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Granny Smith Apple and Smoky Bacon Stuffing

Serves: Makes 10 to 12 servings

Ingredients:

  • 1 (1-pound) loaf day-old French bread, crust trimmed, cut into ½-inch cubes
  • ¼ pound thick-cut bacon, cut crosswise into ¼-inch pieces
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, divided, plus more for greasing baking dish
  • 1 pound Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, and cut into ¼-inch pieces
  • 1 cup minced yellow onion
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • 1 cup minced celery
  • ⅓ cup minced fresh parsley
  • 2 teaspoons ground sage
  • 1¼ teaspoons dried thyme, crumbled
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 2 cups low-sodium chicken or turkey stock, or as needed


Procedures:

Stuffing is one of the most popular side dishes on the Thanksgiving table. In this recipe, the combination of tart, sweet apples and smoky bacon will make it your family’s new favorite. To save time, prepare the bread mixture up to 1 day in advance and refrigerate. Sprinkle on the stock just before baking.

Preheat oven to 300°F and place two racks in the upper and lower thirds. Arrange bread cubes on two rimmed baking sheets. Place in preheated oven and bake until bread is slightly crunchy, about 20 to 25 minutes. Remove pans from oven and allow bread to cool to room temperature. Place bread cubes in a large mixing bowl. Increase oven temperature to 375°F.

Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add bacon pieces and cook, stirring occasionally, until fat has rendered and bacon is crispy, about 10 to 12 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer bacon pieces to a paper towel-lined plate. Set aside.

Pour off all but 2 tablespoons bacon fat and return skillet to medium heat. Add 6 tablespoons butter and heat until it foams. When foaming subsides, add apples, onion, pecans, and celery, stirring well to combine. Cook, stirring occasionally, until apples and vegetables are soft, about 8 to 10 minutes. Remove skillet from heat and stir in cooked bacon, parsley, sage, thyme, salt, and pepper. Pour contents of skillet into bowl containing the bread cubes and stir well to combine.

Generously grease the inside of a 13- x 9- x 2-inch baking dish with additional butter. Sprinkle bread mixture with stock, ¼ cup at a time, and toss well to combine, until bread is moistened but not soggy. Transfer bread mixture to greased baking pan and dot top with remaining 2 tablespoons butter. Place pan in preheated oven and bake until stuffing is deep brown and crusty on top, about 50 to 60 minutes. Remove from oven and serve warm.

Recipe developed for Sur La Table’s Cooking Classes

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