his boyhood in San Antonio, Texas. “The whole family got together at our house,” said Tamez, the chef at Loby’s Bar & Grille in Jackson Township. “My mother had eight brothers and sisters, and my father had five, so all my aunts and uncles and my cousins and my grandmother would be there.”
Despite their south-of-the-border heritage, the Tamez clan would feast on what he remembers as “normal Thanksgiving dinner with turkey, plus a couple of other things Mexican families cook—tamales, chicken mole and stuff like that, things they don’t do up here in Ohio.”
Nowadays, Tamez does the Thanksgiving cooking for his family, and his menu is a traditional American one.
It’s to die for.”
“I do enough creative all year long,” he said. “I do mashed potatoes, yams, broccoli au gratin.”
He continues to make the same cornbread dressing/stuffing that he enjoyed as a kid, and shares his recipe here. This will make enough to stuff the turkey, with more left over to bake in a casserole.
“It’s to die for,” Tamez promises.
1 whole chicken
1 bag whole carrots
1 package celery
2 bell peppers
2 large Spanish onions
1 package fresh thyme
1 package fresh sage
4 boxes Jiffy cornbread mix
Place chicken in pot of water with one celery stalk, one carrot and half an onion. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer, cover and let cook for 45 minutes. While doing this, bake cornbread using instructions on the box. Dice four carrots, two bell peppers, 1 1/2 onions and the rest of the celery. Chop thyme and sage and mix with vegetables. Saute with olive oil and 1 teaspoon each of salt and pepper in a skillet for about 20 minutes, starting on high heat then turning down to medium heat, until vegetables are soft. Remove chicken from pan, saving broth. Skin, bone and chop or shred chicken. Crumble cornbread in a bowl, add chicken, sauteed vegetables and a pinch or two of Cajun spices. Mix together, adding chicken broth until it reaches a doughy consistency. Stuff the turkey, then place the rest in a baking pan and cover with foil. Bake at 375 degrees for 30 minutes, adding broth as needed to prevent dryness.