It’s Thanksgiving week!! A couple weeks ago, my fiancé’s work unit had a (very early) Thanksgiving potluck and he signed up to bring stuffing. Obviously, I wanted to send him with the best stuffing ever, so I scoured the interwebs and came up with this gem. I am satisfied that I achieved my goal (although I didn’t get to taste any of the other stuffings, so really all I know is that it’s the best stuffing ever that I’ve tried). The original recipe was for adorable stuffing muffins (stuffins?), which I attempted because what could be better than personal stuffing cups? Unfortunately, they didn’t hold together and were a bit more mess and work than I felt necessary, so I’m giving you the version where you have to actually spoon it onto your plate and eat it with a fork. The good news is that if you want to try to make the stuffins, just go for it, and if it doesn’t work, it will crumble nicely back into a serving pan. But I promise it’s worth dirtying a fork for. I am going to make another batch of this stuffing for Thanksgiving with the family, and then I might just start a tradition of making it every single Thursday forever because I love it that much. Enjoy!
- 6 1/2 cups of french bread, cubed (about 1.5 loaves)
- 1/2 pound pancetta, diced
- 1 cup yellow onion, diced (about 1 medium yellow onion)
- 3 celery stalks, thinly sliced
- 1 leek (or 1/2 if your leeks are ginormous like the ones at Trader Joe’s right now!), cleaned and thinly sliced
- 5 large fresh sage leaves, chopped
- 3 sprigs of fresh thyme
- sea salt to taste*
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- 1 cup chicken stock
- 2 eggs, lightly beaten
Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F.
1. Butter or spray a baking dish (I used 9x13x2″ for a double batch. 8x8x2″ should work for a single.) and set aside.
2. In a single layer, place the bread cubes on two sheet pans and bake for 10 minutes, or until barely toasted. Remove and set aside.
3. In a large frying pan, cook the pancetta over medium-high heat, stirring regularly for about 7 minutes, or until slightly browned and crispy. Use a slotted spoon to transfer to paper towels. Leave the pancetta grease in the pan to cook the vegetables in.
4. Bring heat down to medium and add the onion, celery, leek, a little salt and pepper, and cook until it is all softened and translucent, about 10 minutes. Add the sage and thyme and cook just until fragrant.
5. Turn off the heat, grab a big bowl, and toss in the pancetta, toasted bread crumbs, vegetables and chicken broth. Do a taste test.
*Then, do another taste test. Variations in pancetta, chicken stock, and personal preference will determine how much salt you add at this point. I even went crazy and added a little more pepper!
6. Once it tastes how you want it to (delightful!), add the slightly beaten eggs and mix it all together once again.
7. Poor the mixture into your buttered pan and bake for about 20-25 minutes, until the top is browned. Serve warm.