Saturday, November 19, 2011

Thanksgiving favorites part 2 ciabatta stuffing

stuffing is one of the stars of the thanksgiving meal....i make my own ..... i don't put it in the bird and i don't grind up any of the giblets and sneak them in either......for many years i bought the bag of pepperidge farm seasoned stuffing and added all of my own veggies...then i  saw enough chefs on tv put so many different things in stuffing that i decided why not branch out...i love really good why not start out with great bread?   Giada De Laurentis made a stuffing with ciabatta bread that sounded really good to me...but I don't like chestnuts and parmesan cheese just doesn't say thanksgiving to me.  so i started with some of the basics in Giada's recipe and made some changes, ...replacing the chestnuts with apples. losing the parm and adding bacon..

kelsey made this beautiful pumpkin for the table decoration
 (hand carved and lit with battery operated lights. 
 recipe after the jump

turkey is resting and gravy is happening

what?? why are you taking pictures?

Sorry no pictures of the stuffing...i have not made it since last Thanksgiving and it did not last long enough to get a picture.
3/4 stick of butter
1 pound of lean bacon (sliced into to little lardons or strips)
2 large onions chopped
2 carrots peeled and chopped
3 celery stalks chopped
2 tablespoons of finely chopped rosemary leaves (i use fresh herbs)
1 tablespoon of thyme leaves chopped
3 garlic cloves chopped
3 granny smith apples or cortlands peeled and chopped into cubes
1/4 cup italian parsley leaves chopped
1 pound of ciabatta bread (i use fresh and cut it into cubes and toast it lightly in the oven)
1 cup or more of boxed chicken stock
salt and pepper to taste
2 large eggs beaten

preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  butter a glass or crockery baking dish.  melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a large skills over medium heat. add the bacon and sauté until crisp.  use slotted spoon to transfer just the bacon to a prep bowl.   throw the rest of the butter in the pan, add all of the veggies  and sauté about 15 minutes then add the parsley, thyme, rosemary and the apples toss in the pan with veggies for a minute or two then dump all the veggies and bacon into a big bowl.  add the bread and toss then add the chicken stock to desired moisture level...add eggs and salt and pepper..stir together to mix.  transfer to the baking with buttered foil.  and bake until the stuffing is hot ...about 30 minutes, uncover and cook 15 minutes more.  if it seems dry add a little stock.  (a tip i learned from a famous chef...keep lots of good stock on hand on thanksgiving...keep it hot on the stove and use it to add a ladle into the stuffing if needed or over the sliced turkey on the platter just before you take it to the table, it  keeps it hot and moist as you serve it. ) this is a very yummy stuffing....and i am sure it will be equally yummy if you substitute things that you like!

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