I call this dressing because stuffing suggests that it’s getting stuffed into a turkey. This dressing bakes entirely in a 3-quart dish. Don’t worry about the quantities of the onions, celery and onions being exact. Dressing is very forgiving so use my measurements as a guideline. Save and refrigerate the leftover bacon fat and use in place of olive oil for roasting Brussels sprouts or sautéing eggs the next morning (I save everything in my kitchen – my mom makes fun of me).
To make ahead, cover assembled dressing with buttered foil and refrigerate until ready to bake, up to 1 day before. You’ll likely need to increase the cooking time by 5 to 10 minutes when baking it straight from the refrigerator. I bake my dressing while the turkey rests.
Bacon and Apple Dressing
10 cups 1-inch bread cubes from 1 large baguette (about 18 inches long)
4 tablespoon unsalted butter, divided, plus more for dish
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
3/4 pound sliced bacon, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
2 medium yellow onions, chopped (about 3 cups)
3 celery stalks, chopped (about 1 1/2 cups)
2 apples, chopped (about 2 1/2 cups)
2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves
Freshly ground black pepper
1 egg, lightly beaten
2 cups Simple Turkey Stock
Place bread cubes on a baking sheet and leave out over night to dry. Or, toast the cubes in a 350 F degree oven for 10 minutes.
Preheat oven to 375 F. Generously butter a 9 X 13-inch or 3-quart baking dish.
Heat olive oil over medium heat in a large 12-inch skillet. Add bacon and sauté until it’s rendered most of its fat and is just beginning to crisp, but not get brown, about 7 to 10 minutes. Remove bacon with a slotted spoon and set aside.
Pour off all but 2 tablespoons bacon fat. Return skillet to heat and add 2 tablespoons butter to the bacon fat. Sauté onions, celery, apples and 2 large pinches of salt until softened, about 13 to 15 minutes. Add the thyme and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.
Transfer mixture to a large bowl and add bacon. Toss to combine. Once mixture is cool add beaten egg and season with 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Add Simple Turkey Stock and mix well. You don’t want your dressing to be sopping wet but if it seems dry add another 1/2 cup Simple Turkey Stock. Transfer dressing into prepared baking dish and dot with remaining 2 tablespoons butter.
Bake for 30 to 35 minutes until dressing is heated through and beginning to turn golden.
See more recipes from my Hosting the Holidays Crate.