Known in the Coal Region as “Lithuanian Cracker Filling” (“stuffing” in many parts, but — “filling” to a coal cracker/Dutchie!), this recipe more than likely did not originate in Lithuania where, if made, it would have been with bread, but rather came about in the kitchens of Lithuanian Americans.
It is a well-known dish served in Lithuanian American homes and many of our grandmas and moms made it. Back in the day, this recipe often called for Royal Lunch Milk crackers, however, Nabisco no longer manufactures them. Saltines are actually called for in many recipes today and people now also use saltines as a substitute in their recipes that originally used the milk crackers.
This recipe is one passed down from a Lithuanian family recipe collection with the following note: “I always bake this in a buttered casserole, not in the bird” and “I like to add giblets or chicken liver like my mom did” (My note to you: If you do not want to use giblets, they are optional)
Old-fashioned Lithuanian Cracker FillingCourse: SidesCuisine: Eastern European, Coal RegionDifficulty: Easy
1 generous cup chopped celery
1 generous cup chopped onion
1 stick butter
4 cups coarsely crushed Saltine cracker crumbs or milk crackers
1-1/2 cup whole milk
2 beaten eggs
1 Tablespoon dried parsley
1-1/2 to 2 teaspoons poultry seasoning (to your taste)
Salt and pepper to taste (keep in mind salt will vary if using salted top or unsalted top crackers)
OPTIONAL: Chopped giblets or some chicken livers
- Cook celery and onions in butter until tender, adding chopped giblets if desired.
- Crush crackers coarsely (hand crushing in the sleeve for saltines works well.) Pour into mixing bowl.
- Scald milk, then add to coarsely crushed cracker crumbs. Allow to sit for 5 minutes. Gently, but thoroughly stir in onion mixture, eggs, parsley, poultry seasoning, salt and pepper. Mix gently but well.
- Spread into buttered casserole dish. (Filling will puff lightly when baking due to the eggs, use a deep enough dish)
- Bake 350F for 50 – 55 minutes or until nicely browned on the top.
- Keep in mind you do not want this to turn to complete mush as you mix.
DID YOU MAKE THIS?
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I’m Lori Fogg
“A Coalcracker In The Kitchen”
Born and raised “a coal miner’s daughter” in Schuylkill County in the Anthracite Region of Pennsylvania, I love to share recipes and memories of home with fellow “coalcrackers” and celebrate our unique blending of Eastern European and Pennsylvania Dutch heritage and cuisines here in northeast Pennsylvania.