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Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Toasted cornbread bacon pecan stuffing

A few people have requested this - it's adapted from The Cook’s Bible

All measurements are approximate - add as much bacon, onion, celery, or herbs as you like, and if you like them or have them around, you could add finely chopped mushrooms and/or leeks. You will need approximately 1 and 1/4 cups of broth for 6 cups of toasted cornbread, but if the cornbread is extra dry, you may need more - if moist you may need less.

6 cups coarsely crumbled cornbread
1 cup pecans, chopped 
1/2 pound bacon, chopped
1/2 stick butter
1 large or 2 medium finely chopped onions
2 or 3 ribs of  finely chopped celery
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves, or 1 teaspoon dried
1 tablespoon minced fresh sage, or 1 teaspoon dried 
Salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup bourbon 
1 1/4 cup low sodium chicken stock
1/2 cup minced parsley

1. Preheat the oven to 350F. Spread the crumbled cornbread onto a baking sheet and toast for 25 - 30 minutes or until cornbread is golden brown, tossing the crumbs with a spatula once or twice during toasting. Cool and place in a large mixing bowl.

2. Spread the chopped pecans on the pan you just emptied of cornbread and stick into the oven for 10 - 12 minutes - keep checking so they don't burn. Cool and dump into the bowl with the cornbread.

3. Cook the chopped bacon in large skillet until crispy. Remove it with a slotted spoon, dump it into the bowl with the cornbread and bacon, and pour off all but 1 tablespoon of drippings. Add the butter to the skillet, and when the butter has melted add the onion and celery and saute for ~10 minutes over medium-low heat or until soft, Stir in thyme, sage, salt, and pepper to taste. Add to the bowl with the cornbread. Go easy on the salt - there's a lot of bacon in here, and you can add more salt later when you adjust the seasonings.

4. Turn up the heat under the skillet and add the bourbon. Stir for 2 minutes with a wooden spoon, scraping the bottom of the pan. Add the chicken stock, bring to a boil, remove from heat, and add mixture to bowl. Add parsley to bowl and adjust seasonings.

That's it - it doesn't get cooked any further. Stick the bowl in the refrigerator and let the flavors meld for a few hours, or even better overnight. You can heat it the next day either in the microwave or (covered with foil) in the oven at whatever temperature you're already using for your other dishes.

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