Wednesday, January 4, 2012
This is a combination of lots of "recipes" -- it's sort of a "kitchen sink" approach, but it made for some delicious holiday stuffing this year!
8 Tbsp. unsalted butter
3 cups chopped onions (about 1 pound)
2 cups chopped celery (4 to 5 stalks)
1 1/2 cups coarsely chopped fresh fennel bulb (just the white part)
1 - 2 apples, chopped
1/2 - 1 cup figs, chopped
1/2 - 1 cup chestnuts, chopped
2 Tbsp. chopped fresh sage
2 Tbsp Herbs de Provence
12 cups (generous) 1-inch cubes day-old pain rustique or ciabatta bread with crust (about 1 1/4 pounds)
2 large eggs
1 1/2 tsp. fine sea salt
1 tsp. coarsely ground black pepper
1 cup (or more) low-sodium Swanson chicken broth (or 1/2 cup chicken broth, 1/2 cup white wine) - may need more depending on dryness of bread!
Melt butter in heavy large skillet over medium heat. Add onions, celery, apple, and fennel. Sauté 8-10 minutes, until vegetables are soft. Add figs, chestnuts, and all herbs; sauté 1 minute longer. (DO AHEAD: Can be made 1 day ahead. Cool, cover, and chill.)
Preheat oven to 350°F. Divide bread between 2 rimmed baking sheets. Bake until bread is crusty but not hard, reversing sheets after 5 minutes, 10 to 12 minutes total. Transfer to very large bowl and cool.
Butter 13x9x2-inch baking dish. Then in your very large bowl, gently toss the vegetable mixture in with the bread. Whisk eggs, salt, and pepper in small bowl to blend, then whisk in the broth (or half broth, half wine if you’d like) until combined. Add egg mixture stuffing, tossing to combine evenly and adding more broth by 1/4 cupfuls if dry. Transfer stuffing to prepared dish.
Bake stuffing uncovered until cooked through and brown and crusty on top, 60 minutes.
If stuffing feels dry, moisten halfway through with more butter/wine/broth.
Let stand 10 minutes.