When we were figuring out assignments for our Thanksgiving smorgasboard, I was kind of late to the party and was SHOCKED to realize that no one had claimed stuffing yet. In fact, one Beauty, who shall remain nameless, even had the audacity to suggest that we skip the stuffing all together! SHAME!!! Are you even an American? You can't have Thanksgiving without stuffing!!! So I snatched up the stuffing assignment just as quick as you please and started hunting for a Beauties-worthy recipe.
6 tablespoons butter
8 ounces bacon, cut into 1/4-inch dice
2 onions, finely chopped
2 carrots, peeled and finely chopped
3 celery stalks, finely chopped
2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary leaves
3 garlic cloves, chopped
1/4 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley
1 pound day old bread, cut into 3/4-inch cubes
2/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan
1 cup canned chicken broth
Salt and pepper
2 large eggs, beaten to blend
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 15x10 inch baking dish. Melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the bacon and saute until crisp, about 10 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the bacon to a large bowl. (NOTE - I mean your biggest bowl. There is a lot of stuff going in there, so make sure you have room!) Melt the remaining butter in the same skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onions, carrots, celery, rosemary and garlic. Saute until the onions are very tender, about 12 minutes. Gently stir in the parsley and then transfer the mixture to the large bowl with the bacon. Add the bread and cheese and toss to coat. Add enough broth to the mixture to moisten. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Mix in the eggs as your last step.
Transfer the stuffing to the prepared dish. Cover with foil and bake until the stuffing is heated through, about 30 minutes. Uncover and continue baking until the top is crisp and golden, about 15 minutes longer.
THE COOKING EXPERIENCE
There is nothing like a group of awesome girlfriends gathered in a cozy kitchen, cooking, talking, eating, drinking and laughing. The seemingless endless chopping required by this recipe was rendered quite pleasant because I was surrounded by my Beauties. As an added bonus, the chopped veggies are very pretty when you put them all together, providing a good photo opportunity.
But after the chopping is done, you are home free. Saute up the bacon and veggies (with the added bonus of making your kitchen smell WONDERFUL, if it doesn't already), toss with the bread, throw it in the pan and let the oven do the rest. The result is crunchy on top, soft and chewy in the middle and oh so delicious topped with a little of Amber's gravy.
The other great thing about this recipe is that it's really flexible. If you don't have celery, throw in green pepper. If you are out of rosemary, use thyme or sage. And the bread options are endless. Have fun and be creative!