My Nana made the best stuffing. It was dark brown, mushy and looked like something the Adams Family might have a conversation with before eating it, but it was also damn good. Digging into it was quite the adventure. What was that I just found? A bit of celery? Sliced mushroom? A scrap of turkey? Who knows and really, who cares. For a Thanksgiving meal in which the vegetables came from a can and the turkey was cooked to death, sliced up the day before then reheated to a dusty, un-dead resurrection the morning of, this stuffing was a saving grace. What to do with a slice of turkey that can be snapped in half? Smother it in stuffing! In fact, just hide everything in stuffing and eat that.
It has been many years now since my grandmother has passed away but her spirit lives on in those who loved her. To this day, I remember that stuffing, how it tasted and the most important thing when it comes to making it – KEEP IT MOIST! After all, Is there anything sadder than a dry stuffing?
Now, this stuffing may have a similar flavor profile to my grandmother’s recipe but I have made it my own with bacon, slivered almonds and a more textured consistency to it (au revoir, mush!). In the years that I have been making it, it has always been a favorite among friends and family alike. I wish I could take credit for their praise, but truly, it is undeserved. I am just trying to recreate her magic.
Delicious herb stuffing made with bacon, mushrooms and almonds. A Thanksgiving and holiday favorite side dish you’ll crave all year round. #stuffing #recipe #side #Thanksgiving #holidays
- 400 g / 14 oz white bread (about a medium loaf)
- 3–4 cloves of garlic (roughly chopped)
- 1 yellow onion (diced)
- 150 g / 5 oz streaky bacon (about 5–6 strips of bacon) or pancetta (chopped)
- 200 g / 7 oz (~12 medium-sized mushrooms) white button mushrooms (thinly sliced)
- 3–4 medium/large stalks of celery (diced)
- 1 1/2 tbsp dried sage
- 70 g / 2.5 oz slivered almonds
- a small handful of Italian parsley (roughly chopped)
- 3 cups / 720 ml chicken broth
- 1 sprig of fresh rosemary
- 1–2 big leafy branches of fresh thyme
- 1/2 cup / 120 ml white wine
Preheat heat oven to 230 C / 450 F.
Cut bread into squares no bigger than 1 in / 2 cm big. Place in an oven tray and toast for 15-20 minutes or until toasted to your liking.
Meanwhile, melt 2 tbsp of butter in a large lidded pan over medium/ medium-high heat. Add chopped bacon and cook for 3-5 minutes or until slightly crisp.
Add diced onion and chopped garlic. Cover and cook until onions are translucent (about 3-5 minutes)
Next, add sliced mushrooms and diced celery. Season lightly with salt and pepper. Cover and cook until soft (about 3-5 minutes).
Once celery and mushrooms have softened, add chopped parsley, almonds and dried sage. Toss together and continue to cook for 1-2 minutes then turn off the heat.
Add toasted bread pieces and toss with bacon and vegetable mixture until everything is evenly coated in the spiced mixture. Let sit for 5-10 minutes in order to soak up all the goodness.
While the bread is marrying with the sage bacon and vegetable mix, get started on the broth. Bring to boil 3 cups of chicken broth on high heat. Add 1/2 cup white wine, rosemary and thyme to bubbling chicken broth, stir and let cook for 1-2 minutes on high heat then reduce to low, cover and simmer for 5-10 minutes.
After the broth is done simmering, slowly add it 1/2 cup at a time to the dry stuffing, tossing it together to make sure the liquid is evenly distributed before adding more. Continue until all broth is used up or until you have reached desired moistness. Taste and season with salt and pepper (be careful, here-a little goes a long way)
Transfer stuffing to a casserole dish, cover and bake in the oven for 20-30 minutes on 230 C / 450 F until warmed through and all the flavors have melded together.
When it comes to stuffing, it only is as good as the broth soaking everything up. Make sure you use quality chicken broth but if you can’t just add a pat or two of butter to the broth mixture to give it a little more oomph.
- Category: Side
- Method: Baking
- Cuisine: Western
Keywords: stuffing, dressing, bacon, almonds, herbs, sage, thyme, rosemary, mushrooms, celery