This wonderful time of the year – November and December – seems to be made for roasts; roast chicken, roast turkey’s, prime ribs, etc… There is something truly festive and celebratory about a roast and what better accompanies a roast then some delicious stuffing. I have to admit I’ve never been a big fan of stuffing, I don’t like the pre-made stuff you get in a box and that’s what you normally get when you have either at someone’s house or at a restaurant. If you’re using cheap dry old bread then that is exactly how your stuffing will taste.
St. Martin’s Day which for centuries in the traditional Catholic and Mediterranean culture has been a sort of European Thanksgiving – you can check out my post on that here – is also my culinary testing ground for Thanksgiving and this year I decided to make my own version of roast stuffing. The result was a delicious and flavorful bread mixture that is finally worthy of being on the same plate my out of this world Garlic Herb Butter Roast Turkey. Do yourself a favor and print out that recipe and make it for your Thanksgiving feast this year.
Stuffing is a really simple dish and therefore the quality of your ingredients is going to make or break this dish. I buy my bread fresh baked from the local Whole Foods market, they have a delicious light sourdough type bread called Sperlonga. The key is to find and use the best and freshest bread available. A high quality bacon will bring an amazing depth of flavor to the dish and I always recommend using organic produce not only is it healthier and more nutritious but typically it has more flavor.
Homemade Stuffing for Roast Turkey & Chicken
- 3 cups Rough Chopped Bread
- ½ lb. Uncured Bacon, chopped
- 1 Organic Onion, diced
- 5 stocks Organic Celery, diced
- 4 Organic Carrots, diced
- 5 cloves Garlic, diced
- 1 cup Organic Low-sodium Chicken Stock, warm
- 1 tbs. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 3 tbs. Kerrygold Butter, or other Organic or Grassfed variety
- ½ tsp. Rosemary, dried
- ½ tsp. Thyme, dried
- ¼ tsp. Sage, dried
- ¼ tsp. Oregano, dried
- 1/8 tsp. Spanish Paprika
- 1 Bay Leaf
- Pre-heat the oven to 350 and prepare all the chopping and dicing.
- Heat a large sauté pan over medium heat with the olive oil and add the bacon and cook for 3-4 minutes.
- Add the onions, celery and carrots to the pan and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5-8 minutes.
- Add the garlic and 1 tbsp. Of butter, stir to incorporate and cook 1-2 minutes.
- Add seasonings and stir to incorporate
- In a large bowl place the bread add to it the bacon vegetable mixture; stir to incorporate
- Add the remaining butter, broken into chunks to the bowl and pour in the hot chicken stock; stir to incorporate and blend
- Butter a casserole dish and pour the bread stuffing in and even out to a flat layer
- Cook for 35-45 minutes; if stuffing dries out too much moisten with a few tablespoons of more stock, stirred to incorporate