John McLemore’s Deep-Fried Stuffing Balls

by Rachael Ray Show Staff 9:00 AM, November 17, 2015

Aired November 17, 2015

Serves 10-12 as a snack

Peanut or canola oil, for frying
1 stick butter, divided
5 to 6 ribs celery from the heart, about 2 cups, chopped
1 large onion, chopped 
2 large crisp apples, such as Pink Lady, Honeycrisp or Macoun, left unpeeled and diced
2 large fresh bay leaves
1/2 cup loosely packed herbs such as fresh parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme, finely chopped
Salt and pepper
6 cups homemade croutons of stale bread or 1 bag stuffing cubes, sage-and-onion flavored or traditional Pepperidge Farm brand
1 tablespoon poultry seasoning
1 quart chicken or turkey stock
2 eggs
1 pound sliced bacon
Toothpicks, for serving


Heat peanut or canola oil in a fryer or a Dutch oven to 375°F. Preheat oven to 375°F.

Melt 6 tablespoons butter in a large skillet over medium heat. When butter foams, add the celery, onion, apples, bay, herbs, salt and pepper, and cook to soften 10-12 minutes. Add cubed bread, season with poultry seasoning and moisten with stock; stir to absorb. 

Butter a casserole dish with 1/2 tablespoon of the remaining butter and fill pan with stuffing. Use the rest of the butter to dot top. Roast the stuffing 30-40 minutes until crispy at the edges. 

Once stuffing has cooled, mix in 2 eggs and form/shape into golf-ball-sized portions.  Wrap each stuffing ball in bacon and secure with a toothpick.  Fry for 3-4 minutes until bacon is golden brown.  Remove from oil and drain on paper towels.

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“I love Rachael’s Apple and Onion Stuffing, so I start with that!”