Bread Stuffing with Seasonal Fruits and Herbs
When I was growing up, my mother – always the health conscious one – made wild rice stuffing. Although I loved it in its own special way, I looked forward to the day when I could make my own bread stuffing. I adore pairing fruit with poultry so it’s no surprise my version of bread stuffing is packed with apples, cranberries and even raisins on occasion.
Late autumn is when I am fiercely trying to use up all my herbs before the frost hits them, so fresh herbs are a natural addition to the stuffing. Fresh thyme, sage and parsley from my small herb garden certainly work their magic in this dish, while fresh apples from our local orchards sweetened up this stuffing.
3/4 cup dried cranberries, or raisins, or both
1/2 cup butter
2 cups sweet onions, chopped
1 cup celery, chopped
1 Tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
1/2 teaspoon dried savory, ground
1 Tablespoon salt
1 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
2 cups chopped apple
1 large loaf of crusty Italian-style bread, cubed (about 8 cups)
1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
1/2 cup walnuts (optional)
1 cup turkey stock or chicken stock
Plump cranberries and raisins in hot water for about ten minutes.
Drain and reserve.
In a large skillet, melt butter over medium heat; add onions and celery.
Stirring often, sweat them for about five minutes.
Add thyme, savory, salt and pepper and continue to cook until vegetables are tender.
Add chopped apples and cook gently for about 2 minutes.
Transfer to a bowl and toss with bread cubes.
Add dried cranberries or raisins, parsley and walnuts to the bowl and mix well.
Pour turkey stock over stuffing and mix well to combine.
Butter an ovenproof dish and pack stuffing into it. (At this point, you may refrigerate the stuffing, well wrapped, for up to a day before proceeding.)
Bake at 350°F for about 45 minutes or until golden brown on top.
This basic bread stuffing recipe can be customized to taste. For example, for a more Christmas-like dinner, try replacing the Italian loaf with a spiced Pannetone and use dried cherries instead of dried cranberries.
Recipe and from Simple Bites (see Link)